Image via WikipediaI have been asked a number of times what my new book is about, and I say it's a puzzle thriller because I like the term. It does deal with religion, however, and does touch upon history. How Justinian had two dreams that bade him build two places of worship in distinctly different places. How he owned a great number of religious scrolls: a library that was added to with increasing passion and scholarship.
I also wrote about the Fourth Crusade, and the great translocation of knights, soldiers, weapons and supplies that took place between Venice and Constantinople. It was a time when history and religion were very tightly woven, when events resounded on civilisations in more than just a social way. It was often hard to distinguish the effect on society of certain events whose resonances were religious, politcal, or very often both.
I discuss the way various writings were made, and how scribes were employed at various stages to copy, collate and disseminate the scriptures.
I have touched upon all these things, in a necessarily light way, without too much unnecessary detail - in order to give depth and colour to a thriller that takes place in contemporary time. My protagonists use mobile phones, computers, and modern means of conveyance: down to a fast waterbus in Venice, very fast trains, and planes between the various destinations to which I sent them hurrying, in mad pursuit of each other.
Religious fiction is popular: it can also be controversial. But if an author is sensitive and respectful, a number of very interesting things happen when books of this nature are published. People tend to look things up, to 'check' if they are real, to 'check' the authenticity of the various details that are mentioned and used in the story. A visit to my website will provide more: I list a number of similar books within the genre, and give a lot of background information about the facts I used while creating this story.
What also happens with books like this is that people do tend to debate and discuss the subject, and do return to the scriptures to refresh their memories. No matter what one thinks about religion, this kind of research can never be bad. Going back to address in a fresh way the tenets and perceptions that we gathered in the past helps us to see them through new eyes. When put inside an entertaining and exciting story, they become an ingredient that goes beyond the ordinary.