Paul Stempuel

Talent, imagination and passion are qualities that Paul Stuempel—creator and co-author of the newly-released, Augee: Guardian of Hohala—has in abundance.

A native of northern Kentucky, Paul has worked tirelessly, invested heavily, and persevered against the odds to bring his long-awaited magnum opus to print. Yet, without the decades of dogged commitment that saw the Kentucky native take Augee’s story from a daydream to published novel, the world would not have seen this unique and painstakingly developed tale. Given the long history of the project, it is worthwhile chronicling Augee’s creation. The series began as a mere spark of imagination over fifty years ago when Paul, then in his 20s, flirted briefly with the idea of a short animated movie based on a the simple concept of “A boy and his dragon.” Eventually, the movie project came to a halt because of administrative and funding issues, but the flame of something unique and ambitious had already been ignited in Paul’s head. With little else than a notepad and the seeds of a story, he lovingly set about devising a plot, creating character profiles, and drawing up a framework for the world that would eventually become Hohala, the setting of Augee.

According to Paul, the book, at the time, was a labor of love, but with a young family and growing business to take care of, time to work on a book project was scare. Eventually, after a number of years of writing in fits and starts, a handwritten manuscript, that contained the “bones” of the Augee series today, came to fruition. The manuscript was shared among the author’s family and friends, and the feedback was unanimous: Paul had a fantastic story on his hands, but it needed to be reworked, developed, and crafted into distinct chapters and stages.

Unfortunately, at that point, the creative process came to a halt for Paul as his professional life became increasingly demanding, and the Augee manuscript was unwillingly side-lined to his study drawer for years.

Yet, never letting go of his ambition to share Augee with the world, Paul in recent years commissioned a number of contributors to assist him in his endeavour to bring Augee from manuscript to a published book, and eventually, in 2016, he connected with an Atlanta-based writer from Ireland, Dr. Cormac Lambe.

Finally, after decades of perseverance, Paul had his completed epic fantasy saga, now entitled The Augee Series. Paul has spoken about the emotions that enveloped him when he first received a printed copy of the first instalment in the series, Augee: Guardian of Hohala: “The day that the finished, printed copies of Augee arrived in the mail was one of the most surreal I've had. It was an incredible feeling to see nearly 50 years of imagining, creating and writing bound up so beautifully in 362 pages. What a wonderful moment that was, when I could hold the book in own hands, smell the newly-dried ink, and distractedly skim through all of those now-printed words that I agonized about so often and for so long. In short, I felt elated and so very proud. “

Cormac Lambe

Together, Paul and Cormac took the original story and began again from scratch, rewriting scenes and reconfiguring Augee and the world of Hohala.

Finally, the epic tale of Augee and the Hohalians is ready for the audience it so richly deserves and is testament to an artist who persevered with a daydream that is ready to become a legend 

Paul and Cormac are already putting the finishing touches to the second book in the Augee series, Augee: The Reawakening – coming soon!

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