Page 9 - ION Indie Magazine November December 2019 Issue
P. 9

Performing  a  rock  opera  is  different  because  it   So, the story? On Christmas Eve, a destitute man
          has this story element. The music will likely have       steps off a bus into the town of his childhood after
          more  moments  of  reflection  vs.  straight-out,        30 long years as an itinerant laborer. A homeless
          turned up to 11 for two hours. But like any good         street kid in his own youth, he joined the military
          story,  there  are  big  moments  where  all  pistons    as a young man to try and find a life and place to
          are firing, and then there are quieter moments.          be, but war left him somewhat broken. When he
          The  audience  that  shows  up  to  a  rock  opera       returned, he married and had a child, but shortly
          usually knows they’re in for some full-out scream-       after, he tragically lost them both. Thus, began his
          inducing  moments  as  well  as  some  that  might       “bus-years.” Penniless, he takes the only job he
          touch a nerve. One of the cool things about the          can  find  on  Christmas  Eve…ringing  a  bell.
          rock and metal community, in my opinion, is it’s         Throughout  that  day  and  night,  he  encounters
          pretty open-minded and inclusive.                        many people whose lives are as hard as his has
                                                                   been. He finds that he is the exact right person on
          KP:  I  know  that  you  spent  time  in  the            this  night  to  help  these  people.  In  the  end,  he
          corporate realm working for Microsoft until a            finds a sense of inner peace, realizing that finding
          layoff  happened  and  you  found  yourself              a “place to be” isn’t really about a physical place
          parting ways with this giant of a company. I             at  all,  but  about  giving  whatever  best  part  of
          am curious to know, did your departure from              himself he can to those who have need of it.
          Microsoft serve as a catalyst to realize your
          dream to breathe life into The Bell Ringer?              KP: As many authors incorporate themselves
                                                                   in  their  characters,  is  there  a  particular
          PO: It did. Once the initial fear and uncertainty        character in The Bell Ringer that represents
          wore off, I figured I had a little time to think about   the essence of Peter Orullian?
          what I wanted to do with my life. That lead me to
          recall  the  idea  I’d  had  when  I  graduated  high    PO:  Not  in  particular.  That  said,  while fiction  is
          school. I decided to give it a shot. I would never       supposed     to,   by    definition,   not   be
          have  done  so  if  I  was  still  working  a  long      autobiographical, most writers inject themselves
          corporate day.                                           into  the  story  quite  subconsciously.  It  usually
                                                                   takes  the  form  of  experiences  or  people  they
          KP: Can you tell our readers about how the               know, all of which inform scenes and interactions
          concept  for  The  Bell  Ringer  was  born?              between  characters.  It’s  part  of  what  makes
          Provide a brief synopsis on the story of The             fiction  work,  since  there  are  common  human
          Bell Ringer.                                             experiences we all share.

          PO: About the time I was hitting my senior year in
          high  school,  a  couple  of  life-changing  things
          happened to me. I was pulled into rock music in
          a big way and I began to read a good amount of
          popular  fiction  --  like  Stephen  King  and  Dan
          Simmons. Anthemic music and character-driven
          storytelling just got inside me and made me want
          to put my creative urges to good use. I worked in
          a parking booth across from the Greyhound bus
          depot. Through the holidays, I watched the poor
          and  homeless  receive more  consideration  from
          rushing passersby. I imagined a guy stepping off
          one of those buses on Christmas Eve, a guy with
          a  tragic  backstory,  and  taking  a  job  as  a  bell
          ringer. It was all he was qualified to do and he had
          the determination to stand all day in the cold to
          fetch a few coins. It opened up in my mind the
          story  and  the  music  I’d  use  to  drive  that  story.
          Many  years  later,  I  finally  took  the  chance  of
          making it a reality.
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