When I first sat down to write, Apostate: The Great War, back in the early 2000’s, I already knew almost every detail about the world in which it was to be set. I had first conceived of it years earlier while still a young military man fresh back from my own war. In those days, as I awaited the end of my military obligation, I found myself with the opportunity to spend more time than was healthy imagining a world where the many subtle realities of my own experiences were more pronounced, more confrontable. It was a world where God was more than an excuse, where actions (good or bad) had real and immediate consequences, and where it was just as easy as in ours to rationalize nearly anything.

I had, in my mind, created the world in almost an instant, the ideas, while complex, meshed quickly and came easily, but for many years I could not find a protagonist. Then, one day in the late fall, many years later, I sat down, put pen to paper, and Jack emerged from somewhere in the back of my mind. He was an angry, hopeful, hurt, and cruel young man who had lost his soul to his own hubris, and I wanted redemption for him from the very first moment that I put him in print, mostly because he was, and always would be, unworthy of it.

Jack walked into my book a man barely more than a boy, yet already lost. The war hard marred him, and the world in which he suddenly found himself was more than he had ever imagined.

Trigger Warning, Death, War, Mental Health Trauma

Yesterday I finished writing my novel, Apostate, which I have been working on consistently for over a decade. It has been a labor of love that ended up being much harder to complete than I had thought it would be at the outset (I first published under this title in 2007). Despite being fictitious and set in the years immediately following World War One (WW1), it ended up being a profoundly personal work. I attempted to capture the human experience, and in so doing, I ended up writing from the lens of my own life, even if it is set in a different world. It is currently with a “first draft” editor and due for serious revision by me in March/April, but I am also pushing for a May release.

The story follows Jack, a WW1 Veteran suffering from severe shell shock haunted by his past and by an actual spirit. Together with this unknown entity, Jack must travel across a war-ravaged world haunted by monsters that haven’t been seen in half a millennia in a desperate bid to get home to his mother, a woman who has been both blessed and tasked by God. Little does Jack know that his path will wind for a time along the pilgrimage Bessie, of a young Cree woman compelled by ancient spirits to rediscover her people’s long stolen power to fulfill her destiny and to rescue kidnapped children from torment.