Thursday, December 05, 2013

AMISH VAMPIRES IN SPACE - Kerry Nietz - One Free Book

Readers, I've been looking forward to featuring this author/book since September. I don't read a lot of sci-fi, but Kerry Nietz's books have blessed me so much.

Welcome back, Kerry. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
The “works versus grace” theme comes up a lot in my books. The Dark Trench trilogy took place in a world under sharia (Islamic) law, so the story there was really the discovery of grace in a world that has none.

And now in Amish Vampires in Space, I find myself playing in that area again, though from a different angle. Both cultures are shaped by rules and expectations—stringent dress codes and rituals.

Now, obviously, not all rules are bad. Every parent knows that there are valid reasons for following some rules. But there can be a lot of bondage there too. “Freedom” is an important theme in my books, as well.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
No books coming out soon, but it has been a busy year for me. I had one short novel, Mask, come out in February, and then the longer Amish Vampires in Space released in October.

I also assisted in the development of a curriculum guide for my first novel, A Star Curiously Singing, which became available in April.

In addition, I redesigned and rereleased my memoire FoxTales this summer.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
You know, Lena, I think I’d like to meet you in person. J This marks my fourth visit to your site in five years, but we’ve only ever talked digitally. You’ve been really supportive and encouraging. It would be nice to meet at a conference or something. Maybe before the next time I’m promoting a book?

I’d love that, Kerry. You know how much I loved The Dark Trench trilogy. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Probably George Washington. I think much of what he was and did is lost to modern America. As are the lives and sacrifices of all the founding fathers. It would be great to just sit with Washington and hear the stories that were significant to him. How his faith directed and supported him.

I just read my oldest son a story about how a contemporary of Washington was riding by Valley Forge and happened to hear and then—upon further investigation—see Washington praying alone in the woods. The sight not only astonished the observer, but it also assured him that America would prevail over the British. Now, that’s a sizeable leap to make, because at that point in the war, Washington’s army was starving.

I would guess that’s a story that isn’t typically taught in school, and I’m sure Washington would have many of his own faith stories to add.

I know. It grieves my heart to see how much the revisionist historians who started, in the 1940s, changing the way history is taught in our schools. I actually was privileged to head a team of writers who had access to actual historical documents and books from all the way at the beginning of our country and later. We wrote a two-year history curriculum for junior high students that are used by many homeschoolers and private schools.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
The big thing for me is perseverance. It applies to all aspects of a writer’s life. You need to persevere in writing the book. You need to endure through the editing phase, even if it means getting outside help.

Then, when the thing is solid, you need to suffer through finding a publisher. Submit, attend conferences, meet other writers. Learn more, revise more, and research more. Network, make connections, build friendships—and don’t fear rejection! Persist. Be determined. Hold on.

I’m speaking from experience here. It took four years from the time I decided to be a writer, until the time I finally held a book with my name on the cover. (FoxTales) Following that, it took another six years to get my first novel in print.

Persevere. I mean it.

I know what you mean. It took me eight years to get my first novel published, and the second took ten more years, but since then … Now, Kerry, tell us about the featured book.
I would love to, as I’m sure many of your readers are now thinking: Amish Vampires in Space? What could that possibly be about? I mean, such a cryptic title…  J

The story’s genesis goes back a couple years. Amish novels were all the rage, and my publisher, Jeff Gerke, sent out a mock cover to the Marcher Lord Press authors. An obvious spoof. It featured a bonneted female vampire with some Amish paraphernalia behind her. Also behind her was a large window with a view of an orange planet. Enough to make it clear that the setting was in space. The title of this novel was Vein Pursuit and it was part of the Amish Vampires in Space series. Jeff said it was the ultimate speculative novel. A genre crossover that was a sure hit. It was a joke he often shared at writing conferences he attended, as well.

A year or so passed, and at one point I told him that someone should write that Amish Vampire in Space book. I didn’t think it was me, because I tend toward hard science fiction, and the title screams: camp! Plus, I had a trilogy of my own to finish.

