Jan here, and I'm excited to introduce our guest, Chris Fabry.
I became familiar with Chris through his radio work, and then ten years ago I read his novel, Almost Heaven. He instantly became one of my favorite authors.
Chris has a new book releasing today, A Piece of the Moon. We'll get to the book in a few minutes, but first, it's time to hear from Chris!
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C. S. Lewis once said that his fiction sprang from pictures in his head and from those images he wrote his stories. The idea for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe came from an image of a faun, an umbrella, and a lamppost in a snowy wood. There were other images, of course, but those were the seeds that eventually grew the seven books about the land of Narnia.
I’m a believer that such images can spur us toward sensory writing, meaning a story that makes you feel part of it from the first sentence. Those are the types of stories I aspire to write.
The spark for my novel A Piece of the Moon came from an image burned into my subconscious as a teenager. When I was sixteen or seventeen, I went to work for a local radio station a few miles from our home in West Virginia. The station sat on a little knoll that looked over a valley below with a river running through it. Behind the 5,000-watt daytime station was the antenna tower with a flashing red light and guy wires that held the tower secure. I would often wander outside at night and stare at the vista bathed in a ghostly moonglow.
Decades later, I was standing in the office of a junkyard in Tucson, Arizona, waiting for a check for my totaled Honda CR-V. I had been riding in the passenger side of that car when the accident happened and it had shaken me. I walked in a daze for a couple of weeks. But the visit to the junkyard became the unlikely location to discover the last piece of my literary puzzle.
The woman at the makeshift counter worked in searing heat with only a small window air conditioner behind her. She looked haggard and seemed perturbed at something, perhaps because she was surrounded by men all day. On the wooden counter in front of her were files, an aged computer, a calculator, and a pigeon that walked back and forth on the counter.
What was even more strange than the pigeon walking the counter was the fact that nobody in the room acted like it was strange in the least. I walked away with my meager check but never forgot that woman or her pet.
Fast-forward to the writing of A Piece of the Moon. I had the image of a pigeon hitting the guy wire and spiraling down into the bottomland where one of my main characters lives. She adopts the pigeon as a pet and from then on she is known as “Pidge.” As Pidge sees the wounded bird for the first time, she feels like she’s looking in a mirror. She can’t help but nurse the bird back to health and then hang on to it.
As I wrote what turned into a love story and a search for hidden treasure, I had that image of the bird flying in moonlight, the red light flashing on top of the tower, and a junkyard below that represented what many feel about themselves—they are castaway, wounded, junk.
These were the images that became seeds of what I hope is a story that sticks to your soul. So be careful not to dismiss the images that come into your mind and remain. If you’re diligent, you might find your own Narnia.
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Thank you, Chris!
I was privileged to read an advance copy of A Piece of the Moon and I loved it. The book is full of twists and turns as the characters search for a hidden treasure in their own ways...a treasure that might or might not be real.
Set in the early-1980's with a West Virginia country radio station as the center of the characters’ lives, we are treated to a nostalgic look at the near past. Waite and TD, the main characters, work together at the radio station. On air, they speculate about the treasure and take calls from listeners. As the story progresses and searchers narrow in on the treasure’s location, mysterious events reveal that there may be more to this treasure than anyone has suspected.Along the way, we see Waite’s heart for lost and broken people, and TD’s dreams for a life free from his past. Pidge, the Kid, the other DJ’s at the station, and a boy-happy dog all work to round out the community. We are also treated to a glimpse of a small-town radio station in a time gone by, born out of the author’s early life.
The story contains twists and turns that kept me reading far too late into the night, and the conclusion was on target, leaving me with a happy sigh.
Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. A graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.