Wednesday, August 30, 2017

An Unexpected Afterlife - Dan Sofer - One Free Book

Welcome, Dan. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
A bit of me goes into every character. I like to say that writing is acting for people with stage fright, and the techniques of method acting apply to writing convincing characters too.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Not sure I’m the quirkiest of people. I leave the really quirky stuff to my characters.

When did you first discover you were a writer?
I have always loved creative writing. My first book was a comic book that I created (age six?) from the stationery in my father’s law offices. In the decades that followed, I wrote a number of (really bad) short stories, but I only focused on writing seriously in my late twenties.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My taste is very eclectic: from literary to mystery, sci-fi to historical. All I need is a good story and then my curiosity gets the better of me.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Good question. I’m not sure I do! But I try to make time for fun activities with the family and, every once in a while, splurge on an exotic vacation.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
With great difficulty! Some names just make sense in the context of the story and match the character’s ethnic and religious background. Character names have changed between drafts of a novel. I try to pick names that start with different letters to make things easier on the reader (and writer).

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My kids, of course, although I’m not sure I can take all the credit for them. I am proud of the dreams I’ve fulfilled (writing novels is way up there at the top of the list) and the moments when I stood up for myself and others in the face of adversity. Sometimes it’s the small but meaningful things that you remember.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
An owl. I don’t know why; it just seems right.

What is your favorite food?
Biltong – it’s a South African beef jerky. (We’re carnivores.)

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Writing complex and believable characters. I had to work on that, studying, practicing and digging deeper. Funnily enough, readers often say they love my complex and believable characters, so the hard work seems to have paid off.

Tell us about the featured book.
An Unexpected Afterlife follows the story of Moshe Karlin, who wakes up one morning naked and alone in the Mount of Olives Cemetery. He doesn't remember dying two years ago but he has to work very hard to win back his perfect old life... and his wife. In fact, he has to work hard just to survive his first week on the streets of Jerusalem.

An Unexpected Afterlife is the first novel in the Dry Bones Society series, a humorous and heartwarming exploration of the question: what if the Messianic Era began today?

Jewish traditions about the End of Days (based on the Old Testament) involve a Resurrection of the Dead, a Messiah King, an Ingathering of Exiles, a Rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, a World War, great upheavals, and a very large banquet of fish (or, in the very least, one very large fish).

The Dry Bones Society series serves up one possible scenario of how all that might pan out, along with healthy side helpings of romance and action, humor, and adventure, as well as an introspective look at the State of Israel and, while we're at it, the state of humanity.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Moshe Karlin emerged from a deep and dreamless sleep with a premonition of impending doom. The world seemed out of place. The dawn chorus of summer birds filled his ears, but louder than usual, as though an entire flock had perched on the windowsill above his bed. The mattress pressed against his back, hard and coarse. A chill breeze tickled the hair on his bare chest.

Bare chest?

His eyelids snapped open. The endless blue velvet canopy of heaven stretched overhead, and as he gazed, a star winked out. His heart thumped in his rib cage. He was not in his bed. Or his bedroom. Or even his house.

He craned his neck forward. He lay on his back in a stony field, as naked as the day he was born.
His head slumped to the ground.

Moshe Karlin, you are in deep trouble.

Galit would kill him when he got home. That is, if she ever found out.
As his bold plan for sneaking home unnoticed grew flesh and sinew, the crackle of a loudspeaker jarred his thoughts, and a nasal voice boomed: Allahu akba-a-ar! Allahu akba-a-ar!

Moshe heard the East Jerusalem muezzin most mornings but always from a safe distance. This morning, however, the blaring call to morning prayers seemed to issue from only a stone’s throw

Correction. You are in very deep trouble.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit me at (and get a free ebook).

Thank you, Dan, for sharing this book with us. The premise sounds very interesting.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
An Unexpected Afterlife (The Dry Bones Society) (Volume 1) - Paperback
An Unexpected Afterlife: An Adventure in the Jewish Resurrection (The Dry Bones Society Book 1) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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.

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Connie Porter Saunders said...

Sounds intriguing! Thanks for sharing!!
Connie from KY

Unknown said...

Thanks, Connie!

Cindy W. said...

Hi Dan, your book sounds very interesting. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Cindy W. from Indiana

Melanie Backus said...

Wow!I am intrigued by this one and think it would be an interesting read. Thank you for the opportunity. Melanie Backus, Texas

Unknown said...

Hi Cindy and Melanie. You're welcome. Good luck! :)

Cheri S. said...

Looks like a great book.

Cheri from Michigan

Vivian Furbay said...

Would love to win a copy of this book. Sounds like a good book.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Cheri and Vivian!


Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

Unknown said...

Hi Sharon. Good luck!