Saturday, December 12, 2020

A Dog's Eye: Launching Scorpions

My sixth novel was unleashed on the world last week. Scorpion's Breath joins shelf mates, DevolutionLoathe Your NeighborAshmore GriefA Muddy Red River and Love Sick Love.

I started writing Scorpion's Breath while I was working on Love Sick Love, but it got shelved until such time as I could write that kind of story. It was really only an idea, perhaps a dream to write something fun and light; something easy to write and entertaining for the reader. In short, because of how emotionally intense it was to write Love Sick Love, I wanted to write something different. Unfortunately, the circumstances of my life at that time exacerbated my somewhat negative feelings, and strengthened my resolve to get it all out of my system.

When I finally returned to the idea of Scorpion's Breath, I wrote it quickly and easily. Divorced from any auto biographical content, and removed from reality, it was a chance to have a party. Scorpion's Breath is a literary version of a personal happy dance. 

Although not without humour, my earlier novels dealt with much more serious themes. Grounded in reality and focused on dysfunctional relationships, they reflected the challenges of my personal life, as well as the every day sights, sounds and experiences which I have always integrated both into my writing and into my character.

I can't remember the origins of
Scorpion's Breath, but let's just say I love The X-Files and Supernatural, so certain elements from these two iconic television series have no doubt influenced it. However, I've never been satisfied with the post modern narrative which champions relative morality and always raises a human saviour. One of the things I liked about The X Files is that they avoid always needing rationalistic explanations for the weird stuff Mulder and Scully encounter. Funnily enough, Supernatural presents supernatural explanations for everything, and yet our human saviours, Sam and Dean Winchester, always triumph. These exceptional shows blur the lines between right and wrong, between natural and supernatural, allowing the viewer to make up their own mind. I am not a humanist though, so I feel the weight of what is missing.

I am a supernaturalist who is fascinated by religion and mythology. As a Christian, I've chosen my path and made my stand, but that does not stop me exploring the world I can see as well as the one I can't. I view it all through the prism of my faith in Christ Jesus, which means I see echoes and shadows in many people, places and situations. The interplay between the worlds is what I explore in Scorpion's Breath, but that is not all. It's also about relationships, about power and about forgiveness. And did I mention there are lots of demons?

Let the reader extract what they will with respect to deeper meanings, but let them be entertained while doing so. Scorpion's Breath is supposed to be fun, but naturally I have something to say. I always have something to say. I guess that's one of the main reasons I write. When no one but God is listening, or those who do listen don't understand, I can 'put pen to paper' and I have a voice. I'm learning, growing into a better man and writing is an important tool for me to facilitate this growth as I work my way through the rollercoaster ride we call life.

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