The Neshoba Democrat – I couldn’t NOT share!

Dent unveils Christian fiction novel at Washington book expo

By ASHLEY CIRILLI

Sue Dent, a Ridgeland resident who recently published her first novel, believes that getting a book into print was just the logical outcome of her natural inclination.

“It’s hard for me not to write. I just enjoy writing,” said Dent, whose book is titled “Never Ceese” and was unveiled to a national audience during the annual Book Expo America in Washington, D.C., from May 19 to May 21.

“I found an editor, found a printer [and] did my own book cover,” said Dent, who claimed the most challenging part of the writing the novel was “convincing yourself you need an editor, a real editor, not a friend.”

In the book, Dent attempts to prove that vampire/werewolf fantasy doesn’t always have to be dark and can have a spiritual message. “Never Ceese”, a 300-page novel, which falls into the genre of Christian fiction, is a literary fantasy whose protagonists are developed in such a way that it is hard for every reader not to relate.

A young werewolf, determined to free herself of her curse, teams up with a skeptical vampire who can no longer admit that having his curse removed is something he wants. A college student plays the hero and a maniacal scientist plays the villain in the struggle for the future of the werewolf and vampire.

“I loved the intrigue and mystery surrounding the characters in her story,” said Pat Stirnkorb, president of Journey Stone Creations, which published Dent’s book. “[We] thought we would give [Dent’s] book, a spiritual fantasy, a chance.”

“I think the way the characters developed throughout the book, their personalities, bring them to life and the dilemma that they both face,” said Stirnkorb. “It was one of those cases that ran through my mind as ‘What would you do if this were you?’ in the case of fantasy, as in werewolves and vampires.”

“You can take a genre that has been twisted in one direction, fantasy specifically. A lot of the vampire/werewolf fantasy is twisted to portray the darker side of it and introduces you to a lot of elements that some people just don’t care to read about,” said Dent.

“I want to provide those people a book they can read. A lot of it gets way too dark for me. If [readers] take anything away from my novel, I hope it’s that you can take a genre that has a tendency to get really dark and turn it around.”

Dent, who was raised in Jackson and designs web sites when she is not writing, named Mississippi native John Grisham as one of her inspirations.

“I like his style and the way it flows. He seems to have a big audience,” she said.

Dent mentions popular authors such as J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series) and Anne Rice as having the same target audience as “Never Ceese”, although she was initially intimidated by entering the same field as such big-name writers.

“I was scared that it was really basic,” said Dent. “I wanted to stay basic. My editor said, you know the J.K. Rowling market is so big right now. I wasn’t thinking market, I was just thinking of writing a book. [My editor] threw it out there and I said okay.”

Dent has already planned a sequel to “Never Ceese”, titled “Forever Richard”.

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