In the Lucen city dwell the descendants of Righteous and Fallen angels. Kept hidden from the rest of Earth and governed directly by Heaven, each descendant is given a chance to prove themself loyal to Heaven, and obtain salvation. For most, the task is encouraging and fair, but for David, it’s devastating.
David Ghent has waited twenty-one years to fulfill a prophecy foretelling the destruction of Lucifer’s power on Earth and Heaven, saving himself and the entire world from Hell’s power. His training is complete, the city prepared. As the battle commences, the city’s most beloved daughter, Layla, suddenly appears at the Hellgate. David is then faced with an impossible choice: fulfill the prophecy, or save her life. The consequences David faces after choosing Layla force him to question his entire life, and his loyalty to Heaven. As the aftermath of failure unfolds, David discovers that the real battle against Lucifer has just begun.
The Faith and Fate of David Ghent was a novel born from need and opportunity. Disappointment brought my desire for escape into another world to its peak. Television—too short and inconvenient, music—too loud and fixed. Fiction and the written word were both portable and inspiring.
Like most authors, people often ask me how I came up with the idea for this book. It’s difficult to answer concisely, because I felt like I hardly came up with an idea. Rather, my main character, David, latched onto my mind and pen (literally, because most of the novel was written with ink) and took over. I spent almost an entire winter writing solely about him, until other characters fought their way into both our hearts.
Opportunity brought him to me first. My husband and I were waiting at the BYU accounting lab to get our taxes done. The accountants were backed up. I didn’t mind. I had my pen and a blank notebook, and a comfortable chair. The story came easily. We let another couple with a small baby take our appointment, pushing ours further back. 2 hours later, David Ghent was walking through the halls of a deserted Academy, weapon at the ready, while Hell’s lights flickered around him. I didn’t know yet why he was making his way to a Hellgate, or what he intended to do once reaching it. I didn’t care. He was confident, sullen, and brooding enough that I had to find out his story.
My job as a hairstylist was painfully slow that winter. We suffered one of our worst business seasons, consequently leaving me plenty of time in between clients and on my lunch breaks to write down my thoughts. That notebook was full in mere months. I thought about David constantly, as a way to avoid thinking about other unpleasantries.
Misfortune made him stick. I was reeling from the shock and pain of a miscarriage—what would’ve been our first child. I wasn’t far enough along to feel comfortable announcing my pregnancy, so the miscarriage was a trouble that my husband and I carried alone, sharing with only family members and a few close friends. It took me a long time to realize that David grew out of that experience. I thought I had healed only days after. In truth, it was much longer.
My beta readers all had the same reaction: David was too angry! Way too angry. They hated him. They couldn’t root for him. They didn’t care if he succeeded, or if he changed. During revisions, I realized they were very correct. Do you ever write characters that are supposed to be unlikable, but still need to be liked? It’s quite a challenge. I reread and rewrote David so many times, finally appeasing my readers by filling in the gaps of his childhood and past, and showing them that he really was likable if they ignored his temper and sarcasm. I identified with him, or could at least understand him. I’m not sullen and brooding, but I sympathized with his feelings. Life had thrown him some pretty terrible curveballs. And for someone who barely had a coach, how could he be expected to hit a home run?
David was at my disposal. I loved that about him. Other things weighed on my mind. I was losing patience with my job. With graduation looming, our future was unclear. My neighbors faced several challenges that also wore on me. I was in charge of a youth group where quite a few teenagers struggled with all sorts of difficulties. I didn’t know how to help them. But David was controllable. I knew exactly how to help him.
With a girl, of course. Or, if we’re being broad, love. Cheesy, I know! It’s hard to write a good love story without adding a little cheese. To put all you anti-dairy people at rest, I don’t mean that David changed because someone loved him. Quite the opposite, actually. David could change because he loved someone else, more than he loved himself.
Hence, the reason I found writing this novel so therapeutic. To forget myself and indulge in someone else’s life and problems, then watch a character triumph in spite of it all . . . Well, read it, and then you’ll see what I mean.
About the Author
Maren grew up in Rochester, NY, which is why much of her work is set in the East. She moved to Provo, UT to attend Brigham Young University in 2004. Meanwhile, she received a license in cosmetology in 2006, and graduated with a B.S. in Home and Family Living-Clothing and Textiles in 2009. After graduation, Maren worked as a cosmetologist/barber, while her husband finished his own degree in Special Education. After he graduated, they settled in Spanish Fork, UT, where they plan on staying for a long time.
Now Maren is a stay-at-home mom, part-time piano teacher, cosmetologist, and writer. Amidst the buisiness of being a housewife, she loves reading, writing and playing music, vacationing, going on dates with her hubby and friends, throwing dinner parties, and sewing. She enjoys collecting books, and hopes someday to have a library big enough to fit all of them. Currently, her two pretty-enough-to-be-displayed-bookshelves are overflowing, and she's got books stashed all around her house. Open a random drawer, you'll probably find one.Maren's previous work includes a short comedy, "A Tale of Two Cemeteries," and a middle-grade reader, The Treehouse. The Faith and Fate of David Ghent is her first published novel. Find out more about Maren at www.marendille.com, or on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today Maren! I'm not a writer but I find reading just as therapeutic and inspirational for the same reasons.
Maren is giving away one e-copy of The Faith and Fate of David Ghent and one e-copy of A Tale of Two Cemeteries. This giveaway is open to international entries.
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