Interview with Chris Katsaropoulos on ANTIPHONY by Wayne G. Boulton

The Right Key by Wayne G. Boulton

Interview with Chris Katsaropoulos, author of Antiphony

View the youtube video of the interview here.

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“He knows.”

So ends Chris Katsaropoulos’s compelling second novel about the precipitous fall of Theodore Reveil – an eminent scientist whose lifelong pursuit of knowing and knowledge was tracking nicely with the Great Commandment (“You shall love the Lord your God…” Jesus said, “with all your mind”) before breaking out into the open in unprotected fashion and at exactly the wrong time.  In a meeting of his peers, Ted chooses to touch the ‘third rail’ of modern physics.

That would be God, or that would be referring to God, or that would be referring to God in a sentence that is not negative.

So the dramatic arc in Antiphony is clear from the outset.  It is the story of a descent.  But the fall of Theodore is only the springboard in this novel, not its heart.  Katsaropoulos – an accomplished writer and poet, and a long-standing member of 2nd Presbyterian Church – has other fish to fry.  He wants to draw us in to the heart and mind and emotions (“the chest,” C. S. Lewis once called it) of a top-tier particle physicist at the summit of his career.

Without dumbing down, Katsaropoulos’s aim is a kind of inner physics, i.e., to get readers to see and feel the world as Ted sees and feels it.  There is no excluding, even for a moment, the herculean drive in and of Ted’s profession to explain the universe in toto.  What if – our author asks – we looked with Ted as he looks two directions at once?  What if the astounding modern discipline of particle physics gets better, not worse, when one looks deeply enough to sense its finitude, its human limits?  What if a second Einstein and the legendary ‘Theory of Everything’ isn’t in the discipline’s future?  Rather, what if simply contributing any and all of the profession’s insights to the waiting world [“the grand theatre of God’s glory” (Calvin)] turns out to be enough?

The main part of Antiphony, though, looks with Ted in the other direction, toward everyday life with the eyes of a physicist.  This is where the title comes in.  It so happens that I’ve always liked the word.  “Antiphony” refers to voices, verses, or songs sung in response to other songs, in answer to them, even in opposition (anti-) to previous voices.  At base, antiphony is a musical term.

Ted, it so happens, loves his music.  Here he is, having just lost his position in a physics research institute, walking alone, descending slowly into what has the aura at least of madness, stumbling upon and then into a church, entering the narthex and seeing a choir – 50 feet away – practicing.

Theodore closes his eyes and lets the sound they [choir voices] emit wash over him.  The voices are filled with joy – two sets of voices it seems, the lower register singing a brief phrase followed by an answering phrase sung by the higher register.  He can feel the sound swelling up within him, the vibration bouncing off the walls and across the taut receptive surfaces of his body…he can feel the sound move back and forth across him, he feels it register in tottering delight in satisfying and shapely stronger confinement across him and through him…”

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So, yes, readers with music in their heart will have an easier time with Antiphony.  The richness of this unusual novel, however, is that with Ted’s help, all are quickly introduced to an antiphonic ‘music of the spheres’ coming virtually from every direction in which the main character happens to turn.  Using a considerable native grasp of the scientific vocation and of the regular bloodletting that marks academic culture (“arguments turn vicious quickly among professors,” an old saying has it, “because the stakes are so low”), Ted meditates throughout on the dissonances and yet surprising harmonies that appear over and over again in the dyads of daily life – between male and female, success and failure, youth and age, dreaming and waking.  Are not the signals we keep getting from accelerators and telescopes, as well as from microscopes, similar…to wit, that our universe is indeed a unity, a uni-verse?

Then there are the grander, slipperier, and usually more difficult antiphonies: energy and velocity, time and what might be beyond time, chaos over against order over against chaos once again, science and religion, sanity in its perpetual war with madness.  Antiphony has them all; and in writing it, Katsaropoulos has given us a book in just the right key.

Wayne G. Boulton ~  M.Div. from McCormick Seminary, Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Duke University,former professor and department chair of religion at Hope College in Michigan, and president of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Author of From Christ to the World: Introductory Readings in Christian Ethics and the forthcoming Playing Favorites.

This article appeared in The Spire monthly magazine from Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN

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Visit the Luminis webpage to order your copy or learn more about Antiphony.

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Great Booklist Review of FLESH AND BONE

Booklist only publishes reviews on books they recommend. Here’s what they have to say about Flesh and Bone by William Alton.F&B-Final 9781941311455

“Alton’s brief, nuanced vignettes set a steady pace… Bill is lonely, sad, shallow, and detached, but his redeeming characteristic is that he refuses to intellectualize his misery. Mature, empathetic readers will cling to the hope that Bill’s salvation might come eventually with self-acceptance.” ~ Booklist

Go to the Luminis page to purchase or learn more about Flesh and Bone.

