Istvan Szabo Ifj.


Award winning author, director and graphic artist Istvan Szabo, Ifj. was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1981. Istvan penned his first short stories, the science fiction story, City on the Rings of Saturn, as well as the historical fiction for a literature competition, entitled One Day in the Legion in Elementary School. But he discovered a true love for writing in high school, enrolling in advanced Hungarian and English classes and submitting short stories to various writing competitions, and magazines, as well as self-publishing his works in his school to entertain his classmates. The military thriller short story series, Revenge, a story similar to the movie Toy Soldiers, was a school-wide success. After high school, Istvan attended Information Technology and Technical College, while he also applied to the Marine Military Academy (he always wanted to be a military fighter pilot, and he received his first pilot training at the age of 14.) and Georgetown Law School (he was an avid fan of JAG. :) ). After college he then spent the next few years trying other jobs and careers, including marketing manager, graphic artist and web designer. But he also spent a short time as an insurance agent, movie ticket taker and working in a souvenir-store. He admits that these last two jobs were his favorite and most relaxing non-freelance jobs he ever had, because of the good company, and the free movies, popcorn and souvenirs. Summer jobs, a.k.a. the best days of a different life. :) In 1999, Istvan wrote his first screenplay, the sci-fi drama Mercurion, which was requested by many U.S. agencies, but unfortunately the story never went into production. From 2002 to 2004, he wrote the two hour long pilot and twenty additional episodes for a new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Beyond Frontiers. Star Trek: Beyond Frontiers set 10 years after Star Trek: Nemesis, describing the journey of the U.S.S. Concordia (NX-92337). They're on a mission to find answers for the deadly events revolving around their own sister ship, the U.S.S. Olympia and Section 31, a civil war taking place inside the Federation, and a mysterious phenomenon even the Borg is afraid of. But the story never went beyond the pitching phase, as Paramount already planned to cancel the Star Trek franchise with Star Trek: Enterprise.

In 2003 Istvan wrote a page long short story, called Crystal Shade, which in 2005 became a nine episode long TV mini-series project. This later became the foundation of the Auralight Fantasy book franchise, Crystal Shade: Angeni, which outlines the prelude story of the screenplays. However, due to various circumstances, and to avoid any spoilers, the details of the development and pitching of the Crystal Shade TV mini-series are still classified. However in 2008 one part of the development visited the U.S. Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office. In 2004, a Hungarian based game-development studio, along with one based out of Paris, France, took notice of Istvan. The two companies entrusted him to complete a story for their newest video game. Reviewers and newspapers praised the story itself, however Istvan is not proud of this work, mostly because the story development wasn't in his hands and the end product was far from the idea and screenplays he initially wrote and pitched. But he received various credits for this project, including designer, sound-editor, tester, manual writer, and translator. Later in 2005, shortly before Istvan started to write the Crystal Shade TV Mini-Series, a Hollywood screenwriter by the name of David Freeman was so impressed with Istvan's abilities that he invited him to London as his guest. Mr. Freeman shared some insights with Istvan about the art of screenwriting. Before he turned freelancer, Istvan made one additional game and one additional design project with the studio where he was also credited a few more times in various fields. In 2007, Istvan produced his first short movie 15 Minutes of Fame in which he was the screenwriter, director and storyboard artist. 15 Minutes of Fame won 3rd Place at the UPC-AXN Film Festival 2007, and was the personal favorite of the audience, the critics and Hollywood producer and jury member Andrew Vajna, the producer of Terminator, Total Recall, Die Hard and other great movies. In 2009, Istvan turned his old screenplays Mercurion and Star Trek: Beyond Frontiers into a new ten episode long sci-fi thriller series, called as Nightfall. While this sci-fi story also was requested by various movie studios, due to various circumstances this story also had the fate of Crystal Shade. The book adaptation of the world's only Darklight Science Fiction, Nightfall is scheduled for 2014 / 15.

Between 2009 and 2011, Istvan wrote Crystal Shade: Angeni, the world's only Auralight Fantasy. Volume 1 was released on November 11, 2011, 11:11GMT, and since that time the book is available on 6 continents, in 65 countries and 200+ territorial and regional retailers. While the book is not a fast and easy mainstream read, it has received positive reviews, with critics calling it a "beautiful and elegant writing, a unique fantasy world with a storyline you won't feel you have anything to compare it to." The introductory book, Crystal Shade: Introduction, which presents the development in the words of the author, was released in 2013. The sequels of Crystal Shade, Afterlight and Volume 2 are scheduled for 2014. In 2011 and 2012, Istvan also released two of his short stories in his 7 Post Meridiem series. The noir detective novelette, Pale Moonlight and the extra short noir sci-fi drama, Anno Humanae Salutis, received positive reviews. Anno Humanae Salutis also made it to the Amazon best seller list on February 25, 2012, five days after its release. The next short stories in the 7 Post Meridiem series, the noir detective novelette, The New York Homicide, and the noir sci-fi short story, Deus Ex are scheduled for 2014 / 15.

Istvan loves to create new worlds, and expand his brands toward additional marketing areas. As a professional artist, he also loves to make all the graphic sketches of the characters, weapons, items and worlds he created. He has also has created illustrations, character art, short CGI animations and marketing materials for various projects, such as foreign movie projects Descent (Australia), Brandish (United States) and for the independent movie studio Syzygy (United States, credited for 65 episodes), as well as for his own works, Crystal Shade, 7 Post Meridiem, Nightfall and Project Nephthys. Istvan is also the owner of Sapphire Guardian Publishing and its renowned subsidiary, Sapphire Guardian Formatting and Conversion Services, and he has worked on dozens of books for both independent authors and professional publishers.

Smashwords Interview

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Istvan Szabo, Ifj., an award winning screenwriter and director, and the author and illustrator of the Auralight Fantasy book series, Crystal Shade and the short story series, 7 Post Meridiem.
I can see from your book’s website, ( that a lot of thought has gone into your flagship series, Crystal Shade. Can you describe your series to me?
Crystal Shade is about the life of a young, daydreaming soul, the seven years old Grace who always dreamt of becoming a guardian angel; like those who guarded and guided her people and prepared to bravely fight in a dreaded mythical event, the Crystal Shade – which never came. It's not like Grace ever wanted to see Demons. Or wants to know what evil and darkness is – things that no one ever faced on her world and as the legends says, the Crystal Shade carries within –, nor does she want to die to be reborn as a guardian. But she thinks the mysterious life of angels is so noble a fable that it sounds exciting – until it actually happens.

In Crystal Shade I'm inviting the reader to live the life of a young soul who is reborn as a matured Guardian Angel. I’d like it if the readers would discover a strange home world and its secrets along with her, evolve with the character, understand her motives, her thoughts and foremost her decisions, even in the darkest hours while she is trying to learn what the mythical event, the Crystal Shade really is. It’s a story about a soul who love to dream, just like everyone else… but just as the crystal has its own shadow, sometimes restless dreams and revealed secrets may also bring darkness into life and the world itself.

As many have asked what the secondary title, Angeni means. My answer is… the story will tell it as it’s all about an “Angeni”.
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