Please give a warm welcome to author Kristoffer Gair as we talk about their latest release, Falling Awake II: Revenant. Don't forget to enter the giveaway within the post for a chance to win a great prize by the author.
Now let's talk with the author...
Keeping Too Much Religion Out Of Fiction
Writing a novel is tricky enough, especially with needing to finish the first draft, then going through the editing process, beta reading (if you’re so inclined), and then getting readers interested in taking a chance on it. Not an easy process overall considering, in the end, fiction requires a suspension of disbelief. Stay too grounded in reality and folks may not like it, and go too far into the unknown and folks might not like that either. For the Falling Awake series, I found it a fine line to walk where religion is concerned.
I have friends from just about every belief out there. Not every book I write is going to be for everyone, so I’ve already accepted this. Hopefully they’re up for each new journey, especially with this series, which is by far nothing like what I’ve written in the past. Readers describe Falling Awake as a take on good vs. evil, and the setting takes place both in life as we know it here, and also in an afterlife.
The afterlife alone suggests religion, I think, and therein lies the fine line to walk. The characters in the first book barely raise subject of religion, and when it does come up, everything is left open to interpretation. Even they don’t know the entire story, and state as much. There are references to the afterlife being a waypoint, and someone mentions an area where one escalator goes up and another goes down. I think I got the idea for the escalator bit from a film called The Heavenly Kid.
Religion isn’t touched upon much in Falling Awake II: Revenant either, but perhaps a bit more so than in the first book. Whereas Falling Awake takes place mostly in the in-between, Falling Awake II takes place in Iowa and Texas during 1972. Andrew, the main character, has had an upbringing that included going to church, and he knows the basics, only his journey takes him beyond those teachings and into the uncomfortable unknown.
No single religion or belief gets pushed here. Nobody says one religion is the correct one or the better one. Nobody says religion doesn’t or shouldn’t exist. Instead, the characters in the story have grown up knowing the beliefs and stories that would be instilled upon them, but also discover that not everything falls into definable categories.
“Didn’t you ever go to church? I used to.” Attending the place with his family had been a long time, but Andrew still remembered the basics. “Good people go to Heaven, and bad people go to Hell. Isn’t that supposed to be how it works? Tell me you know that’s how it works.”
Only it may not. And Andrew’s journey to discover why a friend of his was abducted and murdered when they were ten-years-old takes him to places where the old beliefs may not apply.
Does this approach ultimately work? You’ll have to let me know.
Title: Revenant: Falling Awake II
Series: Falling Awake Book 2
Author: Kristoffer Gair
Release Date: June 19
Length: 90,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40547115-falling-awake-ii
Andrew O’Donnell’s childhood friend, Thomas, was murdered when they were ten years old. Nightmares and guilt have plagued Andrew ever since. And he believes himself responsible for delivering Thomas into the very hands of the men who committed the atrocity.
Now, fourteen years later, Andrew is driven to uncover the mystery of what really happened to Thomas, the reason behind the brutal abduction, and whether the assailants—who were never caught—have set their sights on someone else.
Even the help of an unlikely ally may not be enough to stop the darkness, the threat of what it will do to them in this life…or the next.
Purchase at Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DLNXZ77
Andrew never understood the attraction of ridiculously high or overly ornate steeples with crosses on the top and everything on the outside of Catholic churches painted white. The combination appeared too flashy, too showy. Boastful? Most churchgoers Andrew watched, mainly the older folks, seemed to enjoy the abundance of white. As a child, he’d asked a few of them what the color meant; purity, innocence, and perfection. Andrew and his father once talked about their own interpretation. Both agreed—out of earshot of siblings and spouse—the décor felt cold and empty.
The idea of community and living an honest life represented positive teachings no one disputed. Well, no one who didn’t go around killing employees for making fun of their last name or people who killed innocent ten-year-olds. Those people might try to make a case against living such a life but few others would. The rigidity of the rules bothered father and son, the “do this or you’ll burn in hell,” didn’t appeal to them. Both were surprised to discover they shared the same viewpoint and equally pleased for the additional bond—their little secret.
Andrew strode through the tall front doors and stopped when his eyes came to rest on the simple wooden casket at the far end, in front of the altar. The first five of the ten rows of pews were nearly full. He recognized fellow church members, a few family friends, his mother, brother, sister, a couple of aunts and uncles, a smattering of cousins, plus one more he knew all too well. And since he didn’t wish to disturb anyone at the front—if even possible—he followed the nearest empty pew almost the entire way to the end, and sat.
Sunlight still shone through the windows along the west wall and cast shadows along the east side. Andrew continued to stare straight ahead and never heard the sound of someone sitting next to him, yet he knew the man was there. A tremendous comfort.
June 19 - Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings (https://mirrigold.com/)
June 20 - Outrageous Heroes of Romance
June 21 - Love Bytes (www.lovebytesreviews.com)
June 22 - Queer Sci Fi (https://www.queerscifi.com)
June 23 - Celticlady's Reviews (http://www.celticladysreviews.blogspot.com)
June 24 - My Fiction Nook (http://myfictionnook.com)
June 26 - Book Lovers 4Ever (http://www.bl4ebookblog.com/)
June 27 - Life at 17 (https://lifeat17.wordpress.com)
June 28 - Dawn's Reading Nook (https://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com)
Meet the Author
Author/Blogger Kristoffer Gair grew up in Fraser, MI and is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He currently lives with his husband in a suburb of Detroit.
Official Website: www.KageAlan.com
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