This past week we gave the spotlight to The Headlock of Destiny, Samuel Gately’s Epic Fantasy novel, the first in the Titan Wars series! Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews and other posts. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content. Come and learn a bit more about the world of The Headlock of Destiny through Samuel’s playlist!
Samuel Gately is a writer of novels and short stories in the fantasy genre. Most have spies in them. Samuel lives in Oak Park just outside Chicago with his wife, daughters, and terrifyingly fluffy dogs.
Some say titans are descended from giants. Others say they are risen from men. But there’s never any debate about where to find them. They will be in the center of a roaring crowd, beating the hell out of each other. From contenders like the Savage and Scott Flawless to pretenders like Richard the Living Portrait and Troll-Blooded Thom, a titan’s lot in life is the same: To wrestle for dominion and glory in the squared circle.
Van, a quiet titan from the brewery town of Headwaters, wants no part in this. He’d prefer to be left alone with a beer. But destiny has him in a headlock, and it is prepared to drag him into battles that will shake the land and change his world forever.
Step into the ring with this one-of-a-kind novel, brewed special for fans of epic fantasy, fans of professional wrestling from the Golden Era and beyond, or simply fans of a good tale.
Click on the blog name to read their full review or other content!
JUNE 9TH – THE KICKOFF
Beneath A Thousand Skies – review
“The Headlock of Destiny is proof that it’s great to venture off the beaten path. A fabulous read for anyone looking for a fun, fast-paced read with lots of action and great characters. It doesn’t matter if you know nothing about wrestling – I certainly don’t – Gately pulls you into his story and world, and dazzles you and l’m looking forward to the next book.”
@fantasybookcraz_mum – review + IG spotlight
“As a huge wrestling fan, this book did not disappoint me. It’s fast-paced, throughly entertaining, brilliantly written with amazing world building wrestling fantasy.”
@pagesinkedinshadows – IG spotlight
HighhFantasy – review
” The Headlock of Destiny has the feel and a passion project and the author’s excitement is palpable. This is what happens when someone writes the book they want to read, damn the naysayers and it pays of immensely. And the ending had me buying the sequel right away.”
@abbeysbooktopia – IG spotlight + review
“All in all this was a great reading experience and I think if you’re a fan of wrestling you’d really enjoy this book. I really want my partner to read it as he loves brewing beer so I think he’d enjoy that side too!”
Cover to Cover – review
“So, in the end it turns out this book feels like it was written for me. It has it all, some big overall problems to solve, a lovable yet flawed character who goes through and amazing development with his internal problem or obstacle to overcome, the setting which goes from small to big to exploding like a supernova, the imagination of it all, the mix and match of some fantasy elements and I am so super happy that I didn’t let my ignorance of WWE turn me away from reading this book.”
Music is an absolute lifeline for my writing, so I love to talk about it! Thanks for giving me the chance to wrap up this fantastic tour talking about one of my favorite things on this little blue dot.
Every creative aspect of writing for me is accompanied by music – plot points, characters, scenes, specific language. I turn it up loud and find walking or driving while listening (some sort of motion) helps me generate ideas to fill the blank page. I tend to listen the same song over and over and ruminate over a certain scene, frequently interrupting it to write or dictate notes into my phone, until eventually the creative juices dry up. Then I search for another song that resonates with me. While actually at the computer writing, I’ll sometimes run a playlist on repeat or just keep digging for movie soundtracks that set the right mood. As I write this I’m listening to the Theme for the Irishman by Robbie Robertson on repeat.
So, narrowing down to The Headlock of Destiny and five songs that shaped the book, here’s my best shot. They’re all available on Spotify.
There, There by Radiohead
It’s fair to say Headlock wouldn’t exist without this song. I was in the earliest stages of thinking about a book with a giant as a main character when this track grabbed a hold of me. I equated the pounding drums with the steps of giants at a distance, closing ominously. I love the opening tone of confusion, of being lost and uncertain that then blossoms into a violent end (‘we are accidents waiting to happen’). It absolutely shaped the story. Full disclosure, I could easily list five Radiohead songs for this exercise. I might have a problem.
Africa by Toto (covered by Weezer)
I always loved the Toto song and I’m impressed with the Weezer cover. A slight harder edge to the percussion and guitars, but they kept the clean melodies and smoothness intact. For me, this song is pure motivation – like a less direct Eye of the Tiger. The lines that locked this one in for me is ‘Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you. There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do.’ It’s practically a writing prompt.
Ava Adore by The Smashing Pumpkins
By now you can probably guess when I went to high school (and how baggy my jeans were). At one point I shaved my head like Billy Corgan, cause I was so original. Anyway, I saw the Pumpkins open with Ava Adore and by the time Billy rolled out onto the stage, swaying to the beat and looking like some sort of pale fire demon or evil priest (any other fantasy fans out there have Pyrates-themed nightmares?), I was as captive as an audience can get. It is entrance music, tailormade for something menacing to take the stage. I listened to this song for every single titan’s entrance to the ring to set the right mood. Something dangerous approaches and you have no place to hide.
Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
This one is probably the most self-explanatory. It’s no surprise that this song is so often featured in the run-up to sporting events. It is electrifying, with a perfect build up to the shredding chorus. Perfect soundtrack for both basketball layup lines and titans lacing up their boots in the locker room, hearing the rising noise of the crowd above them.
Reflection by Tool (covered by Vitamin String Quartet)
While writing, I need something that sets a mood but doesn’t distract me too much. Along with movie and game soundtracks, I’ve found VSQ to be great for writing. They cover everyone you can imagine, and there are a huge variety of flavors that come with that. This cover in particular I think is an example of where they’ve strayed from the original and managed to create a whole new beast. The percussion is fantastic and, as I mentioned in the first song write-up, beats reminiscent of the heavy and frightening steps of giants set a good tone for a book all about a titanic struggle.
If you are interested in The Headlock of Destiny and would like to get in contact with Samuel Gately, you can find him on social media:
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