Posted by Literary Titan
You Owe Me One spans hundreds of years and follows several characters that are trying to save their souls. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing novel?
Initially I wrote You Owe Me One as a short story, which focuses upon Joe Durrant. Then I began to ask myself how Joe had first encountered the Devil. I thought of the idea of having an antique mirror as a portal and then the character of Charles came into my head. Charles became very real to me and I enjoyed writing about him and his struggles. He was a very modern man, living in an outdated and prejudiced society. I have been to Paris on many occasions, so my inspiration for his travels was inspired by my visits there.
There were several well developed characters in this story. Who was your favorite to write for?
My favorite character is Joe. Although he is impulsive, reckless and quick-tempered, he is strong, brave and immensely kind. He gains maturity in the novel and is always concerned about the welfare of others. These qualities enable him to stand up to Satan.
This is a thought provoking novel that questions Christian ideals. What were some themes that were important for you to explore?
The intention of the novel was to explore the choice between good and evil, rather than to question Christian ideals. Some of the characters are Christians and the tragic events they experience lead them to question their faith. Others, like Desire and Chantelle, have high moral values, but are logical and have no spiritual beliefs. I wanted to represent people with different opinions on religion in my novel.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on a fantasy series. I hope that the first book will be available by the end of 2019. It is called Starlight and Sorcery.
Two young men, living separate lives more than a century apart, are hounded by the same dark entity. Against the backdrops of nineteenth century Louisiana and Paris, through to modern day Florida, they each struggle to save their souls and to find love and happiness. This is a story about the battle between good and evil.
“How does it feel to meet your old buddy, head-on near the fires of home?”
I can barely speak. I manage to say something, between bursts of coughing. “So, that’s where I’m going? You’re sending me to Hell?”
“Well, Joe, you do owe me one,” says my old buddy and smiles warmly. Blackness.
“Some people say that the closer you are to God the more the Devil comes after you. Well, that sure is true in my case. Maybe that’s why I’m crouched down at the back of a Baptist church, where there’s a service in full swing, clutching a powerful crossbow I bought at a store with fake ID, because I’m only sixteen. I fully intend to use it; the crossbow I mean.
The Devil must be chuckling with glee if he’s watching me now, for as a child I was as close to God as anyone could be. Two church services on Sunday and Bible Study twice a week was part of my regular routine. Now I can taste bile rising in my mouth, as I hear the cries of hallelujah. In a nearby window I can see a lone vulture swooping down from the sky. As I slowly rise up onto my feet, the outline of the wedding guests comes into view. The floral dresses, fancy hats and corsages, all blend into a garish kaleidoscope of horror. My vision is blurred and I pause for a moment as my lungs seem to constrict, so that it’s getting hard to breathe. My hands shake as I load a bolt into the crossbow and walk up the aisle, and all the while I’m wondering if I am truly Satan’s collaborator.”
I began to ascend the flight of steps which led to Montmartre, eager to disassociate myself from the body lying in the road below. I watched the scene from the top of the steps, afraid that I may have been spotted, although I could see no one nearby. At first the street was quiet and still, as in a time of prayer or of mourning. Then the people came running from all directions. They seemed to descend on him like vultures, their black cloaks flapping like wings, their raucous cries of alarm raking the still air. Many of them had dark eyes, I was sure of that, even at a distance, as they came running towards him through the Parisian streets. They had dark eyes that were shrewd and sharp and keen. Their crow-colored heads glistened in the sunlight. Were they here to help him or to pick his pockets for silver, like the magpies I had seen in the woods around the chateau? But it was too late to help this man. He was already on his way to Hell. They seemed surreal, like visitors from the underworld who had come to claim his soul.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
Thrilling from the beginning, You Owe Me One by Kathryn Hollingworth is a devastatingly intricate tale the covers centuries and delves into the minds of more than one person. Broken into six parts with the chapters jumping from one first-person perspective to a completely new one, the thread that connects our characters is long. The narrative crosses hundreds of years and genders to bring us a delectable tale of what happens when the Devil makes himself explicitly known to man. Wonderfully written, readers will have a hard time putting this book down until they reach the very end.
To smoothly jump from the perspective of a young woman in the early 2000’s to a young man in the latter part of the 1800’s is no easy feat. It’s hard enough to balance multiple characters, but a writer worth their salt would need to be able to put themselves into the shoes of each character and write with their personality in mind. Because these snippets are all shared from the first-person perspective it is easy to see how truly difficult this task can be. Hollingworth knows this craft and she knows how to write an intriguing story without giving away her secrets at the beginning.
Questioning a religion as old and powerful as Christianity is no easy task. But that’s exactly what Hollingworth does. Her characters do, anyhow. Even when they are face to face with the Devil himself; wrapped up in a strange series of events that deliberately push the envelope against religion’s place in the modern world, Hollingworth treads with respect and care. She has done her research, that much is certain. It’s this respect and care that wraps everything together in a nice package and delivers it to the mind of the reader.
In a thrilling journey of memory loss, curses standing the test of time and deals with the Devil You Owe Me One by Kathryn Hollingworth is a book that deserves praise and picking up. The writing is excellent as the tale takes on a life of its own. Readers might find themselves jumping at every noise in their home or shying away from ornate mirrors for a while, but it’s worth the minute discomfort. Hollingworth is a benefit to her craft. This tale is woven so tightly and with little space for error that it’s an enjoyable read. The question then becomes, do you believe in the Devil?
Pages: 457 | ASIN: B07L9FRDX1
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