Who doesn’t love a good tale of the supernatural? Guest blogger and author Tom Mohan talks about:
Back in the 1995-96 time frame I had a vision of a homeless man standing in the rain staring at a gun in a pawnshop window. I had no idea who this guy was or why he wanted to end his life, but the vision was clear and the idea stuck. I didn’t write much back then, and finished even less. I had thought about writing and knew that someday, when the stars aligned and I had lots of free time, I wanted to write a book. Procrastination and a natural born gift for laziness didn’t help, either.
Fast forward to 2011 when I attended my first writer’s conference—The Ragged Edge. The Ragged Edge was an intimate conference hosted by Ted Dekker and was open to only 100 participants. I left this conference on fire for writing and decided it was time to find out just who this homeless guy with the death wish was.
It turned out the guy’s name was John Burke. Four years ago John’s wife and daughter had disappeared along with some other members of a church youth group and the pastor. Burke had put everything he had into finding his family but they seemed to have vanished from the Earth. This much I knew fairly quickly but there was a lot more to his story that I had to uncover. I have loved reading horror for as long as I can remember and then, while deployed in the U.S. Navy, I discovered epic fantasy. This was in the early 1980s, before fantasy had really taken off. One thing I knew from my love of these genres was that I wanted to make stuff up. I didn’t want to limit myself to the real world but be able to open up any door that came along, the weirder the better. That is one of the reasons I set Eve of Redemption in the year 2032—it is far enough in the future that I can change some current reality without being so far away as to be completely detached from our current world.
Another thing I knew about John Burke was that he needed redemption. His guilt and shame were killing him and he could be no help to anyone until he was able to forgive himself. As authors, I think we often use our characters to work out some of our own issues. There is probably more of me in John Burke than I care to admit. The original character was much more of a mess than the man who shows up in the book. Fortunately I had enough early readers who were not afraid to tell me the guy was quite unlikable in his current state and that I should make him a bit less of a whiny-wretch. I did and I think he is a much better character for it.
When I started writing Eve I knew three things: the beginning, then end, and the scene that ends part one of the book. Everything else grew organically from the writing process, which is, to me, what makes writing so much fun. About 200 pages into the first draft I realized there were still too many things I didn’t know. In order to figure them out I began delving into the life of Sara Burke, John’s missing daughter. Suddenly a whole new story line opened up that not only answered the questions, but also introduced a new world where nothing was as it seemed.
Eve of Redemption contains many of those vital details that keep life interesting, or do when we allow ourselves to step out of real life—strange children, animated corpses, demons, ghosts, Harley Davidsons (missing from my reality, anyway) and a dragon that surprised even me when he showed up.
That’s my writing journey…so far.
About Eve of Redemption
John Burke’s life is filled with despair. Four years after the mysterious disappearance of his wife and daughter, he wants nothing more than to end his own misery—until a confrontation with a peculiar little girl alters his life. Burke’s world collides with supernatural chaos, forcing him to face the reality of his past.
Now he must find his family and destroy the ancestral curse. Teaming up with a former policeman and his blind wife, along with a boisterous motorcycle gang, Burke discovers the one thing he thought he lost forever—hope.
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