Then last year I got this idea about how it all might work and not be campy. A theme emerged along with a couple key characters, so I started writing. Before I knew it, I was 30,000 words in. I emailed Jeff to tell him what I was doing. When he stopped laughing, he encouraged me to continue. I finished last June and sent it to him. He liked what he read, so here we are.

The book is solidly in the sci-fi genre, with a good dose of suspense, some realistic Amish (and futurist non-Amish) culture, a little humor, and a dash of romance. Think Witness meets Pandorum. Or maybe Dracula meets Beverly’s Lewis’s The Shunning? Something like that.

When I shared a meal at a table where Jeff was also eating at Indianapolis in September, and he told us what was happening, I knew I had to feature it on my blog. I know your writing, and I knew you would do a good job with the story and point the story toward the Truth. Please give us the first page of the book.
Jebediah had a secret.

It was a weight, really. Something the songs of church service couldn’t lighten. Even daily prayers and scripture reading were no help. It was always present. Always hidden.

“It is Gelassenheit,” his father had said. “Surrendering yourself for others.”

So Jeb bore the weight. It was God’s will. Like Abraham tying Isaac to the altar. We hold the knife with the faith that God will stop us from using it.

With a groan, Jebediah pushed his way out of bed. Beside him, Sarah sighed and rolled his direction. Even with the passage of decades, she still appeared as beautiful to him as when they married. A day twenty years ago now. Her in a simple white dress and kapp. He in his best black suit. Family and friends, similarly attired. A simpler time. A happier time. An early spring.
Before the secret had passed to him.

“Is it morning so soon?” she whispered.

Jeb smiled. “Ya, it is.”

She made to get out of bed, but Jeb frowned and held out a hand. “Stay in,” he said. “At forty, you’ve earned a few more minutes.”

She put the back of her hand over her mouth and yawned. “So much to do today. The Troyers need breakfast. And Eli will need help with that baby. And the garden.”

Jeb glanced out the bedroom window. The sun had not yet begun to rise. And neither moon. Only a few distant stars and the mass of what was commonly called the Morning Nebbit.
Still very dark. That was a comfort, at least.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is, or I try to post all the big news there.

I also have an author page on Facebook that I frequent. Here’s that address:

Thank you, Kerry, for sharing this new book with us. I'm anxious for my copy to arrive, so I can read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Amish Vampires in Space - paperback
Amish Vampires in Space - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Nathan Sturgis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nathan Sturgis said...

This book sounds really fun(ny)! Can't wait to read it.
Buena Vista, CO

Sheila Deeth said...

I couldn't resist the heading, but now I've read about the book (and the excerpt) I'm really intrigued. Fascinating. Weird. Cool! (I live in OR, and we specialize in weird!)

Mary Preston said...

That's a cross over of genres to get your attention.

Mary P


Unknown said...

I live in Ohio. And I am part of the Anabaptist culture. I've heard that joke about writing a book about Amish Vampires, as every writer has. I am intrigued by how this can be used in a positive way. And I trust Kerry Nietz. So... would love to win this book.

Janet Sketchley said...

This one's on my wish list despite the face that I rarely read Amish fiction and don't read vampire fiction... I've loved Kerry Nietz's other novels, and I'm sure this one will be worth the read.

And amen to Lena's and Kerry's call to perseverance. My first novel released this year after almost 20 years in the making.

I'm in Canada, and if my name's drawn, I'd love an e-copy.

Kerry Nietz said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. We have you entered!

(And Sharon! I happened to see your name and picture on Amazon's Top Ranked author list yesterday. That's awesome! Thanks for stopping by.)

Unknown said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I have this on my wish list. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.
Kay from NY

Karen G. said...

I really, really want to read this book. Thank you for the chance to win. Hope one of my libraries orders a copy.
Karen G, NY

Teela said...

I live in the tundra of Nashville, TN...brrrrr....I've NEVER read a vampire book and even have a phobia (I know...I know...) about vampires. Maybe reading this would help me get over at least one of my phobias! Thanks for the giveaway and hope I win!