Release Date: July 4th, 2017
Are the deacons of Shalom Bethel invincible? Legend has it that in the 1940’s, they came out of a gunfight with holes in their clothes but not their skin. Bullets bounced off of them. They walked through buckshots like water. That story is passed down by every deacon. The legend of Stephen Stone.
That legend is about to be tested.
That legend is about to be tested.
On the heels of a nightclub triple murder, a mysterious blizzard hits Shalom, a city normally warm year round. The blizzard brings with it bitter memories and ghosts Deacon Oak East thought were long gone: his prior drug conviction, his on and off relationship with his wife, the gruesome murder of his father and the role he played in it. But it's not just the past that haunts him. In the present, a homicide detective wants him and the deacons for the nightclub murders. And a gangster named Cap Morgan wants revenge. The snow is falling. But soon, it will be raining bullets. Is the legend true? Are the deacons of Shalom Bethel bulletproof?
Becoming a Sponge
Creativity is hard. It is indeed difficult to make something out of nothing. To start with a blank page and then crank out 80,000 words. I’m not saying it’s hard like getting to the moon. I’m just saying that it requires effort. You have to be inspired. You have to have some starting material. What will inspire that next novel? From where will you draw your own authentic story?
On a recent vacation stop, I came to understand the notion of creativity a little more. I don’t have it all down pat—not sure if I ever will. But I believe that I’m closer. I discovered that becoming a sponge helps you to be creative. Now, I’m not talking about reading someone else’s work and sponging off of it. I’m talking about sponging off of your environment to create a story that is yours and all yours.
We were in Savannah, Georgia recently (that city is eerily similar to Charleston, South Carolina, by the way). We were doing a tour of First African Baptist Church, this beautiful and historical edifice. It served as a stop for the Underground Railroad (didn’t know this before). While in the church’s basement, my wife and I saw this drilled holes in the floor. Dots that made up the shape of a diamond. What were they about? We found out that runaways sat under that floor while they waited for passage up the Savannah to the next Railroad stop. I got a chill just thinking about them being under that floor. I thought about their individual stories. Their fears. Their hopes. How they had to be quiet as church mice when and if outsiders came into the basement. Being in that church, I came up with about seven different stories. My mind just raced with tales I could tell. Will I ever produce anything from those thoughts? I’m not sure that I will because historical Colonial fiction isn’t my thing. But I say that to say this. Being in that place, I soaked up my surroundings. Thinking about that space, I believe I could write for days. Turn one blank page into hundreds, filled with prose. I was and am a sponge. So while I may not write something about slavery, I could still use what I experienced for my own genre of writing.
So go and soak up your environment. And set out to create something beautiful from it.
About the author:
James Fant is an award winning author who lives in Charleston, SC with his lovely wife and two hilarious children. He received a degree in biology from College of Charleston and a master’s in business administration from Charleston Southern University. His love for literature was forged by the works of Eric Jerome Dickey, Walter Mosley, and Stephen King. He also finds inspiration from screenwriters Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin and Kurt Sutter. Literarily, James has always been drawn to intelligent yet imperfect characters and he writes novels with them in mind.
Author's Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway