Today, I get to welcome Kelly Gay to Literary Escapism. Kelly is the author of the amazing The Better Part of Darkness and it’s definitely a novel everyone should be checking out. I know I can’t wait for the second novel, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, to hit the shelves.
Atlanta: it’s the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil….
Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She’s recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.’s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim — but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?
Make sure you stick around, we’re giving away a signed copy of The Better Part of Darkness.
Thanks Jackie for having me over! These last few weeks have been a crazy mix of trepidation and excitement as my novel made its way into the world. All the chaos fried a few brain cells, I think, and left me hitting a brick wall when it came to writing this guest post. But, never fear. This past Friday, at my first book signing, I had an idea…
Okay, okay, I can’t claim it was me. Several folks asked me if I’d written the short synopsis on the back cover. And the answer was no. I tweaked it, yes, but, no I didn’t write it. That job fell to the folks at my publishing house. And, honestly, I’m glad I didn’t have to do it. It’s hard to sum up a 384 page novel into one small paragraph. You have to be pretty general and introduce readers to the main goals, the character, the world, all while trying to build a level of mystery and excitement. Not easy.
But sometimes this generalization can leave readers wondering about certain things, about what kind of book they’re actually getting. And one of the questions that popped up at the signing and elsewhere is the level of religion and Christianity in the book. And with words like revelation, heaven, and hell, how could folks not wonder? Is The Better Part of Darkness steeped in religion?
That would be a resounding no.
You see, Charlie’s world is an exploration of ‘what if’s’, and what happens when we learn some of our legends and myths are actually based in truth. My fictional population has used the term Revelation for over a decade to describe the scientific discovery of the alternate dimensions of Elysia and Charbydon. (The word was a term used by a reporter in those first anxious days of the discovery, a term that stuck.) So, it’s not The Biblical Revelation. The dimensions ‘revealed’ all those years ago do closely resemble our myths and legends of heaven and hell. And the beings in these worlds (having visited us for thousands of years, using our world as a neutral ground, and sometimes as a battleground) inspired our myths of angels and demons, but these were also the same beings who inspired earlier myths of gods and monsters.
Religion and faith? Sure, those things were shaken in the initial days of Elysia and Charbydon being discovered, but, for the most part faith and religion remains intact and flourishing as always. The many beings of Elysia and Charbydon have since integrated into our society, and the question of God and our origin is as murky to them as it is to some of us. It’s a question of faith for all three worlds. And there are even those who believe that the beings of all three worlds came from the same stock, the First Ones. But, that’s just another legend . . . another story . . .
Thank you Kelly for stopping by, and seriously people, if you haven’t read The Better Part of Darkness then you need to hurry and get a copy. Oh look! Here’s a chance to do that.
Contest Time! We’re giving away a signed copy of Kelly’s novel The Better Part of Darkness and a copy of Staked by JF Lewis to a lucky commentator and it’s very easy to enter. All you have to do is answer this one simple question: Which legends or myth would you like to see as real? Do you want leprechauns walking the earth or sirens to appear out at sea?
As always, if you want more chances to win, you can post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer (yes LE is now on Twitter as well!). The more places you share it, the more entries you get.
Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and you’ll get an additional entry. Make sure you leave a comment so I know that’s why you’re joining. If you’re already a fan, let me know and you’ll get an additional entry for that as well.
For 2 additional entries, subscribe to Literary Escapism’s newsletter in the sidebar.
For 3 additional entries, purchase any novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth three entries and it has to be through the LE Link.