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January 13, 2017

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

How David J. Castello Made the Impossible Seem Plausible in His Engrossing New Novel "The Diary of an Immortal"

Last month I told you about David J. Castello releasing a new novel called The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959). Since then David's enthralling tale of how a young American soldier stumbled upon a formula that would let him live forever has been steadily building an enthusiastic audience in Amazon's Kindle Store where it is priced at just $2.99 (vs. $17.99 for the soft cover edition). 

The book has reached as high as the top ten in Amazon's Magical Realism category - a genre that GoodReads.com describes as "one in which magical elements blend to create a realistic atmosphere that accesses a deeper understanding of reality. The story explains these magical elements as normal occurrences, presented in a straightforward manner that places the "real" and the "fantastic" in the same stream of thought."  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Green Mile are examples of some classics in the genre.

I just returned from a nine-day holiday cruise that was made even more enjoyable by being able to sit by the pool and read The Diary of an Immortal with no distractions. It's a good thing nothing else needed my attention because the story was so engrossing I would had ignored it anyhow!

I don't want to spoil anything for you so I will just encapsulate the story in a couple of paragraphs and leave all of the twists and turns of the story for you to enjoy for yourself. Steven Ronson, the young soldier from Florida (where David, an accomplished musician, writer and - with his brother Michael - acclaimed domain investor, also grew up), found himself fighting the remnants of Hitler's forces in 1945 Germany when, during a raid on the Dachau concentration camp, he discovered a mysterious stash of pills that were meant to allow Hitler to live forever, but fortunately never made it to the Fuhrer. Ronson began consuming the pills and soon found they gave him extraordinary abilities including the power to heal from any injury - completely impervious to death.

Ronson moved to New York City after the war where, aided by the formula, be became a saxophone-playing phenom on the local jazz scene. One night after playing he met a  

Photo of Buddhist monks from Bigstock

disfigured former missionary (Albert) who recognized something familiar in Steven that he had seen before - immortality. Albert told Ronson that the immortality formula originally came from China where an order of secretive monks had been using it to live continuously for centuries.

Albert also had a beautiful niece, Jennifer, whom Steven fell in love with, so he jumped at the opportunity to accompany them to China (in the midst of that country's civil war which Steven was soon embroiled in) to learn more about the immortals and why he was destined to become one. With the guidance of Albert and 2,000 year old monk Chow Li Steven would get the answers he was looking for but the story does not end in the way we expect...and that is all I can tell you without spoiling it!

It is a terrific read (and I could see an epic movie made from this book). Castello is a long time history buff and an expert on World War II history in particular. That allowed him to fill the book with real people, places and events that allows the story to transcend fantasy and make you forget from time to time that you are reading fiction! I've written non-fiction practically my entire life and I have no doubt writing good fiction is much harder. How someone can create, solely from their imagination, engaging characters, dialog and a great story with so many moving parts that have to all be tied together in the end completely amazes me.

When I asked David how this process worked for him as he created his first novel he told me, "The book came to me in a series of dreams that seemed odd and disjointed. Luckily, I didn’t fight it and went with the flow because when it was completed I could see they all lined up. There is a  part where Steven tells a music producer in New York City that (when playing his astounding other-worldly sax solos) he felt like a radio receiver to the cosmos. I wrote that because I was feeling that way!  There is no way my book would have been created as it is if I hadn’t taken notes the instant I returned to consciousness. I would’ve only remembered the basic elements, it wouldn’t have made sense and my conscious mind would’ve taken control and steered me away to a different destination."

Thankfully, David's dreams (and his meticulous note taking with the pen and tablet he kept at his bedside) took him to the right place - a place you can arrive at too after taking the fast-paced 307-page journey through The Diary of an Immortal. If you need more

Author David J. Castello

incentive, the book ends with the ingredients in the immortality formula! Let me see you get that at Walgreen's for $2.99! :-) 

(Posted January 13, 2017)

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