Foot Whomping Magic
In The Last Great Wizard of Yden, Jon Hansen is the target of a bully. Jon’s buff Uncle Chaz steps in to help. The physical strength Jon gains while becoming fit and learning to box parallels the other more extraordinary talents he discovers on the magical world of Yden.
“Your mom mentioned you’d walked into a door,” Chaz said as he tossed Jon a pair of training gloves. “I’ve hung a heavy bag in the garage. You’re going to learn how to hit back.”
“That’s not politically correct, is it?”
“It’s real life, kid. Get used to it.”
In my fantasy stories, I frequently feature characters who know how to handle themselves. That’s because I was a frustrated wimp most of my life. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I had the confidence to enroll in martial arts training. Afterwards, I was very sorry I’d waited.
My desire to learn martial arts stems from my childhood, when I watched the movie “Billy Jack,” starring Tom Laughlin. It probably wasn’t the most suitable movie for a kid to see, but the foot whomping scene stuck out clearly in my memory…
“You know what I think I’m going to do then? Just for the hell of it,” Billy says.
“Tell me,” Sheriff Posner replies.
“I’m going to take this right foot and I’m going to whomp you on that side of your face.
And you wanna know something? There’s not a damn thing you’re going to be able to do about it.”
And then he did it. Color me Impressed. Back in 1971, however, little girls in Southern California were more likely to twirl a baton than a bo (a wooden staff). Fast forward to “Total Recall” (1990), in which beautiful and feminine Sharon Stone played a kickboxing
assassin. I began to believe I might be able to kickbox too. But when gorgeous Rene Russo mixed it up in “Lethal Weapon 3” (1992), I knew I had to try.
I hustled down Ventura Boulevard, to where a largely unknown martial arts champion by the name of Billy Blanks had a studio in a strip mall. He became pretty famous on the strength of those Tae Bo tapes you might have heard about. At that time, he was just the best Taekwondo instructor in Los Angeles. After the first class, I hurt so badly I sobbed in my car on the way home. It took me two weeks to work up the courage to go back, but I stuck with it until I earned my black belt.
In my mind, the concept of ‘magic’ is a metaphor for personal power. For me, martial arts
made me feel powerful and confident. Others may take a different path to gain self-assurance. But when we get there, we’re all wizards.
And that’s when I sit down to write.
~ S.G. Rogers
After his father is kidnapped, sixteen-year-old Jon stumbles across a closely guarded family secret–one that will challenge everything he has ever believed about his father and himself. A magical ring his father leaves behind unlocks a portal to another dimension, but in using it, Jon unwittingly unchains the forces of evil. A crisis develops when a malevolent wizard transports to Earth to kidnap one of Jon’s friends. With the help of some unlikely schoolmates, and a warrior princess from Yden, Jon embarks on a dangerous quest to free his friend and his father from the most vicious wizard the magical
world has ever known. In the end, Jon will be forced to fight for his life as he attempts to rescue the last great wizard of Yden
In her former lives, S.G. Rogers was a lawyer and an actress, but she’s now grown up and settled down as an author. Drawn to fantasy literature, she’s lived in some of the most magical places in America, including La Jolla, California, Asheville, North Carolina, and currently Savannah, Georgia. She resides with her son, husband, and two hairless cats—which look and act quite a bit like dragons. When she’s not writing, she enjoys practicing
martial arts. Follow S.G. Rogers at www.childofyden.com and Twitter @suzannegrogers.