Here’s the full review ~

Bill’s story begins with the end of his parents’ marriage and his move, with his mother, to his grandparents’ farmhouse in rural Oregon. He falls in with a group of detached and forlorn teens who live from cigarette to cigarette, devoid of purpose and motivation. Sometimes the cigarettes are interspersed with OxyContin, pot, heroin, moonshine, Vicodin, and whatever else is available. Alton’s brief, nuanced vignettes set a steady pace as Bill unemotionally explores his sexuality in a variety of raw, openly depicted trysts, one of which finds him accepting money for a consensual encounter with a friend’s uncle. “Going Nowhere,” the title of one entry, defines Bill’s existence. His only relationship of note is with his mother, who lives trapped within the confines of her own desperation. Bill is lonely, sad, shallow, and detached, but his redeeming characteristic is that he refuses to intellectualize his misery. Mature, empathetic readers will cling to the hope that Bill’s salvation might come eventually with self-acceptance.

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Spirituality is the Solution – What you can do to help the World

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From Luminis author Tracy Richardson’s Blog.

Originally posted on Tracy Richardson:

Neale Donald Walsh, author of the Conversations with God books has written a new book, God’s Message to the World – You’ve got me All Wrong. In an article he wrote about the book in Watkins MIND BODY SPIRIT magazine he concludes  “What we can’t seem to see, or are simply refusing to admit, is that the problem facing humanity today is not a political problem, it is not an economic problem, and it is not a military problem. The problem facing humanity is a spiritual problem, and it can only be solved by spiritual means.”

But what kind of spiritual means? In my novel, The Field, the main character is connecting to the collective consciousness or The Universal Energy Field, what you might envision as the thought energy of every human being, and possibly every other kind of being, in our world and in the Universe. This…

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Jacqueline Kolosov writes herself a letter in Dear Teen Me

Dear Teen Me (by Jacqueline Kolosov),

or as you are often called—String Bean, Green Bean & Monkey,

Take heart! All those sports you learned and practiced while growing up—the hundreds upon hundreds of hours you logged ice skating, swimming, pointing your toes in water ballet, running, cycling with your dad and your best friend, playing tennis, cross country and yes downhill skiing? Well, you may not believe me now, but all that time will pay off. Listen to me because I’m who you will become in the future; and try, really, really hard to forget about the popular girls who spend most weekday and weekend afternoons at the mall and by the time they are sixteen drive their chic little sports cars to school (even though they aren’t really athletic, except for one or two cheerleaders). Those girls may drive Corvettes and even jade green Land Rovers while you ride your ten speed or walk. But those girls won’t grow up and walk the Camino of Santiago all by themselves. Yes, that’s right; I’m talking to you, Monkey. Give it another decade and a half, and you’ll land in the French Pyrenees and climb down those mountains and walk across Spain. Yes, your feet will be sore, and you’ll have blisters on top of your blisters. But you’ll feel really terrific about yourself too, and you’ll never forget the sky—all that blue—the evening you sit on the cathedral steps in Santiago. No, you won’t meet the love of your life on that trip; but he’s out there, I promise. And while he may not love movement the way you do, preferring to meander instead of run, to bird watch instead of run with the dogs, he will love books as much as you do. So keep reading under the covers way past a reasonable hour so that you are agonizing near-sighted by the time you reach college. Keep reading The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Tess of the D’Urbevilles, Laurie Colwin’s heartbreakingly gorgeous novels, and every single Agatha Christie because all that reading is excellent training for a writer. And you’re a quick study.

View the entire letter at Dear Teen Me

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Buy Jacqueline’s YA novel at Luminis Books!

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Along the Way publishes today!

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Three Friends, 33 Days, One Unforgettable Journey on the Camino de Santiago!

Along the way, each young woman must learn to believe in herself as well as in her friends, as their collective journey unfolds into the experience of a lifetime.

Check out author Jacqueline Kolosov’s Blog!

Jacqueline had a great guest blog post at Supernatural Snark were she talks about her fall book Paris, Modigliani & Me, with the cover designed by Jenny of Supernatural Snark, and also has a GIVE-AWAY for a copy of Along the Way! Check it out and enter to win!

Jacqueline will be at the Texas Library Association conference signing copies of Along the Way at the IPG (Independent Publisher’s Group) booth. If you’re going, be sure to stop by to see her!

Order your copy of Along the Way!

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Booklist Review of ENTREVOIR ~ ‘readers will be richly rewarded’

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Entrevoir by Chris Katsaropoulos

Katsaropoulos’ three previous novels have been widely praised for the author’s elegant prose style and forays into rarefied metaphysical territory most fiction writers avoid. Katsaropoulos’ fanciful, mystical story line may not suit everyone’s tastes, but readers with a yen for offbeat spiritual literature will feel richly rewarded here. ~ Booklist

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Flesh and Bone author William Alton on ‘Why He Wrote the Book’

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By William Alton on Flesh and Bone

I’m prone to visions and voice, nightmares and flashbacks. There are times when I completely lose touch with reality. So I keep a journal. In my head, I see things. They’re detailed and sometimes frightening and graphic. Whether they are memories or imagined doesn’t matter. They become the emotional kernel around which I build my poetry and fiction.

