Ismael Manzano first fell in love with writing while in high school. He especially enjoyed science fiction, and poured over urban fantasy stories.
After honing his craft in college, the Morris Park resident will finally publish his first novel next month.
The epic fantasy novel ‘Soulless’ centers around the life of Charlotte Furio, a young woman who learns of the soul-trade after a secretive woman follows her home at night and gives her ill father the option of a healthy body in return for his immortal soul.
After her father makes his choice, Charlotte realizes she has a talent for brokering souls and decides that this new skill can add meaning to her life.
However, in a twist of fate, she realizes that she must first rescue her father’s soul before it’s too late.
Manzano’s inspiration for the story came from the supernatural classic tale ‘The Monkey’s Paw,’ in which the owner of the paw is granted three wishes that come true with an enormous price.
There is an underlying sense of awareness throughout the novel.
“What happens to someone if they lose their purpose in life, the thing that makes them them…or if they don’t discover what their purpose is,” said Manzano, “I wanted to wrap my head around this idea.”
Manzano’s wife is also a writer, and he attributes his skillset to her support, and critiques.
“When I first started out as a writer I thought everything I wrote was golden,” said the author with a laugh, “but now we both write and go back and forth giving constructive criticism. You need to be with other people with the same passions, or you don’t grow.”
For budding writers out there, Manzano has some words of wisdom : “Be humble, don’t let your ego get in the way,” said the author, “You need to have patience and humility to remove yourself and look at the work objectively.”
Ismael’s book will be published by Fantasy Works Publishing, and will be available on March 8.