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The Knight of The Light

The Knight of The Light

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The Whiskers of Wise
 
Written By The Knight of the Light
Illustrated by Gustavo Novoa 

Personal Goals:
To provide a positive influence and a powerful inspiration in the lives of children. In The Whisker of Wise, specifically, to discuss reaching for one's dreams, never giving up, and overcoming obstacles and negativity along the way. To show the  way and the eleven steps to heaven that children will learn from Faith, the feline; Love, the lion; Learned, the leopard; Truth, the tiger; Joy, the jaguar; Peace and Pray, the twin panthers; Miracle, the mountain  lion; Will, the white lion; Courage, the cheetah; and Hope, the horse are all take their part as we find our way.

A Description of the Book:
The Whiskers of Wise is a Christmas classic that tells the story of a young child who falls in love with a big fluffy cat that is locked in a small cage in a New York City pet store called Liters of Critters. She encounters a very mean and stingy storeowner who won't let her have the cat under any circumstances unless she pays cash. Even though she promises to pay him a little each week from her allowance and even thought its Christmas Eve, he is so mean he still says NO. She takes her bracelet that has the word FAITH written on it and places it around the cat's neck and names her Faith. Faith ends up escaping from the pet store that night with help from the only uncaged animal in the store, a parrot named Rocky. It takes a lot of convincing from the rest of the animals in the  store to help Faith escape.  Faith goes on a long journey to find The Way. On her journey she meets a little catfish named Fin, the fish from deep within, at Saint Love's Cathedral. Fin jumps out of his  fish bowl and turns into a key that Faith places on her necklace. Fin falls back into the water and tells Faith she must take that key to the Bronx Zoo and be back with the rest of the eleven steps to Heaven before Christmas Mass at 12 midnight. If they are not back on time, then man won't begin to think with his heart for the first time in the history of the planet. Faith and the rest of the Whiskers of Wise constantly have to overcome obstacles and negativity in order to reach their goal. It is a lesson in believing in oneself and gaining self-confidence and self esteem in the process. The following is a little song Miracle sings. (You will notice that to create a miracle each Whisker of Wise name is mentioned within this lyric. I am Miracle the mountain lion. The key is to keep on tryin'. Miracles happen every day For those who love, have faith and pray, you must have courage, you must have will. Then peace and joy will destroy your ill. Learn all this I have spoken the truth. A miracle will be our proof. Now let's all hold paws and bow our heads and listen to what our hearts have said.

A Description of the Book:
The Whiskers of Wise is a Christmas classic that tells the story of a young child who falls in love with a big fluffy cat that is locked in a small cage in a New York City pet store called Liters of Critters. She encounters a very mean and stingy storeowner who won't let her have the cat under any circumstances unless she pays cash.  Even though she promises to pay him a little each week  from her allowance and even thought its Christmas Eve he is so mean he still says NO. She takes her bracelet that has the word FAITH written on it, and places it around the cat's neck and names her Faith. Faith ends up escaping out of the pet store that nights with help from the only free animal in the store a parrot named Rocky.  It takes a lot of convincing from the rest of the animals in the store to help Faith escape.

Faith goes on a long journey to find the way.  On her way she meets a little cat fish at Saint Loves Cathedral named Fin the fish from deep with in.   Fin jumps out of his fish bowl and turns into a key that Faith places onto her necklace.  Fin falls back into the water and tells Faith she must take that key to the Bronx Zoo and be back with the rest of the eleven steps to Heaven before Christmas Mass at 12 o'clock.  If they are not back on time then man won't begin to think with his heart for the first time in the history of the planet. Faith and the rest of the Whiskers of Wise constantly have to over come obstacles and negativity in order to reach their goal.  It is a lesson in believing in ones self, and gaining self-confidence and self esteem in the process.  Here is a little song Miracle sings, you will notice to create a miracle each Whisker of Wise name is mentioned within he lyric.

I am Miracle the mountain lion.
The key is to keep on tryin.
Miracles happen every day.
For those who love, have faith and pray.
You must have courage, you must have will.
Then peace and joy will destroy your ill.
Learn all this I have spoken the truth.
A miracle will be our proof.
Now lets all hold paws and bow our heads.
And listen to what our hearts have said.
The key is to keep on tryin'.
Miracles happen every day
For those who love, have faith and pray,
you must have courage, you must have will.
Then peace and joy will destroy your ill.
Learn all this I have spoken the truth.
A miracle will be our proof.
Now let's all hold paws and bow our heads
and listen to what our hearts have said.

Target Audience:
Children of all ages from 1 to 100:  Children and young adolescents to parents and grandparents to daycare providers to educators and religious leaders; basically, anyone who is a child at heart or/or who is involved with children.

Positioning Statement:
To provide children with an entertaining and useful life instruction of goal setting and working for those goals in spite of the physical and mental obstacles that must be conquered. One reviewer  suggested a style that resembles both Dr. Seuss and Shell Silverstein. Like all of my Knight of the Light stories, the central message is to believe in the power and magic of one's dreams. This message is conveyed not only in the story, but also through the lyrics, the rhythm, and the rhyme of the sound track to this musical.


Books that Compete and Compare:

The Night Before Christmas

Charlie Brown's Christmas Story

Oliver Twist

The Nut Cracker

The Dr. Seuss books, especially The Grinch that Stole Christmas

All the classic Christmas stories

This could be another Veggie Tales (that sold for multi-millions of dollars to Disney), only with a much more long-term "classic" appeal

Why I wrote the book – The background story:

This is a very interesting story. I was approached by some of the people that funded and helped distribute Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ. They wanted me to rewrite The Sillysaurs and SMITHES to have a more Christian flavor. I said absolutely not, but I can come up with a very Christian story.

