Armani Salado and Eric Martinez
Forbidden Origins is a book, graphic novel, and comic book publisher founded in 2021. With a strong emphasis on creator control, Forbidden Origins’ mission is to ignite a universal passion for reading by creating intellectual property in the form of characters and stories for readers of all ages. Forbidden Origins believes that books, graphic novels, and comic books, along with the stories and ideas they hold, have the unique ability to connect, edify, and carry humanity towards a better future for generations to come.
Welcome to the section where we ask the authors what they think about different themes. Today we are accompanied by Eric Martinez and Armani Saludo, co-founders of Forbidden Origins and authors of The Old Universe.
Let’s dive in!
1.- What made both of you start FO?
Armani – We realized we had tons of story ideas that would be better off in our hands. Forbidden Origins is our way to have total control of what material we put out for years to come. Like Marvel and DC, and other publishing houses, we want to introduce our characters from a position of total creator control- meaning no one can tell us what is right or wrong.
Eric – We decided to create FO (Forbidden Origins) to publish our first title through our own publishing company. We also wanted to make a company that is creatively owned that will support not only our stories but other stories as well. We see FO as the next Marvel or DC, creating a whole universe with characters and plot lines within that universe.
2.- Collaborative writing is not usual, why did you decide for following that route?
Armani – It worked best for us. Eric and I work great together in regard to creative endeavors. When it comes to bouncing ideas back and forth, we have a flow and concrete understanding of what we both like, what works and what doesn’t, and what each of us wants when it comes to putting a story together.
Eric – We collaborated because we both created the story. The story would not exist without either of us so it would make sense to collaborate. We are also best friends and have been adding to this storyline since 2009, once we got the manuscript going it all fell into place easily.
3.- As you had to experience the full publishing process, which part would you say it’s more difficult?
Armani – The part that was most difficult to me was probably finding the courage to put our works out there on our own. Once that courage was found, everything went smoothly. Yea the gritty business side of it can be difficult like filing the company name, paying for copyright, purchasing copies to proofread etc., but all that eventually becomes minimal once you understand you have to do this in order to see your ideas come to life.
Eric – The book isn’t out yet so I wouldn’t say we have done the full process, but we are very close. I would say finding a book printer was a little challenging, we had one company printing our books but the print quality was always off and the ink was questionable. We had to find a new company and now the advanced copies we’ve reviewed have been much better.
4.-Which plans do you have on the horizon?
Armani – Ahhh, we have a bunch of plans on the horizon. The Old Universe is the first book in a 5-part series. After that, we already have plans for spin-offs, and other stories that take place in The Old Universe but not during the main story timeline. ANDDDDD don’t get me started on what we have coming AFTER The Old Universe ;).
Eric – Firstly, this title is the first book in a planned series. Right now, we have 5 books slated to tell the full story. It may be more books or less when the time comes. The Old Universe book series will then open a whole new opportunity for publishing more storylines within our universe.
5.- What inspired your first book?
Armani – Eric and I were gaming in my parents’ living room back in like 2009 when we came up with the idea for our first book. We were playing Soul Calibur when we started tossing out ideas and scenarios. Eventually, those ideas and scenarios turned into the massive world we’ve built today.
Eric – It’s inspired by large epic fantasies and sci-fi, like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Dune.
6.- Why did you decide to self-publish instead of going for the query traditional route?
Armani – We decided to self-publish because we realized we have more to offer than just a book. We believe we have something here that audiences and fans can resonate with far more than just your ordinary novel. With us self-publishing and starting our own publishing company, we can deliver far more by being our own bosses than by being restricted by a large publishing house.
Eric – We wanted to have this story as we envisioned it available to everyone. The issue with a query is a publisher must approve this story before it goes anywhere. We wanted to fast-track that process. The Old Universe has been worked on since 2009, and we have had plenty of time to have this ready for the masses. We also take ourselves as publishers very seriously, our book has been reviewed and edited by industry professionals before release.
7.- Who is responsible for your graphic material?
Armani – All our graphic material has been made by Roberto Cuevas. He is on Instagram as @iamcued If you want to talk about talent and the future of digital media, Cued is the future!
Eric – Roberto Cuevas, he is an amazing talent and also our Artistic Director for Forbidden Origins. He showcases most of his work on Instagram @iamcued.
8.- In case you compartmentalize the work, which part does each one of you decide?
Armani – Eric and I have a 50/50 say on every aspect of the company. Neither of us makes a decision without speaking to the other first. Once we come to a decision, we both agree on then we pull the trigger and execute that decision.
Eric – For our novel work process, Armani and I create the story while Armani writes the book. He’s an amazing writer and really knows how to convey the story elements we want. If there’s any issue or decision to be made, we will discuss it together and move forward from there.
9.- How do you both know each other and how all of this started?
Armani – We’ve been friends since 2008. We met at our martial arts school and immediately became homeboys. Ever since then we just grew together. Learned from one another. And forged a lifelong friendship.
Eric – Armani is my best friend. I’ve known him since 2008, we first met at a martial arts school and have been making stories ever since Armani and I were playing Soul Calibur on his PS3 at his parents’ house in 2009 or maybe. The game had a create a character feature, we made our own characters but added more to them. We gave them motivations and personalities. This then led to us making our own high fantasy story based off of the characters we created. We had the full storyline and saga created. Since that day we’ve been adding to it and making more stories until we decided to publish them. We feel the story is ready for the world to enjoy.
10.- Anything you want to add to finish this interview?
Just wanted to say thanks for the interview! I hope everyone reading this will check out The Old Universe when it releases later this year in November. Please follow our socials to stay updated on everything we’re doing!