I've never been able to leave a story with an unhappy ending alone, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because I was raised on Disney movies with "happily-ever-after" themes, or perhaps it's simply the way my brain is wired to my heart. As far back as I can remember, if I watched a movie with a sad ending, I would re-write the closing scene in my mind, hence, giving it an ending that would make my heart feel warm and cozy all over. Now, if ever a story cried out for a "happily-ever-after" ending - Erik's cry was one of the loudest. Consequently, my prepetual optimism drove me to create my own version of the Phantom who lurked in the depths of the Paris Opera House.
From what is known about Erik, he was an extraordinary architect and a true genius in every respect. I’m convinced he had a magnificent voice, a musical brilliance beyond compare, a quick wit, a great imagination, and a clever sense of humor. He also had an intense passion for life and a tormented spirit, which desperately longed to love and to be loved in return. All his qualities were amazing—especially considering he was severely persecuted by the majority of the human race. I’ve tried to display all facets of his personality along with how and why it developed as he grew into manhood and beyond.
While I recognized horrendous tragedies filled Erik’s life, I wanted him to experience peaceful and joyful events in it as well. Therefore, I embarked on this tale of his existence, which gives him what he desired and should have had from the beginning. I’ve endeavored to stay within the boundaries of the historical truths while I took what I’ve learned about human nature into consideration. Then, when I combined those two views along with a healthy pinch of my own imagination, the not-so-clear happenings of his life emerged. I consider this work the most comprehensive writing about that remarkable masked man—who lived the greater part of his time on earth in distressing solitude.
Erik’s story begins before his third birthday when he first remembers his feelings for music, and from there it traces in detail his life as he sees it “through his eyes.” Those in his life who could look beyond society's fear of the unknown, beyond his mask, and “through his eyes” into the depths of his heart, could see this misunderstood and extraordinary man. When the expressions of those privileged ones were added to Erik’s thoughts, and then to how I wanted to see his life “through my eyes”—the title emerged. Thus, Through Phantom Eyes has a threefold meaning.
The tragedy of Erik’s life has given me a deeper awareness and compassion for the sufferings of others, and his unceasing passion for life has given new meaning to mine. I sincerely hope this astonishing journey I’ve traveled with Erik will be a voyage never forgotten by anyone who embarks on it with us.