Sunday, October 29, 2006
AT LONG LAST! Ted Dekker's SAINT review and INTERVIEW!
Dekker delivers a knockout hit with his new mind-blowing tale, Saint.
Welcome to the world of Carl Strople, also known as Saint. A first rate assassin, he trains to efficiently kill. He has endured memory wipes, identity stripping, and grueling tests that push his body and mind to the limit. But then doubts slink unbidden into Carl’s mind and he wonders who he really is. He doubts the reality that has been drummed into his brain as a black ops sniper. Can he survive the truth?
As is true of any other Dekker book, little can be told without revealing an interesting plot point. No spoilers here. Just know that you will be taken on a ride that slams you one way, then another until you relinquish your preconceived notions and succumb to the story.
Story is what Dekker does best. And in the midst of it all, he weaves in a parallel to life that will stalk you until you deal with it. Prepare for your brain to be rocked, your emotions to be squeezed, and your soul to be stirred. This comes most highly recommended. Go get it. Now. What are you waiting for? The book has been out for almost a month!
Recently, I got the opportunity to ask Ted Dekker some questions. The result was a video shot on an airplane carrying Ted to an unknown destination. I’ve transcribed the Q&A from this video. You can see the video on Ted’s MySpace page sometime this week, and hopefully on his website soon as well. Enjoy!
Q&A with Ted (edited for clarity):
KC: Ted, how long have you been writing?
Ted: I've been writing most of my life, but I've been writing as an author, 6 or 7 years since I've actually been published. Those are the years that I've been writing full time pretty much, so in all about 12 years.
KC: What made you decide to be an author?
Ted: Growing up you know I read a lot of novels because I grew up in the jungles of Indonesia and we didn't have TV’s, we didn't have anything, 'cept for graphic novels and novels and so I consumed them. I was always totally in awe of the stories that I read. And so it probably wasn't until I saw a friend of mine try to write a novel when I was in California about 20 years ago. And I thought to myself for the first time, you know, I could do that. It was quite a while later that I decided, you know, I'm going to try this, I really want to do it. So I began writing a novel in the evening, and you know, the stuff just came out, it was cool, very cool.
KC: How does the writing process work for you?
Ted: The writing process for me is when I actually write a story which means I’m writing full on, flat out, you know, almost, at least 6 days a week. To do that I have to go away from my home, or at least part of that time, totally isolate myself, and I write a tremendous amount of material in a short period of time. It usually takes me a year or so before I get to that point to, uh, really develop a story in my own mind, before I get to put it on paper. I usually got to play with it and shape it, and I mold it’s like clay in my mind. And I work with it and I knead it and I… And then when I'm ready to go, I have a very strong sense of what the story is, the device I'm going to use within the story, what's going to really make this story unique. And, then I write a rough draft within, I could actually write that novel within over a 3-month period. A rough draft, give or take and then the first editing pass so it's pretty much a complete story. That’s the process.
KC: What is Saint about?
Ted: Really, it's all of our story because we all—when you read Saint you're reading about yourself. I told a reader that once after they finished it and they e-mailed me back and said they never thought of that before, but having read the novel they came back and they said: “Oh my goodness, you're absolutely right. This is me.” And it really is. I've written it to be everyone's story, and it’s so true in so many ways. So I'm excited about it in that way, more so than any other book I've written.
KC: What are the main themes running through Saint?
Ted: Definitely a search for identity, understanding of our place in this world, and it's really a kind of modern-day Samson story, it’s understanding who you are, what we do with that, we all grapple with that, with our identities. It was exciting. I loved writing that book.
KC: What can you tell us about your next book, Skin?
Ted: Skin is a little bit of a throwback to some of my earlier novels, in that, it's a psychological thriller with a little bit of horror in it, but has a psychopathic killer in it. It's like Thr3e that way, but it's not very similar to Thr3e at all, it's very different. It dramatically addresses the issue of beauty. That theme is buried into the novel more so than most of my novels, so as such it's quite a secular novel. It's one of those novels where you get to the end and everything gets flipped, in a very big way, and the reveal in the last chapter is a real trip. I know I keep doing that, some people, I don't want people to expect that always, you know, because you get used to it--you put yourself into this kind of mode, where people now expect you to do reversals and so I want to get away from that for a little bit, but at the same time, I just love keeping my readers totally on their toes, uh you know, I don't want to get bored myself in the writing process. I got to, I try to trip myself up, and that works its way into the novel.
KC: What else are you working on?
Ted: I'm very determined to deliver these stories in multiple formats and multiple media including TV, movies, graphic novels, and the internet as well, and we'll just keep plugging away at it, and ultimately we're gonna to see some pretty exciting things impact culture in a positive way.