Good vs. Evil is Theme of Local Author’s Debut Novel

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

samparkerLocal author Samuel Parker credits three things as genesis of his debut novel "Purgatory Road," released earlier this year by Grand Rapids-based Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

First was a trip he and his wife took to Las Vegas. They rented a car a drove into the desert outside the city. Second, Parker is a fan of Westerns—novels and movies—and dreamed of setting a novel in the west.

Third was a John Donne sonnet titled "Batter my heart, three-person'd God," in which Donne believed that he couldn't change until he was ravished by God.

"The idea of beating the good into someone really got to me," said Parker, who lives in Walker with his wife and twin sons.

That theme of redemption through violence runs through "Purgatory Road," a gritty and honest tale of good vs. evil set outside Las Vegas. Jack and Laura are stranded in the desert, rescued by mysterious recluse Boots. At the same time, runaway teen Molly is abducted by a ruthless serial killer. She escapes and finds her way to Boots, where the three castaways discover themselves in the middle of the age-old battle of good and evil.

"I don't like violence and I don't like gore, but I like the idea of people in impossible situations and how that transforms them," said Parker.

While his novel looks hard at the evil in the world, Parker himself is a shy guy who writes under a pseudonym. He works in sales and likes to spend his lunch hours in his car writing. He loves music and has played in a rock band. He liked writing music, but not performing. He loves writing, but not the business side of the process.

Parker started writing "Purgatory Road" in 2009. He sent it to publishers and agents, but got no bites. Years later, an editor at Revell who had read the book contacted him and asked about it. A year or so later, the book hit the market.

"If I had to sit down every day and write 3,000 words, I couldn't do it," said Parker. "I don't write every day, and I write in my head so when it gets on paper, it's in the shape I like. I revise and read it aloud. I like to drive to a park and set in the car and write. My driver's seat is the most comfortable chair I own."

Parker is working on a second novel to be published next year.
Author Information
Ann Byle
Ann Byle is a freelance writer and owner of AB Writing Services. She writes for a number of publications including WMCN, Publishers Weekly, CBA Christian Market and Grand Rapids Magazine, and is author or coauthor of several books including The Baker Book House Story, The Call to Care: A Compassionate Response to Caring for Vulnerable Children (2018) and Christian Publishing 101 (2018). She and her husband Ray, a science teacher, have four young adult children.

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