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Tag: religion

Exclusive Interview with Author Serena Cairns

father of lies

Something unspeakable has lain beneath an ancient Norfolk church for centuries. Its discovery now forces an unconventional female priest to take on an ancient religious order and brave Hell itself – or are they one and the same adversary? What begins as a supernatural story evolves into a mystery that has stretched over centuries, and a hidden prophesy that completely re-shapes the Church of Rome.

 

 

We had an opportunity to score an exclusive interview with author Serena Cairns about her new book, FATHER OF LIES.  It’s a winner: Goodreads and Amazon have plenty of 5 star reviews about this thrilling novel.  Let’s see what she has to say:

How did ‘Father of Lies’ come about?

            It began as just something to read out at the writers’ group I was attending. As the weeks went by and the feedback was so encouraging, I needed to plan the storyline properly. Looking back at the original synopsis, I realise I had no clue as to the ultimate outcome of the book, nor the amazing journey it would take me on to get there. It begins rather like an old Hammer movie, but evolves into a Dan Brown-style conspiracy, only with far less running about. I had no intention of writing for that genre, but the story led me in that direction. I merely put it on paper. I have no desire to write great literature, but exciting page-turners, and grammar and sentence structure are incredibly important to me.

 

Would you term your book a horror story?

            Definitely not! There are elements to it that might be horrific, but I have deliberately understated some scenes. It was not my intention to go into gory description. Usually, such details are better left to the reader’s imagination.

 

Who or what would you consider has influenced your work?

Having been a lifelong lover of films, hours spent at the cinema in my youth gave me a foundation in ‘scene-turners’, and I see my writing in cinematic terms. I shift scenes frequently to keep the action going, drawing upon facts to keep the fiction credible. There is probably a long ladder of influences leading to each author’s style, no matter how original they believe themselves to be.

 

Your book involves the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Were you ever worried it might offend anyone?

            My original draft was much more controversial. In fact, I rang Dan Brown’s UK agent to ask if they’d had any trouble with the Vatican. After all, I didn’t want the Opus Dei knocking on my door. Although the man I spoke to said he couldn’t discuss Dan Brown or his books, when I told him about ‘Father of Lies’, he just said, ‘Don’t go there – not unless you have a lot of money behind you’. I went into meltdown. The book was finished and, as far as I was concerned, ready for publication. However, as is often the case with seeming disasters, it turned out to be beneficial. I merely made some changes, all of which added to and improved the original, and I am far happier with the finished story. I certainly have no wish to offend anyone, and must stress that ‘Father of Lies’ is a work of fiction. Funnily enough, I’ve had positive feedback from members of the Church of England, even clergy.

 

The book is very character driven. Where or how did you come up with those characters?

            I never seem to have a problem introducing new characters. In fact, I have to be quite strict with myself not to over-populate a story. I probably had most difficulty with the Rev. Laura Coatman, as I have little experience of priests, female or otherwise. It was difficult for me to empathise with her until the final draft, where a few small changes made all the difference. I have never understood why I find it much easier to write from a male perspective. The most interesting character, from my point of view, is Monsignor Benvenuti. In film terms, he was introduced as an ‘extra’ to fulfil his given task and fade into the background. He was having none of it, and became a major player. There was one instance where I typed his words, and then sat back, shocked, saying out loud, ‘Well, I didn’t expect that’. I love it when characters seem to take on a life of their own. It is the interaction between my characters that made ‘Father of Lies’ a joy to write, and seems to strike a chord with its readers.

      

Did ‘Father of Lies’ require a lot of research on the Vatican and the supernatural?

            Very little on the supernatural, as it has always been a fascination of mine, although I did look up a few serpent references. I came up with far more than I could use, and had to keep reminding myself I was writing fiction, not a reference book. I read up on the Vatican and the history of the popes, but again, the amount of material I could use far outweighed what I should. I knew the final chapters had to be set in Rome, but was horrified when, halfway through the book, two of my characters decided to go to the Eternal City. ‘Come back’, I called, but they didn’t listen, so I was forced to research Rome. A writer needs just enough facts to flesh out and make a story credible, without swamping the reader with information that has no direct bearing on the story. I didn’t want to sound like a guide book, but needed to give a flavour of the city. A fine line. I have since found a book that gives a lot of information on the everyday life of a pope, but hopefully I can draw upon it to colour the sequels.

 

So there is going to be a sequel?

