Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Pigeon by Guest Chris Fabry

Hello, Seekerville!

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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The Pigeon

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 talked about images as the seeds for our stories - What images have you found that later became the seed for your story?



About the Author:


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.

Chris's Website link

Read the first chapter of A Piece of the Moon!

 

 


19 comments:

  1. Good morning, Seekerville! And welcome to Chris Fabry!

    What images have become books for you writers? For me, the memory of the family clock on a shelf at my grandmother's house became my first novel. She had been widowed for several years before I was born, and that clock was the image of the life that was taken away from her when my grandfather died.

    And keeping up with Seekerville tradition, I've brought coffee and tea, and the buffet is filled with virtual Amish-made cinnamon rolls. Virtual food = zero calories!

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  2. I enjoyed the post, Chris. I don't have any particular images that come to mind for my writing, but I should be keeping on the lookout. The book looks really good!

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    1. Good morning, Sandy!

      That central image is the jumping-off point for my imagination. Sometimes it's haunting (like the image for my current WIP,) but most of the time it's something quirky that doesn't let me go. :-)

      Have fun image-hunting!

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  3. Oh Jan! I love this post! It sounds like I have much in common with Lewis and Chris. I do write from visions in my head. There are several seeds that inspired Finding Beth. I pictured a young woman feeling trapped between her father and her fiancĂ©, the men arguing over her with one another with her in the room and oblivious to what she wanted. She wonders what if life would have turned out differently had she had followed her urge to ran away from everyone and everything, at least for a little while. Another seed sprouted in the course of the writing of the book. There is a motel scene that has been in my head since I was a teenager. I never knew where it came from or why it was in my head, but it found its way into Beth’s story as one of the major twists. I love writing from the visions in my head. If I did not have them, I believe my writing would suffer terribly. Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed it!

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    1. You're welcome, Linette! Chris really hit a chord with his post, didn't he?

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  4. Good morning, Jan. Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Chris. Your description held me mesmerized, so I can only imagine the book will as well.
    Most of my images involve water, but I currently have two holding my imagination captive that are completely different from anything I've ever written before. I don't really want to say what they are because I'm still unfolding the mysteries.

    Wishing you the best of luck with this book!

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    1. I can't wait to read your water stories, Cate!

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  5. Hi Chris and welcome to Seekerville! I love the imagery of not only the woman at the junkyard and her expression - but your interpretation as well, LOL. As writers, so much of what we see, we translate into "what ifs" whether we intend it or not. Heaven help our family and friends if they don't understand that additional, tiny strand woven into our DNA!

    Though I wouldn't be able to write a fantasy if all but the typing was placed before me, I do love reading them. Take me away to another time and place, and I'm a happy camper. It sounds like you've accomplished that ten-fold.

    Thank you for sharing with us today. It's always fun to visit new books and know what inspired their tale.

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    1. You'll have to read A Piece of the Moon and see where Chris's pigeon imagery took him! It's a great story.

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  6. Just goes to show you that there is inspiration all around us, all we have to do is look for it. Sounds like a wonderful book.

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    1. There's a story everywhere we look, isn't there?

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  7. I love how our minds work, pulling from our experience to ask questions, create connections, and form stories that speak to the heart. What an insightful post!

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  8. I am totally in sinc with Mindy and Erica's views on this: Inspiration surrounds us if only we raise a brow and wonder why... or what if? Thank you for this today, Chris!

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  9. Thanks for the post Chris! Love how stories come to life with viewing nature and asking questions about it.

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  10. I enjoyed reading this. It was interesting.

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  11. Thank you all for your kind words. I was doing a reading last night of a little section of the book and some emotion caught me by surprise. I mean, come on, I've spent so much time refining the story and making it really sing, so it caught me off guard when the emotion crept in while reading Pidge's words. I hope the tears in the writer cause tears in the reader! And some laughter, too.

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  12. Thanks for hosting a post by Chris Fabry. He's a great storyteller and an excellent writing teacher and mentor.

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