This week, A Satan Carol author Alan S. Kessler joins me for an interview!
1. You describe A Satan Carol as a spiritual horror story for secular readers. What made you approach your story that way, or did it write itself?
I don’t believe in wasting blood. When I use horror in a story I feel it should intensify the reader’s experience and by this reinforce the story’s themes which are, hopefully, spiritual–a recognition that we are more than corporeal existence.
In A Satan Carol I explore the idea of free will with a spiritual being, Satan, who has motivations that are human: he feels unloved and abandoned. If we understand him in his demonic form we have greater insight into our own yearnings and mistakes and from this might feel, for a moment, uplifted. Perhaps that’s all a writer can strive for, to give his reader not lasting impact but an instant of clarity.
2. Mr. Green seems like a larger-than-life character. Did you intend for your devil to be so boisterous, or was that more of a surprise?
He began to speak for himself. I experienced the fun of him taking over and saying what he felt.
3. I liked your choice of not going “mainstream-Christian,” using Mormon beliefs to shape your characters and the plot. Was this choice a result of any personal experience with Mormonism or research?
Thank you for this question. The novel has received a number of reviews but you are the first to see the book’s connection to LDS beliefs. I am an inactive member of the church attracted to its very complex theology that I find fascinating and rich in spiritual meaning adaptable to my kind of story telling.
4. What was the most bizarre item you came across during researching for your novel?
Not necessarily bizarre but interesting. Our concept of the devil is post-biblical, a creation of the middle ages. Thus I felt free to give Mr. Green the personality he wanted.
5. What’s next for Alan Kessler? Shadowland, hopefully out in 2013. It is the story of a boy coming of age in a house of demons–human ones. This is horror without slash and drool, more terrifying, I believe, than the monsters who lurk only in the shadows of our mind.
For more information on Alan S. Kessler and his upcoming projects, check out his website here.
Check out A Satan Carol at: