Saturday, February 25, 2012

A great author underrated

Question for you: what kind of authors do you read? I don't mean genre-wise, I mean reputation and renown-wise?
Do you read extremely well-known authors like James Patterson, Ted Dekker, Stephenie Meyers, Cassandra Clare, and Anne Rice?
Or maybe widely-known yet not-quite-as-well-known authors Steven James, Stephen R. Lawhead, and Jim Butcher? The difference between the two sets? One set is mainstream known, the other is known on a more underground way, even though they're New York Bestsellers.
Then there are very lesser-known authors: Mike Duran, Kirk Outerbridge, Melanie, Jack Cavanaugh, Randy Alcorn, and Eric Wilson.
I'd like to have attention paid to that last author. I first heard of Eric Wilson when myspace still have popular life in it (once upon a time, I had one) and he sent me a friend request. I can only suppose he saw me on Ted Dekker's friends list and decided to take a chance. Why put it that way? At the time, he was on his way to release his fourth book (which was still a couple motnhs away from street release). At first, I wasn't sure what to think, books with titles like "Dark to Mortal Eyes," "Expiration Date," and "Best of Evil" seemed like very unusual titles to me. When I saw the cover of Expiration Date, I literally thought it dealt with zombies (it was during the start of that whole zombie-crazed movement in pop culture, not too long after The Dawn of the Dead remake came out on DVD), so I decided to try. Noticing that, somehow, it was the sequel to Dark to Mortal Eyes, I figured I'd read from the beginning. I'd read the Left Behind series and a couple of Ted Dekker books... but I was in no way prepared for what the pages in his debut book held: a deep story about a woman coming to find her father she never knew about, a man suspicious about this woman he'd never known of that's saying he's her father, and the timing with a vintner competition coming along making even more suspicious of her, and an old woman that knows too much about the man, not much about the young woman, and yet is about to unleash literal Hell on Earth in a very bizarre way.
How would this relate to a zombie book? Turned it doesn't, because Expiration Date had nothing to do with the crazed pop culture obsession with zombies, it dealt with something heavier, darker, and so much more important- whether we're dealing with fate or if we truly do have free will with a unique spiritual story: a man coming back to his hometown, only when he starts touching people's hands, he feels numbers burned onto his skin, yet nothing's there. I takes him a brief while to figure out what they really are, but dark spiritual forces are trying to trick everyone into no longer believing what he says (and using a different kind of trick than I've ever heard of) as well as a demon portraying a cruelly personal trick on him dealing with something tragic from his past.
A few books later, I start to notice something- his novels are interconnected in both overt and subtle ways. I got used to that with Ted Dekker's books, then found out that was inspired by Stephen King, but the connections between Eric's books blew my mind away. Characters that seemed to be one way in one book turn out to be something entirely different in another book, additional background given while kept  consistent in a "timeline" of sorts. And what I didn't know, I found out on his website. The connections I didn't pick up on threw me off, then I thought back to the stories and specific scenes and I realized how I hadn't picked up on them.
He has a few different series based in different genres: horror (Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy, The Senses Series [tragically short-lived for the talent he proved to have in the pages]), and suspense (The Aramis Black Series and the By The Numbers Series).
At this point, only his novelizations based on three Kendrick Brothers films (Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof) and his latest two books (One Step Away and Two Seconds Late) I haven't read, I haven't had a chance to get my hands on them. The saddest part is, with how stickly the publishing industry's getting due to the digital revolution, it's getting harder for his books to get noticed.
Luckily, I'm a shameless author and book promoter, that's why I'd like to ask you a favor:
Check out his books and consider his latest book. An industry full of double standards and other such issues won't find much reason to publish something all the way if not too many people aren't interested (a couple good authors got lost in the mix a few years back because they didn't get attention at all).
If you'd like a link to his latest book, here it is:

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