Guest Post – Falling Awake: Revenant II by Kristoffer Gair
Revenant: Falling Awake II | Kristoffer Gair
Falling Awake Book 2
Release Date: June 19
Length: 90,000 words
Genre: Paranormal, Thriller
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Andrew O’Donnell’s childhood friend, Thomas, was murdered when they were ten years old. Nightmares and guilt have plagued Andrew ever since. And he believes himself responsible for delivering Thomas into the very hands of the men who committed the atrocity.
Now, fourteen years later, Andrew is driven to uncover the mystery of what really happened to Thomas, the reason behind the brutal abduction, and whether the assailants—who were never caught—have set their sights on someone else.
Even the help of an unlikely ally may not be enough to stop the darkness, the threat of what it will do to them in this life…or the next.
There Was Never Supposed To Be A Second Story
There’s a little “in” joke on the thank you page of the Falling Awake novella. I thank my friend Trish (the-artist-formerly-known-as-J.P.-Barnaby) Gillham and mention that she’ll put her foot up my bum if I don’t start writing the second part of the series.
The reason I call it an “in” joke is because there was NEVER supposed to be a series. There wasn’t even a second story. Trish insists to this day the ending of the novella is no ending at all. I still think it is, and I think readers have all the information they need to make their own determination how the story continues and ends without having it spelled out for them.
But I could be wrong.
You see, Falling Awake was an experiment. I wrote a story based on twenty years of travelling through airports, of having little bits and pieces of plot ideas return to the surface, of wondering if I might stretch beyond the genre of comedy, reaching inside myself to see if I had anything with depth, and dealing with grief over my father’s battle with Alzheimer’s.
I needed a story entirely of my own making, something I wouldn’t necessarily care if a publisher be interested in. Why? Because the project would allow me to explore self-publishing, find a cover artist, exert control over what the cover would ultimately be, work with editors who I have a solid relationship with, and present a vision I would be responsible for, with success or failure completely resting on my shoulders. I wrote this for me. I wanted to know hope still existed and if I could capture the essence of hope in a story.
So, why is there a second book? I won’t lie. First, Trish Gillham put the seed in my mind and forced me to reexamine the story in such a way as to determine if a larger arc existed. Second, readers took a leap of faith, moved away from the comedy arena with me, and embraced the story. They bonded with the characters in Falling Awake. They felt for them. They wanted more of the story, and their reviews on the first edition were some of the best I’ve ever received.
This confounded me for many months because I had nothing else in the queue with these characters. There. Was. No. Second. Story. And, as an author, I absolutely refuse to write a second story for the sake of trying to cash in on the feedback of the first.
I probably mumbled those exact words when I took a shower in early 2016, and started going over possibilities in my head. Yes, because of Trish. The conversations, not the shower. I considered all the characters, even going so far as to chat with them a bit while shampooing, conditioning, and soaping up. They usually agree with me. All but one did this time. Alex piped up and asked “What about my story?”
He didn’t have a story. And, if he did, it didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Or did it?
For those of you who have read the first Falling Awake (and for those of you who haven’t, this doesn’t give away too much, I think), you’ll remember Alex joins the group in the restaurant and tells a story about his friend, Thomas, who was killed when they were ten-years-old. The character of Alex asked me during my shower “What do you think an experience like that does to a child, especially when he feels responsible for his friend’s murder? How would he grow up dealing with the guilt? What would it do to him?”
Good questions. Very, very good questions.
And I agreed the answers were worth exploring. Welcome to Falling Awake II: Revenant.
Andrew sat straight up in bed and screamed, his shivering body soaked in its own hot sweat. He screamed twice more, then his voice went hoarse, and his body wracked with sobs. It took several long moments, but he finally calmed enough to remember he wasn’t in the town he spent less than a year in during his childhood. He was actually several states away in a hotel. And it was fourteen years later, 1972, not 1958.
“Bad dream?” the man lying next to him asked somewhat hesitantly.
“I’d take a bad dream over what I just had any day of the week.”
He turned, his head still shaking, and studied the man’s face, any details visible from the dim light Andrew had left on in the bathroom with the door mostly shut. Leaving a light on had become habit over the years, especially if he had company. And he always made sure to warn a stranger so they didn’t freak out if he woke up like he had. Well, so they wouldn’t freak out quite as badly as they would if he hadn’t warned them. This was, of course, if they bothered to stay for the entire night. Few did. And the ones who did never stuck around the day after anyway.
“Something from a long time ago,” Andrew muttered.
“It sounds like it happened two nights ago.”
Did he hear concern in the other man’s voice? What’s his name again? Darrin? Darwin? Daryl? That’s it. Daryl from one of the Dakotas—the man didn’t mention which one—a deputy in charge of bringing back a delinquent. There’s a joke somewhere in there.
Andrew started a conversation with Daryl at the local diner and tried his best to be charming and funny. It worked. Deputy Daryl struck him as a very guarded person, but they understood each other fine, especially the undercurrent of sexual tension and conversation within conversation. The man hadn’t been too difficult to seduce. They never really were.
Meet the Author
Author/Blogger Kristoffer Gair grew up in Fraser, MI and is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He currently lives with his husband in a suburb of Detroit.
Official Website: www.KageAlan.com
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