Can You Ever Really Go Home?
Promise, the first book in my Soul Savers Series, starts in Arlington, Virginia, where I did most of my growing up. Like my main character, Alexis, I moved around a lot as a kid—7 different schools by the time I finished the 6th grade. Then we moved to Arlington and after a year or so of middle school, I begged my mother to keep me in the same school district to finish high school. Kids were different at this age and it was bad enough I hadn’t grown up with them. But to start over again? I didn’t want to have to go through it all. Thankfully, she agreed. We moved residences a few times, but always stayed in the district and I graduated high school there.
Alexis did, too. I suppose she would have graduated from my high school because the neighborhood I envisioned where they lived in the first half of the first chapter is in that district. But, funny enough, I never thought about her actual school. I started the book there because I needed her to be far away from Florida (because she was moving there for college) yet somewhere familiar to me. The atmosphere of the Jefferson Memorial was perfect for the beginning of the scene and when the rest of it came to me, I imagined it in on a high school friend’s street. So after changing her previous home from Denver to Chicago to Minnesota, I finally decided she finished school in Arlington.
This week, I returned to Arlington for the first time since 2004. And I had to laugh at myself. The area has changed so much, it’s hardly recognizable! I don’t know if I could still find my way around because all of my old landmarks are different or even gone. Promise starts 9 years ago, but even then, the area would have been different than I’d pictured. In fact, I’d imagined it just as it had existed when I was about 16 years old!
Fortunately, the description in Promise isn’t specific enough—no street or building or even neighborhood names—that anyone would know. But this has been a good reminder that writers can’t forego research of a setting just because we spent some time there once. Unless that “once” was in the last few years, it’s not the same as we remember. Thank God for the Internet! Especially Google Earth.
This return to what I call my hometown is also a reminder that we really can’t ever go “home.” There’s a reason people say this—once you’ve been gone for a while, it’s just not the same as in your memories. The landscape changes and so do the people. Everything may be better or worse or neutral, but it will never be the same. Because life’s just not like that.
It was an interesting trip for both Alexis and me. I’m glad I had this opportunity to go home, to see people I haven’t seen in years and to experience the new world of my hometown. And now I have some great new fodder for future books.
When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her façade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.
Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.
Lost in despair, Alexis teeters on the edge of an abyss, her lifeline of hope fraying into a thin thread. If it snaps, she’ll plunge into complete darkness. With the help of her son and her writing, she’s been able to hold on. Until now. Erratic impulses, disturbing delusions and her own demonic blood threaten her sanity. When she’s forced to choose between hanging onto hope or letting go to serve her Amadis purposes, she faces a decision with inconceivable sacrifices.
Alexis runs to the one place she thinks will provide answers, only to find herself at the center of another battle of good versus evil, not only with the Daemoni, not only within herself…but also against the worst opponent imaginable. But even if she wins, what will she lose?
About the Author
Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, with the first two books, Promise and Purpose, available now and the third book, Devotion, coming February 2012. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis, coming October 2011.
Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at:
Author's Website & Blog: http://www.KristieCook.com
Series Website: http://www.SoulSaversSeries.com