An Incredible, Untold Story

David Church Author Interview

Thomas Edison and the Purgatory Equation tells the story of Edison’s greatest invention and the struggle for the soul of mankind in the dead zone. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

One day, I accidentally learned that Edison had tried to create a machine that would communicate with the dead. A lightbulb literally flashed over my head. This forgotten bit of history had the makings of an incredible, untold story. Intrigued, I contacted the Edison estate in Fort Myers, Florida and the docent confirmed that, yes, Edison had attempted to invent just such a machine. I began my research and learned that his ‘attempt’ lasted more than several decades. As I began plotting out a timeline, two items caught my attention. In February of 1918 the United States was preparing to officially enter World War I – and Edison disappeared for the entire month. Once I locked those elements in, all the other details fell into place.

Your characters are interesting and fun to follow. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

In 1918 Edison was 71 and too old to serve as a traditional action hero, so I relied on the formula of the Four B’s for my primary characters: Brains (Edison), Brawn (John Dawkins, his heroic young assistant), Beauty (Emily Auburn, a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl), and Best Friend (the teenaged George Gershwin who is Emily’s musical accompanist.) The mix makes for a lively quartet as each of them brings their perspective and often surprising resources to the quest. Because they’re willing to confront their challenges with valor, each of them finds what they need most: Edison: insight; Gershwin: confidence; Emily: true love; and John: faith.

This seems like a fun book to write. What scene did you have the most fun writing?

The great thing about writing historical fiction is that the history itself often confirms your speculative choices. Writing the novel was a pleasure; the action sequences spoke to the ten-year old boy in me and the contemplative scenes spoke to an emotional truth any writer aspires to. But my favorite scene is the one in which Edison relates an actual event from his youth which I believe was his defining, psychological moment. He had been hired to deliver a telegram to a remote, countryside location in the middle of the stormy night and became lost. He was terrified but forced himself to complete the task, and later comes to realize his entire life has been dedicated to ‘lifting the darkness.’ The night, deafness, ignorance, death–all forms of darkness.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

This is a trilogy, so my next book will be the second edition in the series: Thomas Edison and the Lazarus Vessel. It takes place in 1933 and is more fantastic, although still grounded in the backstory of history, with new characters including Groucho Marx, Eleanor Roosevelt and Deputy Fuhrer Rudolph Hess. As for Edison, he died in 1931 but finds a way to come back, via an accidental discovery he makes during his real-life experiments with the untapped potential of rubber. The launch is currently scheduled for November, 2022, and you can visit for updates.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Website

The untold saga of Thomas Edison’s greatest invention – the resurrector – a machine designed to penetrate the barrier between life and death. Edison is accompanied on his metaphysical quest by John Dawkins, his heroic, young assistant with a tragic past; Emily Auburn, a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl, and her wise-cracking rehearsal pianist, the teenage George Gershwin. Destiny propels them from the mind-boggling marvels of Edison’s secret laboratory, to the Captiva Island compound of the Seminole Indians, to the frontlines of the Great War. Their journey climaxes in a dual finale; a go-for-broke aerial mission to foil the Germans’ surprise attack on American forces, and a decisive struggle for the soul of mankind in the dark heart of the dead zone.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on June 25, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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