Got an email with a nice bit of feedback on Rapture from a fellow teacher and colleague the other day:
“Picked up your book on Saturday and finished it Sunday. It has all the elements to become a Hollywood Blockbuster J Especially your fight scenes. I need the sequel now, when is it due out?
The parts that really peaked my interest were the references to the bible, the rapture and the tribulation. Did you create your own hellish monsters or do they all come from the bible as well? The thought of being stuck on earth during the tribulation, because I am an apathetic Catholic, has me wanting to go back to church! Especially the parts when Sam senses something watching him, that made the hairs on my neck stand up. Brrr! Your knowledge of the different swords and swordsmanship was impressive too. Is the iron aspect fictional? So many questions …. I loved Hikari and Aimi, such honorable and beautiful souls. I knew there was something [spoiler] … and I liked the way Sam could [spoiler].”
Then she got her teenage son to read it. Here’s what he said:
“I finished your book. Honestly I hate reading, so my mum forced me to read a book and she thought I might like your book ‘Rapture’. I had trouble getting into it, but after a few chapters I began to like it and eventually I couldn’t stop reading it. I like the topic of Hell and Heaven and using angels and demons. I wanted to ask a few questions about how you came up with the story but my mum has already asked you so I will just wait until she talks to you to get my answers. I thought that the book was well written (the way you put all your ideas together) making it very interesting to read. Can’t wait for the sequel.”
Ahhh. Isn’t that nice? Anything that makes teenage boys read has to be a good thing. To answer mom’s questions:
Q: Did you create the hellish monsters or do they come from the bible as well?
A: I used creative license which all authors are guilty of – some more than others. According to old books on demonology, there was a type of demon called a Lemure. They are the lowest, most common type of demon. The Astaroth is a name I pinched. It is actually the name of a powerful demon, rather than an actual type of demon.
Q: Is the iron aspect (of swords) fictional?
A: Yes and no. Katana’s certainly weren’t made purely from iron but from high and low carbon steel (basically iron mixed with carbon). Although iron and steel are essentially the same weight, Sam’s swords are much denser (and thus heavier and harder to wield). I used creative license here again because the ore came from a meteorite and who knows exactly what it contains. According to mythology, all demons are affected by cold-iron. This basically means iron - the traditional term cold just refers to it being cold to the touch.
Phillip W. Simpson
Phillip W. Simpson is an author of YA and children's books.