Q & A
“Why did you write The Day and The Hour?”
I have always had an uncomfortable relationship with religion. I was raised Catholic, and I was even a choirboy in high school, but while I believed the ethical and moral lessons that were instilled in me had value, I did not perceive them to be entirely in step with my evolving sensibilities. Or the world’s multicultural sensibilities. Religion as a set of rules to live by was not the definition of a spiritual experience for me. I felt the need to explore the true roots and meaning of Religion and the role it has played across the ages, all the way to modern Philosophy.
Why did you choose to write about a False Messiah?
I wanted to examine in as real world terms as possible, not whitewashed or slanted in favor of any particular prophecy, what might actually happen if a man capable of miracle acts were to emerge on the world stage and start to build a global following. Many would immediately assume he was the foretold Messiah, but many would not. For many, I theorize in the story, the event would actually be unwelcome. People are attached to their things, their agendas, their own beliefs. There would be conflict and confusion. There would be violence and politics.
Why did you publish this independently?
I wanted full control over the publishing process. Percussion Publishing is my own publishing imprint and publishes other books beside my own. The reality is that if you are willing to do the legwork of marketing and publicity, you might actually have a better chance of having your work noticed on the open market, than relying on a traditional publisher to do this for you. The economics of traditional publishing preclude the taking of risks on new or unknown authors, no matter the quality of the stories they might bring to the table. And you get to keep more of the profits!
The book is clearly the result of extensive research. How long did it take you to write the book? Did you travel to all the locations? How did you research all the subject matter?
The Day and The Hour was 18 years in the making! I originally intended to release it around the time of the Millennium via traditional publishing avenues, but it was just too hard to crack the ice. I did gain the interest and backing of a Literary Agent, which is half the battle, but we could not get to second base. I shelved the project for several years, until I met my publishing partner, Kendall Smith, who inspired me to revisit the work. I re-edited the story extensively, giving it the benefit of my decade + of additional writing experience and updating the particulars of the story, and I believe the end result is a very high quality read. Much better than version 1!
I did travel to Italy and actually visit the Vatican, but most of my research was done by extensively reading books on the various subjects and locations that are touched upon by the story: Vatican history, bible texts, apocryphal texts, other religious texts, philosophy books, military books, travelogues about Greece, Israel, Italy, etc… But a major part of my research was done on the Internet. The Internet is a rich resource of not just facts and figures, images and timelines, but also of impressionistic information about times and places such as people’s feelings, emotions, their conflicts and dreams as they relate to events and places in past and present history. It is a very rich research resource.
Tell us more about the cover. How did it come about?
I retained the services of the very talented Jessica Jaffe, a former colleague of mine from a Digital Advertising company where we were both employed at the time. She was a member of the Creative department and I thought her prior work was a good indicator of her ability to render a great cover for the book. She pulled several concepts together and together, we zeroed in on a graphic that we both thought captured the spirit and the drama of the story . She was both patient and polished and I appreciate her efforts.
“What are you trying to accomplish by writing The Day and The Hour?”
To raise awareness of the role religion plays in modern times. To make people think about the ways religion helps or hurts us. To remind people that behind the tenets of any religion is a goal of achieving spiritual enlightenment. Whether you believe in religion or spirituality is beside the point. The book strives to expose the dynamics of religion in the modern world and show the way it drives history. Man is hard-wired to create explanations for things he does not understand. He wants to instill purpose upon the world around him and place himself in that purpose. From our most primitive ancestors, who imagined that trees and rocks harbored spirits, to modern religious extremists, who seek to impose their ways upon others, I see that we are blinded by the words and the rules and deaf to the intent of the words.
“What are your writing credentials?”
I am also a collaborator in Percussion Publishing’s latest project, titled Trumpicana, which is a set of satires about a fictional Trump Presidency. It is available on Amazon and Kindle.
“What is your relationship to Percussion Publishing?”
I am one of the founders. We launched our independent publishing house in the Spring of 2015. We plan to continue building our business to service an audience of millions, one reader at a time.