One summer I wrote a scene that perfectly linked two of my books together. It had sex, murder and high stakes neatly wrapped up in about seven pages. I never expected to publish that first chapter because it was too risqué, but when it leaked out to a few early readers the response was phenomenal. As I relaxed my prudish, editorial side a bit and tried not to worry about what my mother would say when she read about a threesome in one of my books, I realized that those seven pages created the foundation for a monumental conflict. That conflict became the centerpiece of my novel Sin & Vengeance. I still wonder if I will ever create anything so compelling again.
After I released , something quite unexpected happened. Readers fell in love with the villain. It wasn’t love per se. Randy Black was a guilty pleasure, a train wreck readers couldn’t look away from. They wanted more. The problem was that when they thought about it, they wanted to see him punished. I felt like they wanted me to write a scorching death scene so they could feel there was justice in the world and go on with their lives feeling safe and secure.
Writing Randy’s character was extremely liberating and I wasn’t ready to let him go.
A Demon Awaits began as an experiment and a challenge. I wanted to redeem Randy Black in my readers’ eyes and help them see the justification I saw for what he had done. Over these two books, Randy became the tarnished hero who is so commonplace in fiction today, but his backstory is laid out for readers in an entire novel. Because the novel ends with Randy as a villainous character, readers had time to evaluate him based on what he had done. It’s like they had lived his backstory rather than being told about it in dribs and drabs throughout later books. When they picked up A Demon Awaits and started reading, they brought their feelings about Randy Black with them.
A Demon Awaits opens by rewinding to the last page of Sin & Vengeance and replaying Randy’s brutal arrest. The next scene stuns many readers. Randy is confronted by God and told that he has crossed the line of His tolerance. He must work hard to redeem himself and he is shown what will become of him if he fails.
What follows is both a high-action novel and an exploration of the nature of forgiveness; forgiveness from our God, our government, and ourselves. It can be argued that there are those in our society that we should give up on. A Demon Awaits challenges readers to decide who should be saved and who we need saving from.
The book shines a light on clergy reaching out to help, vigilantes seeking to purify the world, corrupt politicians enriching themselves at the expense of the governed, religious fanatics striving to impose their world view, and career criminals plying their trade. In the midst of all this chaos, Randy Black’s future has been hijacked. Randy is faced with unrelenting pressure to commit one final sin that will mean trading freedom on Earth for everlasting damnation. He grapples with the nature of good and evil as he decides who he must save. Seeing this struggle up close, readers have reconsidered how they define good and evil and have come away with very different ideas about Randy Black than they came in with.
Sin & Vengeance has been adapted for film by LR Productions. The company is currently shopping the film to Hollywood producers and studios. Please visit CJ West's website: http://www.22wb.com