A heady blend of Conan the Barbarian, science-fiction archetypes, monstrous prehistoric beasts, and intrigues among fictional billionaires (who live in Montecito!), Tophero, Son of Smilodon: Jungle Lord of the New Millennium might just be the most action-packed entertainment you’ll find outside a movie theater. Author Wayne W. Ni will be signing copies at the S.B. Book & Author Festival on September 29, noon-3 p.m. For more on Tophero, see tophero.com.

What inspired the story of Tophero? It’s been brewing in the back of my mind since childhood, when I loved to read stories like this. As I’ve grown older, the characters have gained more depth. It was finally time to write it down.

What’s it about? Tophero’s parents land on the planet Opalon after their ship is hijacked. When he disappears, they leave, thinking him dead. He’s raised by a family of smilodons (saber-toothed tigers), but eventually he discovers his human heritage and fulfills his potential as a hero and a man. I can’t say much more than that without spoiling the story, so read it and find out!

You’re appearing at the Book Den’s booth at the festival. Will any more details be revealed then? Well, there’s a short film that we’re going to show at the booth, hopefully. I’d love to see this book get made into a movie. Special effects and CG have really opened up the possibilities.


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