REVENANT: FALLING AWAKE II
Series: Falling Awake Book 2
Author: Kristoffer Gair
Release Date: June 19
Length: 90,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Andrew O’Donnell’s childhood friend, Thomas, was murdered when they were ten years old. Nightmares and guilt have plagued Andrew ever since. And he believes himself responsible for delivering Thomas into the very hands of the men who committed the atrocity.
Now, fourteen years later, Andrew is driven to uncover the mystery of what really happened to Thomas, the reason behind the brutal abduction, and whether the assailants—who were never caught—have set their sights on someone else.
Even the help of an unlikely ally may not be enough to stop the darkness, the threat of what it will do to them in this life…or the next.
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MY HOPES FOR THE SECOND BOOK
I set out to write a story two years ago with depth, a larger cast of characters, and a plot—if done correctly—that would tug at the heartstrings. This story became the novella Falling Awake, and it did everything I hoped it would. There was so much grief inside me during the time I wrote it, and the grief had nowhere to go. I channeled those emotions into the book, and attempted to create a sense of hope through expressing and expelling the grief. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t think I’d write a second book, let alone be writing a third.
The trick to me in writing Falling Awake II: Revenant has been writing a main character (Andrew) who is flawed, a product of experiences early on in life beyond his control, being gay in early 1970s, and entirely sympathetic. Everything in the plot hinges on us, as readers—since I consider myself a reader too—believing Andrew doesn’t deserve what happened to him, and what could possibly happen to him. His journey is a dark one, but one he believes will make him whole again.
I won’t lie. I put Andrew through more hell in his twenty-four years than I will ever go through. There are plenty of times in the story when he can make the choice to stop, re-evaluate, let things be, and fade into the background. He certainly might be better for it, only he refuses to surrender. As unrelenting as the odds are, he matches those odds with his own unrelenting nature.
My hope is for readers to feel his pain, his determination, his terror, and, ultimately, his own hope. One of my beta readers told me upon finishing a draft that as much as he liked how the story unfolded, he felt like he walked away after getting into a plane wreck. Oh, and he needed a drink. That’s the kind of intensity the story builds up to towards the end. I figure I did something right if my beta reader is having those reactions.
It’s fair to say I also hope after reading and reacting to this second book, readers will want to know how the much larger story this is part of will play out. I certainly want to get it out of my head. The weird thing is I know I’m going to miss having the whole thing in my head. Having the series in print makes it concrete, and separate from me in some way. Plus, after the third book, I don’t know if I’ll ever revisit these characters again. Guess that’ll depend on whether a story worth telling comes to mind. I didn’t plan on there being a second story, so stranger things have happened.
“Damn.” Frank’s face twitched and his eyes opened wide. “Is what you just did natural, or part of your government training?”
“Probably a little of both,” Andrew lied again. “I’ve always had some aptitude for reading certain situations.” His throat started to close up when he recalled one in particular, one fourteen years ago. “But I’ve learned to trust and act on my instincts instead of ignoring them.”
Losing one life because he didn’t act on those instincts was already too much to bear. It couldn’t be allowed to happen again. Ever.
“Okay.” Frank nodded. “Yes, I have them checking on you. They’re going to call Ruby here at the diner and ask for me, but I’m already confident you are who you say you are.”
“You didn’t have to bring me here to buy them time.” He watched Frank squirm. “Your instincts told you I was on the level back at the house. We could have gone to the police station, only you brought me here instead.”
“Jesus.” Frank winced.
“What are you not telling me?”
“Some aptitude for reading certain situations my ass.” Frank wiped his forehead with a napkin. “OSHA? I think the only reason you aren’t working for the FBI is they haven’t heard of you yet.”
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