Friday, January 20, 2023

Book Tour + #Giveaway: Holy Terror by John R. Dougherty @AuthorJRD @RABTBookTours

Christian Fiction

Date Published: 10-01-2022

Publisher: Bookbaby

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Detective Jelani is a tough, veteran cop, who earned his stripes in the rough-and-tumble streets of St. Louis before relocating to Miami. His younger partner, Detective Madigan, is brash and confident. But they were never prepared for what awaits them as they try to solve these latest crimes. They are about to become embroiled in a series of cosmic events which they could have never dreamt of, even in their wildest imaginations. In a world where the angels of heaven and the angels of hell bring their ageless battle to Earth, how will these men, and their families, overcome such insurmountable challenges? As has been the case since the beginning of time, God and His heavenly host are facing off with Satan and his hellish host. Caught in the middle is Thumos, possibly the most powerful angel ever created. He is a warrior angel, "quickened" by God for one thing: battle. And he has seen plenty of that down through the centuries. No one can match his prowess; not even the Archangels. But Thumos has become a disgruntled warrior of God, and after standing by for long enough, he can take it no more. The earthly world of these two Miami detectives will collide with the heavenly world of Thumos. None of them know what is coming, and none of them will ever be the same again.

Interview with John R. Dougherty

    How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

    This is actually the first book I have ever written, so the second half of the question is easy (for now) – my favorite book is Holy Terror!

    If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

    Yes I am planning a sequel to Holy Terror, as it is part of a trilogy – it is the middle story of the trilogy.

    The plans for the sequel definitely include some characters returning from the current book, as well as some of those characters whom you likely thought were gone for good. The sequel is going to answer a brief, mysterious segment of Holy Terror which was left open-ended. This mysterious segment will become a significant plot line of the sequel, and is all leading up to a massive battle with entities from the pre-history of Earth. Clearly there will be some surprise twists and turns throughout the sequel, to keep the readers guessing!

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    Certainly Holy Terror can be read by itself for now, but there are some missing pieces to the story which are going to be addressed with both the prequel and sequel.

    There are also several spin-off stories that I have in mind, which while having ties to the original story line, they could definitely be standalone books.

    How did you come up with the title for your book?

    Thumos is an angelic main character, who frequently quotes Bible verses, and is dealing out what he perceives as righteous judgement against evil criminals, so all those elements inspired my book’s title of Holy Terror.

    But on an interesting note, that was not the original title of my book. This will date the book (to be addressed in another question below), but originally I had intended that my book be called The Holy Avenger. If you are a movie goer, you know all about the overwhelming success of Marvel Studios’ “Avengers” movies. Granted, the Marvel Avenger characters existed long before the 21st century success of the movies, so clearly that name existed when I was originally writing my book, but it was nowhere near as popular and recognizable as it is today. To avoid any confusion, and to avoid any kind of a “me-too” inference, I switched to “Terror” instead of “Avenger”.

    How long did it take you to write this book?

    Technically, the first time I wrote anything down on paper about this book was all the way back in 1996! While I certainly did not actively work on it for 25+ years, it was definitely a multi-year project for me.

    It was something that I would work on for a while, then put it away, and come back to it later. That pattern continued for many, many years.

    Eventually, I thought I had finished the book in the early 2010’s, and then once again, I let it sit and did not pursue actually trying to publish it.

    Then in 2018, I decided it was time to get serious, and get my book published. A relative of mine referred me to a writing coach (Melody Bussey), and her initial review of my work revealed that although she thought it was a great story, that it was nowhere near complete. So over the next 3+ years, with Melody’s expert help, I was able to truly complete and publish this book!

    What does the title mean?

    Because Thumos, the main angel character, frequently quotes Bible scriptures, that is the source of using the word “Holy”, and yet because he is a frightening and imposing character, hence the word “Terror” – he is a “Holy Terror”!

    What did you learn when writing the book?

    I had done a lot of writing for many years, but it was all in an informative or expository format – maybe even op-ed on occasion.

    The biggest thing I learned in writing this book was that fictional writing is very challenging, and requires a completely different mindset when compared to informative/expository writing.

    What surprised you the most?

    I think the biggest surprise to me in writing this book, was something taught to me by my writing coach. The idea of “showing” action in a story, rather than “telling” the action, which gives a book a much improved chance of being successful.

    Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

    Well since this is my first book, I can’t say that has happened before; however, spoiler alert, that does happen in Holy Terror.

    What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

    Sidenote to answering this question: in helping me get this book to the finish line, I hired a writing coach a couple of years ago, who was amazing and very likely, without her, I still would not have gotten the book published at this point. See, should you be in the market for an excellent writing coach / editor! The reason I bring this up, is an idea that Melody Bussey suggested to me.

    She encouraged me to write a “character profile” for each of the main characters of my book, so this exercise was very key to my ability to “get inside my characters’ heads”. In writing a full profile / back story for each of the main characters, despite not all that content actually being used in the book, it helped me better develop the characters, providing a basis for how they speak and behave.

About the Author

John has spent his professional career working in information technology by day and dabbling in a variety of other diversions by nights and weekends, including a few decades of serving in lay ministry. While serving in this capacity he preached hundreds of sermons, taught countless Bible study classes, and wrote dozens of inspirational articles.

He enjoys golf, guitars, grandchildren, and all things Kansas City – the Chiefs, the Royals, Sporting KC, KC Current, KC Symphony, and KC Broadway, to name a few.  He thinks (if not for his long-lost metabolism of youth) he could eat the famous Kansas City barbecue every day…maybe not for breakfast, but lunch and dinner for sure!

Now he is enjoying bringing to life his angelic hero, Thumos, and a host of other characters that he hopes you will find both entertaining as well as either inspiring or repulsive (after all, there are both good guys and bad guys in this story).  This is the first book of a series, featuring detectives Lane Madigan and Ian Jelani, whose experience with Thumos will yield life changing results.  And if you happen to be interested in such things, happy Bible Easter Egg hunting while you read, since many are planted throughout the book.

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Marcy Meyer said...

The cover looks gorgeous. Love it. Sounds like an interesting read.

John R. Dougherty said...

Thanks for hosting a tour stop for my book today!