Welcome to the Saturday Spotlight, a weekly feature hosted by Tinasbookreviews and celebrates indie, self-published, up& coming and debut authors. This week I have the pleasure of introducing readers to:
Hi John and welcome to the blog, first off please tell us about yourself.
I am a practicing Catholic with a strong interest in history and in the lives of the saints. I reside in Chicago with my wife Jennifer, daughters Addison and Ellery, and two dogs, Greta and Isabel.
What made you decide to write this book?
At the time I started writing it the Da Vinci Code was still very popular so it got me thinking about religious fiction. In addition, I had just bought the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. I was planning a trip to Bavaria and I read about Oberammergau. The story of the miraculous Passion Play at Oberammergau made me say “Hey, that sounds like a story that could be in the Bible.”
Is your novel based on a true story?
Indirectly it is. Although most of the characters are fictional, they represent aspects of people I know. The locations mentioned in the book are real. The book is set in the Chicago area and almost all of the places mentioned actually exist as they are described. The “biblical” aspects of the book are taken from historical sources (i.e. I didn’t make them up myself).
What is your book about?
The Third Testament is the story of Fred Sankt, a fifty-seven-year-old widower from Chicago who experiences a series of unusually vivid dreams. In the last of these dreams he is instructed by a mysterious old friend to record the next testament of the Bible. At first Fred ignores the dreams, but when he suffers two personal hardships, one legal and one involving his daughters health, Fred finds that writing is his only solace from lifes stressors. The majority of the book is the product of Fred's work, a history of Christianity beginning with the crucifixion of Saint Peter and ending with Pope John Paul II and the the fall of the Soviet Union.
Do you think there should actually be a Third Testament of the Bible?
No. I believe that the canons are closed. However, I also believe that it would be worthwhile to view history from a Christian point of view rather than a rigid secularist point of view. In my book I mention the Venerable Bede. He was a historian who lived in England in the eighth century. I his major work, An Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Bede describes miracles in the same way he describes other historical events. In today's history texts, religion is only mentioned in a negative way if it is mentioned at all. The Third Testament isn't really calling for a third testament of the Bible, but rather is making the argument that we should view history from a Christian perspective rather than a strict secularist perspective.
What other books are most similar to yours?
The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine in that it depicts the lives of the saints in a unique way (i.e. it is not just an encyclopedia or dictionary of the saints). Although other books have the title The Third Testament, they really are quite dissimilar from mine.
**Thanks John for stopping by today and best of luck to your novel and future writing career. To find out more about John and his book please visit www.thethirdtestamentnovel.com.
Thanks to John, I have one brand new copy of The Third Testament to giveaway. Please just leave a comment and a winner will be drawn June 14, 2011.
The Third Testament by John Eklund
Widower Fred Sankt is a professor at a small Catholic college who is not at all accustomed to dreaming. When he begins experiencing a series of profoundly vivid dreams that consistently awaken him at 3:00 a.m., he is not alarmed—simply curious. In the last of his dreams, Fred meets a faceless old friend who informs him that he has been chosen by God to record the next testament of the Bible. Fred decides that, even though it has been nearly two thousand years since the last passage in the Bible was written, if it is God's will for him to take on a project of this magnitude, he has no choice but to accept. But his entire world is turned upside down when his doorbell rings unexpectedly one evening. After he is served a summons, Fred thinks things can't get worse until he receives the news that his daughter Ellen's health is in jeopardy. Despite his personal hardships, Fred soon finds that writing is his only solace. As Fred continues on a spiritual journey to unlock the truth, he creates a treasure for all Christians that ultimately reignites the torch of the faithful.