I ran into Tim Miller on the Twitter, and saw that he was a writer. Sweet, I thought. Then I saw that his book was titled, “The Hand of God.” Sweeter. Johnny Cash’s God’s Gonna Cut You Down started playing in my head. I looked closer, and saw that there could be no song more appropriate to the matter of the book. Check it out.
PS., I am such an asshole to have this sitting in my drafts folder for so long without publishing it. My apologies to Tim, you the dear reader, all the small gods of propriety and the universe at large.
The Birth of the Hand of God
The idea for this story came from a combination of a several things. I was at a time in my life, almost exactly one year ago, when things were going incredibly bad for me. I had just had a business fail, we’d lost our house, cars and had to move across the country to find work. Shortly after that our marriage totally fell apart and we’d separated. During that mess, my ex decided to take our daughter and move to another state with her without telling me or allowing me to see her (that’s all been worked out now), so needless to say, I was in a very bad place at the time. I was broke, lonely and quite angry.
During this time, I had begun watching Dexter. Everyone knows who Dexter is, for those who don’t, he’s the serial killer who works by day as a forensic analyst for the Miami police department. Well, I found the show highly intriguing and it made me think. As I was thinking, I reflected on my up until now, useless college degree in Bible and religious studies. I remembered when I was involved in ministry how many people in churches and even preachers would do bizarre, and often horrible things to others and say it was because God told them to. They felt “led”, “guided” or “convicted” by the holy spirit to do whatever crazy off the wall thing it was, which in their minds got them off the hook.
So with those ideas, Pastor Charlie was born. I thought, what if there was a preacher who thought God was telling him to kill sinners in a brutal and ritualistic way? So I began writing it, but not from a cop or someone’s point of view trying to stop him, but from Charlie’s own point of view. I thought it would be fun to take the reader inside of his twisted mind and see how he justifies what he does. Things get more interesting in the book, when another preacher comes along with a few of his own tricks up his sleeve and the story continues to evolve from there.
Some of the biggest issues I had in the book was how grounded did I want the book to be in reality. Did I want it to be totally realistic? Or did I want to put a supernatural twist on it? I struggled with this off and on a lot, but in the end supernatural won. I figured you can’t have a book dealing with religion from such an angle without some supernatural activity. I think in the end it made the book much more interesting and raised the stakes considerably. There is an underlying message all throughout the book that things are never what they seem, or what we might expect them to be.
The Hand of God was a lot of fun to write. I’m currently working on a second book in the Pastor Charlie series. The biggest challenge with any of these stories is getting him into these jams, and then figuring out how I’m going to get him out. Especially with as powerful his enemies are. Either way, I hope everyone enjoys reading it and maybe even learn a few things as well. I learned a lot while writing it. Thank you to Stephen for having me here. Feel free to contact me!
Buy The Hand of God: amazon
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