            Most definitely. ‘Father of Lies’ stands alone, but there has been feedback that suggests people want more, and my characters have more to tell. I am currently writing ‘Set in Time’, which takes place in Rome and Egypt, and hope to complete the trilogy with ‘Leviathan’.

 

Do you think the Pope would enjoy ‘Father of Lies’?

            Maybe. I’d like to think he might chuckle.

 

serena

 

 

 

 

 

You can check out the author’s webpage here.

If you are ready to grab your own copy of FATHER OF LIES you can get it [easyazon_link identifier=”B00YYN10EE” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

Guest Post by Kevine Walcott, author of INSTITUTIONALISED

 

Vas Constanti - Book Cover - 1 A (background)

Kevine Walcott was a successful businesswoman living a peaceful, prosperous life in the United Kingdom. In 2009, she opened a YouTube account and joined the social media world. She didn’t realize that this innocent decision would unravel her happy life.

Walcott, who was once a devout Christian, posted videos about her faith and viewed some clips about ancient Egyptian religions. Suddenly, vile and threatening messages from mysterious people flooded her YouTube in-box. At first, she asked the harassers to stop. Then, she simply ignored the messages. When they began posting videos about her and sharing her real name and personal information, Walcott turned to the authorities for help.

Ironically, seeking assistance would be her greatest mistake. Walcott discovered links between government agents, the National Health Service, and the cyber attacks. Soon, the attacks would make the leap from cyberspace to the real world, and Walcott would end up in a government psychiatric ward.

Her explosive new book exposes the terrifying dangers of unchecked government control, antiquated mental health laws, and the corrupt ties between the two.

Walcott’s discovery of the links between the NHS and law enforcement almost got her shut away for life. With the release of Institutionalised, she’s fighting back.

 

What if you wake up one day and find yourself at the centre of online trolling (abuse), and only months and years later to be told you are mentally ill when talking about your experience? What happens when the only witness of what goes on in your home is you and your perpetrator? When the police, intelligence services and doctors are in bed together there is no end to your suffering. Being told it is all inside your head and having no place to run and no one to turn to for help. These scenarios may sound like a nightmare, but for victims of government harassment these experiences are real. One in four of the population will suffer from a mental health condition at least once in their life, but to have mental illness being used as a punitive psychiatric policy is too much to stomach.

I was once a globe-trotting business owner; confident, happy and seemingly untouchable. However, after becoming the victim of YouTube cyber-attacks, I found myself institutionalised at an NHS facility and under the control of the country’s medieval mental health laws.

In ‘Institutionalised’, I bare all. Most shocking is that the cyber-attacks were not initiated by teenage trolls or a disgruntled former lover; but agents working for the UK Government. Prepare to learn about a shocking new form of modern oppression, because I have one searing story to tell.

My shocking and frightening new memoir describes my online victimisation at the hands of UK Government operatives, leading to my being institutionalised under the British government’s punitive psychiatric strategy. Fusing a memoir with activism, I pull no punches when exposing the illegal relationship between intelligence services and the NHS, while calling on readers to spread the world and end this new digital form of Governmental oppression.

 

“It is vital that the NHS separates and distances itself from Police and Intelligence Services. Right now, they are virtually in bed with each other.”

“Health professionals cannot make correct diagnoses while Government agents are part of the process and abusing their powers for the sake of control.”

“As a result, I became involved in the judiciary in ways I could never have imagined, and that entire process was also moulded around the Government’s mandate to control. If any case appears to be exposing Government abuse or their illegal activities, the Court will throw it out. It’s unbelievable, but true.”

People with a story to tell may also come under fire simply for putting pen to paper but these stories of truth must be told.

“They threatened to institutionalise me again just for wanting to tell my story. I now live my life treading on egg shells; a far cry from the beacon of confidence and independence that I was before. My advice to everyone is to watch your movements, be careful what you seek out online and – above all – trust nobody.”

Want your own copy? Click [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OJFOHY2″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

About the Author:

Kevine Walcott is a property professional with a masters degree from University College London. She had found herself at the centre of an online hate campaign after accessing videos on ancient Egyptian religion on YouTube. She had discovered that some of her harassers were government agents. She had fought with her harassers who took their campaign offline and onto the streets and into her home. She had documented her experience in this thrilling memoir where the accounts are frightening. She told how her experience left her institutionalised by those using mental health as a disguising veneer to cover up abuses by law enforcement and the intelligence services and the role religion and history places in these unfortunate events.

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