I will never forget I was at the DMV in Los Angeles waiting for my number to be called. I asked God, "Please give me the idea for this." Then as I do most of the time, I think very visual. I was very aware of the success of Veggie Tales, and I, personally, felt: "What little kid wants to watch a salad come to life? What little kid wants to cuddle up with a stuffed animal carrot to go to bed with?" Yet Metal Toys has done a licensing deal for vegetables--something I would never do...lol…I thought if those corny, not cute, preachy characters  can be that successful, then what would happen if I created something that had a great look, along with a name that says it all. Then I thought: What was very successful for Disney? Hmmmm, Lion King. Once I had  that image in my head, the rest came to me in that 30 minutes. This is how my brain works; if you thought of "that," then challenge me, and I will think of "this." The brand name has to be the best, the image has to be  the best and the story line has to be the best. So Lion King became my challenge, not Veggie Tales. Now what tells the story more? The title Lion King? Or the title Whiskers of Wise? This is me talking to myself. I thought, "Wow, this name has a double meaning; when we get old, we get whiskers, and cats have whiskers. Wow, this is pretty cool! 'Thank  you, Lord, for this; it sounds likes it's right from the Bible.'" Then I started thinking about characters. That led me to writing down all the different types of cats I could think of so I would have them in front of me. So I wrote lion, tiger, jaguar, mountain lion, a regular house cat, panther, etc. Then I thought now I have to name them. I thought wouldn't it be cool if the first letter of each type of cat correlated with his name. So I began: L, the lion of Love; T, the tiger of Truth; P, Peace and Pray, the twin Panthers; J, Joy the jaguar; L, Learned, the leopard. Next, I thought white lion or white tiger, and I chose white lion so that I could have a male lion, W, Will the white lion. Then I thought mountain lion, M; Miracle, the mountain lion. Next was "house cat"; since there was nothing for that, I decided another word for house cat is feline, so it became F for Faith, the feline. Then I needed a leader, but I  had never read the Bible in my life. All my beliefs are from my experience and what has been channeled to me. So I asked these Christians who had first approached, "What was Jesus portrayed as in the Bible?"  And they said, "A fish." So initially I was thinking of a dolphin, then at another point I was thinking of the male lion, a natural leader. But then I thought it would be cool to have Jesus be the most unassuming of the bunch, as in  "Don't' judge a book by its cover." So I made him a goldfish. Fin, the fish from deep within. Then I thought of the 11 steps to heaven. And a goldfish did not have whiskers, so how could he be a Whiskers of Wise? So I thought...ahhhhhh, I have it; he's a catfish! I was so excited about that. So then I had my 11 steps to heaven. But I had a conflict in my head. "Twelve" is the spiritual number. and I want that number to have importance in the story. What can I do? So as I wrote the story and knew it was going to take place in New York City, the image from my childhood that stood out was of those horses that pull those carriages around in the snow and rain and sun. I envisioned a magnificent white horse with wings, and that's when I came up with Hope, the horse.

As I sat on the couch thinking about all this, I looked up at one of my Gustavo Novoa lithographs that I had bought when I was in the film the Flamingo Kid (starring Matt Dillon directed by Gary Marshal). I had purchased the lithographs from the Walley Finley  gallery in NYC. And I said to myself, "That's it! Novoa's cats are the most amazing characters ever." I got off the couch and walked over to the painting to get a very close look--because the eyes are the window  to the soul. I wanted to look into the eyes of the Whiskers of Wise. I saw the most angelic-looking characters. I got very excited and called the Walley-Finley gallery, leaving a message that I was looking for Gustvo Novoa and asking if they still represented him. They called me  back that same day; one thing lead to another, and Gustavo gave me permission to use his cats. He asked me to send him my idea and my music. When he heard my music, he loved it and send me all his poems to write into songs. So this was how I came up with The Whiskers of Wise.

When I met with the Christians, they loved it, but said, "This is too 'new age.'" I argued, saying, "NO way! You don't know what you're talking about" and asked them to take me to their priest or  minister and let him be the judge. Now keep in mind I never read the Bible in my life and these people never missed a day of church. But in my heart I felt they did not understand Jesus' message. I felt God created love and man created religion. I felt they believed that if you sit in front of a TV on the couch all day smoking cigars and  drinking beer and eating snacks, but you pray to God, all will be okay in your life and God will give you what you pray for. I believed differently. I felt you have to come here, pick a goal and strive and struggle to reach  that dream. God helps those who helps themselves. And you have to be doing something positive; you can't be making money by destroying people or the planet. At any rate, they took me to their priest, and I will never forget the look on my girlfriend's face when he priest looked up after reading all my content and said, "There is not one thing wrong in here; this is not new age." Wow, I felt great. Here were people that read the Bible and went to church every day. I did neither, and I understood the philosophy of Jesus better than them from my heart and my experience in life. But you see, both of those things are God  talking to you. After a lot of people read The Whiskers of Wise, they all said, 'Peter this can go so much bigger than just the Christian market. This can be huge if you make it mainstream for  veryone. So I pressed "find" on the computer; and everywhere I had written "God" or "Jesus", I replaced it with "the Light." So that's my story.

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More Artwork for
Whiskers of Wise by Gustavo Novoa

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