I am very pleased to welcome K J Kron, author of the newly published ‘St Peter Killed God’, to my blog today.
Glad to see you here today, KJ.
Tell us more about your new book, St Peter Killed God.
One thing I’d stress, this is a book about religion, but it’s not a religious book. I feel there are few books that fall into that category. Poisonwood Bible, The Name of the Rose, and Black Robe are three that come to mind. As I worked on it, I kept cutting pieces out thinking that it would bore the reader. At one time it was 125,000 words and I’ve trimmed it down to 75,000.
There are two main mysteries in my book. First, is Father Peter just flat out crazy or is he really a saint? The second is what in the world is he going to do now? He’s 50 years old, he devoted his life to the church, and now he finds it immoral. Can he go back to being a priest? Can he start up a new religion? And as he looks around the psych hospital where he is, he sees all sorts of people that are insane but he can’t help wondering if they are any worse off than he is.
What inspired you to write this?
Hmmm, there are so many ways to answer that question. I was actually working on three different stories at once and decided to fuse them altogether. I had written about 50 poems about my four years working in a psychiatric hospital from the POV of a fictitious character. Then I thought, why not get Peter into the hospital with this William character? I started turning many of the poems into prose and kept some of the poems in the book. The poetry is fair. Nothing more than stripped down prose.
But I guess your question is really about why did I decide to write a book about religion, no? Well my family is very Catholic and they go to church every Sunday. And I mean every Sunday. When my parents came to visit me in Spain, they had to go to Church no matter how inconvenient. It didn’t matter that they didn’t understand a word of it. I think my step-father had a streak of not missing a single Sunday mass for over 40 years. I’m sure my two brothers will reach that mark as well. I’m the only one of my brothers and sister that doesn’t go to church. My mom told me she has failed as a mother, as far as my religion goes. I tried to explain why I don’t go, but she refused to listen. That more than anything inspired me to write this book.
Your book won the Slushpile Reader poll. Can you tell us more about SPR?
Slush Pile Reader is a place where authors can post their manuscripts. People read it, vote if it should be published, and they publish the book that the readers rate the highest. I felt pretty good about being rated number one after one year especially when my book was read over 3,000 times. I’m not sure how many unique readers there were since all “guests” are considered one unique reader.
I believe SPR a great idea and hope it is able to attract more people. Right now they are offering a sweepstakes where you can will $1,000 so check it out if you haven’t.
Have you had any backlash from religious groups about this story?
What a compliment! I’m hoping my book will be popular enough to draw the attention of some religious groups. I am a little nervous as I start this school year. Many of my students know that I wrote a book and some started to follow me on twitter. A couple “like” the Saint Peter Killed God Facebook page. And many of my students are religious and I’m not sure what will happen. Hopefully nothing. Same goes for my family.
Do you plan to write stories based on non-religious subjects, for example, your work as a teacher?
(Smiles) Most of the short stories and novels that I’ve written or tried to write aren’t about religion at all. I’ve thought about writing about a teacher getting into hot water. And also I’m kicking around the idea of an American having a culture clash with a Spaniard. Both ideas are more or less, what-if-I-did-this type of scenarios since I’m a teacher and I’m married to a Spaniard.
I realise St Peter has only just been published, but do you have any other projects on the way?
I’m trying to blog and occasionally I’ll write bad poetry. I want sit down and write a novel. I feel that it took me years to figure out how to write well and now I don’t have the time. Life gets in the way. I’ve got a young son (15 months) and who knows, we might have another. I’ve got to work full-time right now but who knows, maybe a miracle will happen.
Where can we buy your book and do you have any other links?
Since I’m trying to get reviews, I’m going to offer Saint Peter Killed God to the readers of your blog for just 99 cents for a limited time (August 25, 2012 –BTW, that’s my birthday). I’m hoping those who read it will review it either at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or GoodReads. Just type in the coupon code JX64J at Smashwords:
St Peter Killed God at Smashwords
Of course you can buy it at Amazon for just $2.99 USD at:
And for those with Nooks, you can buy it at Barnes and Noble:
That was very interesting and thought provoking, KJ. I’m looking forward to seeing how St Peter does, and your forthcoming works.