Christian author hosts book launch party in Hurricane
In celebration of the release of her debut Young Adult Christian novel, “Anticipation,” area author S.D. Thomas hosted a book launch party Monday, Aug. 14 in The Copper Room at Hidden Creek Mercantile in Hurricane.
The event featured a reading of the work, a question-and-answer session and book signings by Thomas.
Bram Stoker Award-winning author and editor Michael Knost, who helped Thomas publish her maiden novel, introduced Thomas.
Copies of “Anticipation” were available for purchase, as well.
Thomas summarized the story of “Anticipation” as follows:
“Cassie Smith wasn’t expecting to fall in love with her best friend, Mark Santos, or the emotional turmoil she encounters in the relationship. But, this newfound love has her questioning the only commitments she’s ever made: to God and to leaving her hometown. Will she change her mind and stay with Mark? Or will she risk everything she’s ever known and loved to continue with her original plan?”
Paperback copies of “Anticipation” can be purchased online at Amazon.com and through Thomas’ website (listed below). E-book versions will be released this fall, she said.
Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Penn State University and has enjoyed creative writing for many years. She co-founded “Coffee with Christ,” a bimonthly blog addressing topics and stories from the Bible.
She lives with her husband, Jim Thomas, and their “fur baby,” a Great Dane-Labrador mix nicknamed Crazy Lou, in Cross Lanes. She also works full time in Teays Valley.
“The book is slightly under 250 pages; it’s a decent size for young adults. I did write a Bible study that goes with the book that will be available for free on the website later this month if you purchase the book. The book can be read as a stand-alone fiction novel, but if you want to delve deeper into the scripture in it, there’s a study guide,” Thomas said.
Middle and high school teachers had encouraged Thomas to pursue writing, she said, and she studied journalism in college, but she had never considered writing a full-length novel until “Anticipation.”
“The book actually stemmed from some bizarre dreams I had after reading a popular Young Adult series,” she said. “I really felt like while those books were really good, they kind of left a lot of questions unanswered for young adults, particularly those of the Christian faith who are seeking answers about eternity and what happens in the so-called afterlife. The characters in the dreams morphed into the characters Mark and Cassie.”
And while inspiration came over several nights, the creation of “Anticipation” took far longer than that.
“It was probably a two-year process,” Thomas said. “I’d do it after hours, after I got home. I just started writing and fleshing out this story and these characters, hitting it hard with editing and seeking agents and stuff.
“A year ago, I heard back from a Christian agent. They suggested the story was too long for the genre. It was about 125,000 words, so I cut it down to less than 90,000, which was their suggestion. They read it and liked the story, but they told me they were afraid the publishers would claim it was too preachy. ... After much prayer and discussion with my husband, I decided to self publish. I found a local, indie publisher, Michael Knost, who’s well known; he’s helped some local people get their first books published. So, I finally have a book out.”
Thomas said “Anticipation” is a self-contained novel, but “I’ve set in my mind to do two more books. The second book is about two-thirds written. It’s my intention to get it written, edited and published by spring 2018. Right now, I’m just working with an idea for the the third book.”
For more information about the book, follow Thomas on social media at @authorSDThomas or visit her website, www.sdthomas.net. More information is also available by calling Thomas at 304-552-0835 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.