Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Author Interview & Giveaway: LIGHT FROM DISTANT STARS by Shawn Smucker

LIGHT FROM DISTANT STARS
by
SHAWN SMUCKER

Genre: Christian Fiction / Magical Realism / Rural Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: July 16, 2019
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for Giveaway!


When Cohen Marah steps over his father's body in the basement embalming room of the family's funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory.

Over the next week, Cohen's childhood comes back in living color. The dramatic events that led to his parents' separation. The accident Cohen witnessed and the traumatic images he couldn't unsee. And the two children in the forest who became his friends--and enlisted him in a dark and dangerous undertaking. As the lines blur between what was real and what was imaginary, Cohen is faced with the question he's been avoiding:

Is he responsible for his father's death?

Master story weaver Shawn Smucker relays a tale both eerie and enchanting, one that will have you questioning reality and reaching out for what is true, good, and genuine.


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Interview with Shawn Smucker

How does Light from Distant Stars relate to your faith?
Cohen, the protagonist in this story, is really on a quest to remember his childhood and try to figure out what to do with the memories he has of his father. Some good, some bad. I think his journey into the past mirrors my own faith journey in many ways, as I’ve looked back on the faith I had as a child and am not trying to figure out what to do with it. How will I reconcile my new views of God? How can I appreciate what I had as a child but still be okay with moving into something new?

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 
I think the hardest part of writing the book was two-fold – practically, there were multiple time lines I had to keep track of. That was a challenge. Emotionally, it was tough because I was writing about a strained father-son relationship, when in fact I have a wonderful relationship with my father. While Cohen and his father share many similarities with me and my dad, Cohen’s father failed him on a number of basic levels, where my dad really came through for me in my life. So, it was kind of tough to let that happen to my characters.

What do you like to read in your free time?
I love reading novels that have to do with family and include a tiny bit of mysticism. Not necessarily full-on fantasy, but just a little bit of something that can’t be easily explained. This is a reflection of how I view the world, this idea that there is more to everything than what we see.

What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m finishing up a work-in-progress, a manuscript that hopefully will be a book that releases with Revell next summer, July, 2020. I don’t want to say too much about it yet, but the main themes I normally write about are present: family, death, and doubt vs. belief. It’s a pretty intense story, and one I’m excited to share.

What book do you wish you could have written?
I just asked my wife this question yesterday! So, my answers are close at hand: A Prayer for Owen Meany. All the Light We Cannot See. East of Eden. And maybe The Brothers K, too. Those are books I reread over and over again. They’re just fantastic.







Shawn Smucker is the author of the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, as well as the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.



GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

GRAND PRIZE
Copy of Light from Distant Stars
+ Look to the Stars 8”x5” Journal + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card; 
2ND PRIZE
Copy of Light from Distant Stars + Personal Library Kit; 
3RD PRIZE
Copy of Light from Distant Stars + $10 Starbucks Gift Card. 
July 17-27, 2019
(US ONLY)


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