Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Drunk Demon and His Revival

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This is what Mary's working on.
I love the cover so much and am
enjoying the first book in the series
so much that I'm plugging it here!
I’ve been excited about today ever since I learned about The Next Big Thing blog theme promotion thing from fellow indie author Mary C. Findley over at her ElkJerky For the Soul blog. I’ve been working on my current novel for a while now and I can see where it is all beginning to wrap up in the next several chapters, so that meant that it was going to be time to officially announce the book soon and this blog theme promotion thing seemed like the perfect opportunity! Stick around at the end of the post for a link to some other bloggers who will also be taking this opportunity to discuss their latest works as part of the same blog theme promotion thing! Oh, for what it’s worth, I sort of reordered some of the questions in the prompt so that they made more sense to me.

The Next Big Thing

Title: The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living

Genre: Adult Christian fiction. I know that’s vague. You could add “Contemporary” to it, if you’d like.

Agency Representation: Indie, baby! I’m self-published.

Doing a Google Images search for "drunk
demon" returns interesting results.
Short Synopsis: Our story begins with a demon named Melchior. He’s fed up with his job because the church he’s assigned to distract and tempt and torment never do anything for the Kingdom of God anyway, so he’s bored out of his mind. To alleviate this boredom, he gets drunk off his bum. While venting to a fellow barfly, he gets the idea that the best way to really stick it to the boss—and maybe even end the boredom—is to go pay the church’s pastor a visit and tell him precisely how badly their screwing up. The early morning chat with the inebriated demon absolutely changes the pastor’s life. He becomes convicted and determines to truly follow Christ and be faithful in making disciples. A small group of believers joins him in his goal and New Jersey is never going to be the same again.

Where did the idea come from? Direct from the Holy Spirit. The idea came so suddenly and dramatically that I credit God one hundred percent as my inspiration. Please understand that I’m not trying to be arrogant or say that my book is above criticism. Inspiration is very personal and I credit God with all my ideas, but this one felt specially delivered (as did my short story, TheBook of the Harvest, incidentally).

If you ever wonder why I
don't write romance, it's
because this is what my
characters look like.
I'm sorry you died before
the movie deal, Denise.
What actors would play your character in a movie version? The book features an ensemble of at least half a dozen main characters. but I’ll focus on just a couple. I would like to cast Paul Giamatti as the pastor, Doug Pinkerton. His wife, Joan. . .well, I’m having a bit of a difficult time finding an actress of the appropriate girth for the role. I was going to suggest Denise Borino-Quinn, whose only credit is as Ginny Sacrimoni, a mob boss’ wife in The Sopranos, but, alas, she died in 2010. Well, it’s certainly not going to be Rosie O’Donnell. I can tell you that right now.

How long did it take to write the first draft? Not quite done yet, although I begin to see the end in sight. I don’t know precisely when I started, but it looks like it was in May 2012. There have been some bumps along the road, but the words have usually flowed forth pretty steadily.

If this book starts any massive Christian merchandising
crazes, you have my permission to buy copies and burn them.
What other books in the genre compare? I have never read a book like this. Thematically, about a group of believers who decide to stop playing around with mainstream Christianity and actually start following Christ, Charles Sheldon’s classic novel In His Steps comes to mind. When it comes to tone and the actual story, however, Savvy Demon’s Guide is dramatically different.

Any other in this genre? Boy, this question is difficult to figure out. I saw that Mary, on her blog, took this to ask whether she had written any other in the genre, so I’ll go with that too. My short story, The Book of the Harvest, is also best classified as Adult Christian Fiction, I suppose. My published catalogue is pretty limited at this point, though, so my only other available novel falls under Christian Fantasy.

Who or what inspired this WIP? The only direct influence that I can identify is Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, and the influence here is in the narration and tone of the book. The Narrator for Oliver Twist is extremely sarcastic and very funny (but I appreciate a lot of Dickens’ humor). I tried to follow his example in the Narrator for Savvy Demon’s Guide. Otherwise, I would say that, as a believer trying to follow Christ, my own journey certainly had a big influence on the book, but I’m sure that would be the case for anything I’ve written.

Drug addiction is not funny, but anything
that brings a sinner to their knees, crying
out for the mercy of their Savior, can be
used for God's glory.
Anything to add? I’m extremely excited about this book, as well as a bit apprehensive. This is a dramatic departure from my previous novel, Emaline’s Gift, and I’m not sure how the fans of that book will appreciate this one. For one thing, this is definitely intended for a more mature audience. I think it’s a more mature work, but also contains some vulgar language and situations. There is actually a fair amount of profanity in the book, but it’s censored in a way that I feel fits with the seriocomic tone. Some of the characters make very bad decisions and the book does not shy away from it. This is a story about sinners who are forgiven much and love much. There’s a great deal of moral darkness—but I believe the redeeming light of Jesus Christ shines much brighter, and the way He works is all the more exciting because of the darkness.

In the end, I’m proud to put my name on the cover. I believe this will challenge and encourage believers, even as I’m sure it may offend some as well. It’s not my intention to be offensive, but I’ve come to peace with that. I believe this is a story God wanted me to tell, and ultimately I answer to Him. Oh, but I’ve also started the second book in The Magi Chronicles and intend to go back to work on that as soon as I’m done with the first draft on this one!

Thanks, everyone, for coming by and seeing what’s been rolling about in my brain. I hope you’ll give Savvy Demon’s Guide a chance when it releases in 2013, and I think you’ll be rewarded if you do so. Now, I was supposed to find five other authors who blog and rope them into this blog theme promotion thing as well. I failed. But I found two!

So I encourage you to swing by and visit:

Cynthia P. Willow, who also writes Christian fantasy, including Patty Gayle and the Legend of Kingsley. She’s also the author of Hell’s Christmas. (Oh, and by the way, I’ll be hosting an interview with Cynthia right here on this blog at some point!)

Amy Magaw, the author of Wheels of Love and Home, which are both part of the Breaking Dawn series.

Go ahead and visit these ladies now if you’d like and learn more about them. Their Next Big Thing blog posts—where we get to hear about their new writing projects—should go live in a week, on December 26. I know it’s weird that I’m linking to them now and saying they’ll be doing this in a week, but consider it pre-anticipation. Yeah, that’s it.

Are you pre-excited yet?

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