Saturday, April 2, 2011
Jeff Bennington's New Thriller REUNION
Hi Julia and fans of Julia. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you through Twitter and Facebook. Your followers should know how cool you are so I just want to say…”Julia is a cool writer! You should follow her, read her books and her blog…always.” Thank you. I feel better. Now before I start, I want to remind everyone that I’m giving away 2 FREE Kindles on May 15th – one will go to one lucky REUNION Blog Tour follower and one will go to a REUNION Blog Tour host. For details about the book, the Kindle giveaway rules, blog tour dates, and blog topics, go to jeffbennington.com.
Why Write Fiction About a School Shooting?
Dave Cullen, author of Columbine, wrote his investigative, non-fiction book to find out why the killers did what they did, and to find out what happened to the survivors. I think he accomplished his goals and has enjoyed a fair amount of success. Dave’s motives for writing his book are very similar to the reasons I wrote REUNION, a fictional, supernatural thriller.
For me, the driving force behind REUNION was that I too wanted to discover what would cause someone to kill his classmates – not just at Columbine, but I wanted to discover what his or her life would be like. I wanted to dive into the dark, depraved mind of a distressed youth and swim around with my feet feeling the slimy bottom of his brain. I wanted to know what he thought the morning he walked in and started shooting. I wanted, on the edge of needing, to know about his demons and what kept him awake at night.
I also wanted to know what the victims’ lives looked like twenty years later when the memories settled and they had families of their own. I wondered how extensive the changes in their lives would be. Would they live buried in resentment, in a victim mentality, or would they become better, spreading a message of hope to a world in need of answers. To clear my mind, I needed to answer those questions or forever feel them scratching and clawing at my mind. I didn’t like the sound of that.
A third reason I wrote REUNION in a fictional format is because I wanted to address the supernatural, the spiritual, the unearthly side of school shootings. Just look into the eyes of one of the killers on television and you’ll see hateful, broken, angry eyes. When I see that, I see spiritual anguish. I see pent up frustration. I see a person closed off to humanity, absolutely controlled by his inner demons…and that, in my opinion, can only be investigated through speculation, and a wacked out imagination.
Enter… Jeff Bennington, the author meant to write this horrifically hopeful novel.
So off I went into the shadowy recesses of my creative nook, and formed David Ray from the clay of my fears; disturbed, bullied, abused, neglected, all real scenarios in this day and age, and put him into a place where he felt cornered with no way out, with no other option but to end his life and those who have tortured him. I wanted his character to be as dark and pathetic and sad and angry as possible, so I threw him into a spiritual battle, one that plays out in his mind and one that’s directly connected to a supernatural source.
Later, as in twenty years later, the dark spirits return. When I first constructed the basic plot elements for REUNION, I knew that something had to join the group – something mean, something ugly, and something absolutely detestable. I know it sounds sick, and to some degree it probably is, but I wanted to put the survivors to the ultimate test: not just one school shooting, but yet another attempted massacre. I wanted to find out if they could beat their fears and find closure through revisiting the past in the worst of circumstances.
But that wasn’t enough. No. I had run them through the fire, to cleanse them of their fears, because as life returned to normal, I found them living sad, burdened lives. Like any conflict, we can learn and grow, or give up and sink into the ocean of a faithless, hopeless existence. I wanted something better for them. And my guess is, you will too.
Thanks for reading. Be sure to “follow” Julia’s Blog, reading and commenting regularly, and then go to jeffbennington.com to learn more about the book and the tour. And most importantly, be sure to show your support by purchasing REUNION on April 15th so it can shoot up the rankings through buying en masse. Peace.
Find Jeff and REUNION here:
Also check out REUNION book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpBMLWahANU&feature=player_embedded