While I am a survivor of abuse, sexual, physical, emotional, I no longer see myself as a victim. But I do remember sitting in my room in the middle of the night shortly after my mother died and things started happening. Flesh and Bone formed in my head like a migraine, full blown and vivid. The book is not a memoir but it is memoiristic. I was much younger than the characters in the novel. I didn’t go through the exact progress they go through. But I imagined and remembered and fought and wrote and the next thing I knew, I had a manuscript.

People ask about my creative process. I am an absurdist and a stream of consciousness writer. I live each chapter and each story with my characters. I become them and they become and for a little while, we each forget the lines between reality and dream.  My style of writing is borrowed somewhat from Sandra Cisneros, Suzanna Kaysen and a slew of flash fiction writers. I’ve tried to emulate John Irving and Tim O’Brien, but I do not think in narrative arcs or outlines. Things come to me piecemeal. I write what comes when it comes.

Part of it is because, at heart, I’m a poet. A Confessional Poet at that. But I like to write in series or inter related pieces. When it ends, it ends. Sometimes, it’s abrupt and nonsensical. Other times, it just peters out. Knowing when to stop writing, knowing when the story is told, is like knowing when to stop making love. It happens many ways, but it’s always clear and definitive.

Learn more at the Luminis Books website.

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Author Tracy Richardson – Work In Progress – Aliens and Earth in Crisis

Tracy Richardson, author of The Field and Indian Summer talks about her current work in progress.

I’m about a quarter of the way through with the very rough draft of my next untitled novel. Titles are really hard and I’m hoping for some inspiration to strike somewhere in the writing process!

As in my other books there is an environmental theme. I’m very concerned about what humans are doing to our planet with pollution, nuclear radiation, fracking, and burning fossil fuels. There is a lot of evidence that what we do harms the planet and I believe that there is a limit to what the Earth can absorb of our throw-away culture. There are better, healthier alternatives to plastic waste, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and fossil fuels. Don’t even get me started on antibacterial soap! Antibiotics are turning up in mountain stream water! We just have to show a commitment on a personal level. What you do does matter. Corporations and governments won’t change of their own volition. They change in response to economic pressures – buying habits of consumers – and public pressure – how we vote. My way of showing my commitment is to include these issues in my books interwoven with stories of normal teens.

In THE FIELD the characters learn about and interact with The Universal Energy Field and the Collective Consciousness. This book will have aliens. Or star-beings, or extra-terrestrials – whatever you want to call them. If you think about the vastness of the Universe – billions of galaxies, billions of stars with billions of planets – I think it is naive, and really arrogant, as well,  to assume that we are the only form of intelligent life out there. Or that we are the most advanced form of life. These other life forms could be so advanced that they could already be here without our knowledge. At least the knowledge of the general population. There are certainly enough UFO sightings by credible sources such as airline pilots and military personnel to make one wonder about it.

A lot of books and movies about aliens have them attacking Earth. Then there are movies such as Interstellar, ET, Contact, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. What if that is the truth? What if star-beings don’t mean to harm us, but want to help us? Are we ready to accept their help?

Here are some sites with more information.

Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute – SETI – Carl Sagan Center

Institute of Noetic Sciences – IONS Founded by Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell – Science and Consciousness

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Al Riske discusses his writing process for THE POSSIBILITY OF SNOW

By Al Riske on The Possibility of Snow

As I look back, I see that I’ve often written about missteps and misunderstands, crossed signals and bad timing, usually between men and women. In The Possibility of Snow, it’s two guys.

They become friends and then, well, not.

Big deal, right? Guys tend to become friends almost by accident—some combination of shared circumstances and sensibilities—and drift apart as easily as they came together.

The characters in The Possibility of Snow, Steve and Neil, meet in college, where, away from home for the first time, guys find themselves in need of new friends as never before (and perhaps never again, not with the same urgency).

It’s also the place and time in which we are all looking to define ourselves, to decide what and who we want to be.

The combination of similarities and differences that bring Steve and Neil together makes it hard for them to either stay friends or simply go their separate ways. Each is unlike anyone the other has ever known.

To me, that dynamic proved fascinating, mystifying, and ultimately unsettling.

Through their story, I found myself exploring the limits of loyalty, compassion, belief, and forgiveness.

Learn more about The Possibility of Snow at the Luminis website.

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LitPick gives Amy’s Choice 4 Stars!

Anjel, an 11 year old reviewer, loved Amy’s Choice!

“I really liked this book. I usually read fantasy so this was a new experience for me, but I learned that fantasy isn’t the only genre I like. One of my favorite parts is when Pup comes back to say hi because It sounds like my dog when she runs away but then (minutes or hours later) we find her standing on the front porch ready to come in. I also liked that Finn was an artist because I am one as well. However, I disliked that some of the kids smoked but I also feel as if it was necessary to keep the story going. All in all I would recommend this to middle school students, summer book lists, people who like historical fiction and people who like Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco and Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundel.” – 4 Stars.

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Read the full review here.

Visit the Luminis Books website to learn more!

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