Book Title: When Heaven Strikes
Author: F. E. Feeley Jr.
Cover Artist: Goonwrite.com
Genre/s: Contemporary Romance, gay literature
Length: Words: 60,400/No. of Pages: 298
Can love survive heaven’s wrath?
Artist Ted Armstrong lives a solitary and eccentric life. The survivor of child abuse disguised as religion, Ted has cut himself off from the world.
Then Ted meets Anderson Taylor, and it’s like being struck by lightning.
Anderson is a cardiac surgeon whose passion for his work has consumed him. He fears he’ll never find a partner—until he sets eyes on Ted. It’s happening fast, but both men know what they feel is right.
Confronted with an angry preacher, a scandal, and an act of God that threatens to destroy everything, their relationship will face its first true test.
“He was scared.
“Grandma, what’s wrong?”
“Thunderstorm, baby. Hang on,” she said to him, and then to his mother, whom he just spotted to their left, “Where’s the car?”
“At the front of the lot. We were one of the first ones here this morning,” Ann said as she worked to keep up in her flip-flops.
On the water, he saw his yellow bucket floating bottom down. It was spinning hypnotically, but it was when Anderson looked skyward he found himself becoming terrified. Above the lake, the sky had turned a sickly green. The clouds directly above it and moving in closer were swirling in a tight formation with what looked like a big black eye staring down at them.
“Grandma! What’s that?” Anderson exclaimed pointing skyward. She stopped and turned to look.”
“Oh, my God,” she breathed, mostly to herself. Anderson felt panic begin to set it.
Someone shouted close to them, “Jesus Christ! It’s a tornado!”
Welcome to F.E. Feeley, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
- Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.
Hi, My name is F.E. Feeley Jr. I am the author of The Haunting of Timber Manor, Objects in the Rearview Mirror, and Still Waters. I’ve also been a part of two Anthologies: Indigent and Contact. I am also a poet.
My writing goals are to be as honest with my readers as I can possibly be.
- Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?
When Heaven Strikes is my take on contemporary gay literature. It has a romantic element that runs through it but it has three different protagonists, and I wanted to capture how each of them came to their truth.
The story, overall, is about the suddenness of life. When in just a flash, everything can change. There was no better way for me to envision this than in the sudden rush of a thunderstorm.
I like this story for its heart. I think the characters are very real, they’re relatable, they’re honestly pulled from people I’ve met in my life.
My favorite character I would have to say is either Ted or Josiah. Both of them are almost the same in that they went through the same things. The way they work out their experiences are different, but I think they’re powerful when they’re both faced with the same thing.
- Are you a planner or a pantser? How much do you know about your story before you start writing? How often does your plan change? Why does this work best for you?
I am definitely a pantser. I have a rough idea of what I want to do in the beginning of the project, but I’ve had stories change on me. I know a central theme that I am going for. I know a feeling, I think. The overall scope.
I would love to be a plotter, I think my books would be longer. I could stretch out the story so to speak. Yet, for me, everything starts as it should, goes as long as it should, and ends as it should chapter by chapter.
I think it works best for me because as someone with attention deficit problems, I don’t have to stay in the same place for too long. Writing a book is a months long, year long, possibly years long process for some. However, I think there’s something in the pantser method that allows me to sort of lean into my learning disability instead of fighting against it.
- Do deadlines motivate you or block you? How do you deal with them?
I don’t deal with them at all. I have a project per year. That’s it. I know I will turn out something. It may not be a novel. It may just be a short story, I write poetry all the time, so when my fingers get itchy I have that platform, but no I think if facing a deadline because I like to do everything at the moment – I would freeze, and it wouldn’t get done.
- Do you schedule a certain amount of time for writing each day/week, or do you just work it in when you can? Would you like to change this, or does your current method work well for you?
I sort of wait around for the urge to over take me. I can listen to music, play a game, cook, clean, and I let my mind wander. Should it walk into the book I am working on then I stop what I am doing and return to it as long as the feeling lets me stay or until I finish, whichever comes first.
- What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?
There is a dark slant to this book in some degree. This isn’t a horror novel, a ghost story, the stuff I like to write because at the end of the day ghost stories have an element of the ridiculous. But this darkness was human. And I battled with it. I think it wore on me. I think it took me into places mentally that I am not accustomed to. Or rather, that I’d not been accustomed to for a long time and it made me remember things.
I think it a lot of ways this book was me talking to myself about things and sorting them out in my head and in my heart.
- How do you develop a story idea? Do you always use the same method? Specifically, which do you develop first in your story building, the characters or the plot?
I write about things that scare me or have caused me to linger in thought about them. Still Waters was written on the heels of the death of Trayvon Martin and the continuing questions that followed and this big conversation this country is having about race. Not being a person of color, I didn’t feel qualified to try and attempt a POV of one, so I wrote about a gay kid who gets murdered for being who he was and the lengths the town went through to cover it up.
Timber Manor was about buried secrets, and Objects was about domestic violence.
This book was this abdication to the thought that what we have control over is incredibly small as far as the universe is concerned. Sometimes all we can do is react to a situation or situations as best we can and hope that our reaction is the best one.
- What are your favorite genres when it comes to your own pleasure reading? Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?
I’ve been reading a lot of true stories, biographies, real life dramas. I love paper. I’ve tried the whole Kindle reading experience. Not for me. I like pages. I dog ear. I am that person, yes. I dog ear the crap out of books
Meet the Author
F.E. Feeley Jr. is a poet and the author of six published works – four full length novels, two short stories featured in anthologies, and a good deal of poetry.
Married to the love of his life, John, he came to the writing world about four years ago where he fell in love, again, with the written word.
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F.E. FEELEY JR.’S BACKLIST
July 27th: Drops of Ink
August 12th: The Novel Approach Reviews
August 14th: Love Bytes Reviews