By Jeff Ayers
In Ken Newman’s new novel, FORSAKEN, Maggie Black is the champion of a fallen angel she loves as a father. She relishes her heroic life of danger and intrigue-until the day the angel betrays her and sends a witch to kill her. However, the assassin, Mrs. Kerr, fakes Maggie’s death and kidnaps her. Renamed Hajar, which means forsaken, Maggie is forced to commit crimes to support her master’s lifestyle. When all seems lost, hope arrives in the form of a world-weary adventurer, Gideon Kane. He bargains for Maggie’s freedom, offering Mrs. Kerr a prize the power-hungry woman can’t resist-the Tree of Life, whose fruit can turn mortals into gods.
Ken Newman has loved stories of the supernatural since listening to his grandmother’s tales of witches, spooks and creepy things as a child. He chatted with The Big Thrill.
What sparked the idea for your new novel, FORSAKEN?
I am a huge fan of the old pulp heroes and radio shows. They were crude, by today’s standards, with over-the-top melodramatic villains and outrageous situations, but the stories drew you in and kept you glued to your seat. There was a ‘feel’ to the stories that was irresistible.
FORSAKEN began with the question: Suppose there was a pulp hero that the public considered fiction, yet he and his wild adventures were actually real? Thus Gideon ‘Kamikaze’ Kane was born. In FORSAKEN, Maggie Black, was a heroic, one-woman army, but was kidnapped and forced into a life of crime. The only solace in her captivity was a series of wild pulp novels titled, ‘The Adventures of Kamikaze Kane.‘ In the course of my story, Maggie discovers that Kane is real, and he comes out of retirement, guns blazing, willing to move heaven and earth to free her.
Your novels blend several genres. Why? Does genre matter anymore?
I like to think my novels dwell mostly in the grey areas and to be honest, sometimes it is hard putting a single label on a story. who can say when paranormal becomes horror, or a mystery morphs into a thriller. It is subjective and I don’t think it really matters as long as it works. That being said, some people like labels and won’t read a novel unless it is properly ‘genre pigeonholed.’
In FORSAKEN, I blend pulp noir and urban fantasy with science fiction, and toss in a little romance. I even managed to work in a few elements from the Bible. Now that is a ‘genre soup!’
How do the spiritual and supernatural play into your writing?
In my writing, the protagonist often encounters an incursion of the supernatural and it takes them completely out of their comfort zone. Once that happens, life as they know it is changed forever. That results in enormous opportunities for interesting plots and situations. For example, a bored schoolteacher becomes the champion of a fallen angel. A disgraced military pilot from WWII becomes the scourge of darkness. A lonely country girl encounters a voice in the darkness and becomes a witch. The possibilities are endless.
What is your writing routine?
I try to maintain a fixed routine of two hours a day, either early in the morning or late at night. The old saying that a constant dripping cracks the stone is true. A few pages a day turn into a book. A few books a year turn into a series and so forth.
What’s next for you?
Black Opal Books has accepted my science fiction novel, Dead Ends. In addition, I have contracted to write a supernatural noir detective series, featuring a Louisiana based private investigator, Inky Snow. the debut novel, Lost Souls, is scheduled for August of 2016.
Ken Newman has loved stories of the supernatural since listening to his grandmother’s tales of witches, haints, boogers, and catawamps as a child. Author of urban fantasy and science fiction novels, his newest work is the upcoming supernatural action adventure, Forsaken published by Black Opal Books. In March of 2016, his supernatural thriller, Lost Souls, will be released by Evidence Press, and be the first of a three book series. A member of the International Thriller Writers, Ken lives in East Tennessee with his wife Christian, and their three zany daughters.
To learn more about Ken, please visit his website.