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Friday, December 14, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Christopher Kokoski, author of Dark Halo

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Christopher Kokoski's Dark Halo Virtual Book Tour hosted by First Rule Publicity.

About Christopher:

Christopher was born in Kansas, the son of an Army Ranger and Black Hawk pilot. He grew up in Kentucky and Germany, and graduated from Murray State University in 2002 with a degree in Organizational Communication. He spent the next three years laboring over his first book, Past Lives, while getting married to his college sweetheart, having a beautiful daughter, and more or less finding his stride in life.
He currently lives in Southern Indiana and works in Louisville, Kentucky as a national trainer. He has presented at local and national conferences on a wide spectrum of topics including communication, body language, cultural sensitivity and influence. Other notable activities include writing articles, short stories, novels and training materials for national and international audiences.

Christopher continues his passion and dedication to writing by working on additional novels, including a sequel to the Past Lives series. His most recent book is the standalone paranormal thriller, Dark Halo.
Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Christopher!

Christopher has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him.

Dark Halo: Behind the Scenes
by Christopher Kokoski

As a reader, I love to know the “secrets” or “Easter eggs” hidden in the stories I read. My novel, Dark Halo, is rife with them. In this post, I’d like to take you “behind the scenes” and share as many as I can cram into approximately 500 words.

The Genesis: The entire story started innocuously as a writing exercise. I had no intention to write an 80,000-word novel. However, after I penned the first line, I was hooked. A sentence became a paragraph that morphed into a page and soon I knew I had a novel on my hands. The premise is a father trying to save his family in a town besieged by shadowy, demonic forces.

The Beginning: What became the first chapter of the novel didn’t exist in the first draft. Originally, the novel started with Landon in reacting to those strange flashes of light (what is now chapter 2). I must credit my older brother, Johnathan, for giving me the idea to begin with the angel falling out of heaven.

The Settings: I live in Southern Indiana, so placing the story here was a choice of convenience. I made up the small town of Wicker Hollow, but modeled it somewhat after sections of Jeffersonville, IN. Frank and Gina’s house is fashioned using the layout of my late grandparents house in Pennsylvania. The den, kitchen and red carpet were all major parts of my childhood and I chose it to honor two people I loved very deeply.

The Names: I chose the name, Landon Paddock, because I thought it sounded original, strong and memorable. The name of the angel, Chrysanthium, is a play on the name of the flower, Chrysanthemum, and I chose it for its meaning, which I’ll mention in a moment. There are also a few family names I slipped into the story, including Morris (my Mom’s side of the family) and Proper (my wife’s maiden last name).

The Symbols: The story is crammed with symbolic meaning. The overarching theme is redemption, or second chances, those we get and those that may be impossible. Symbols pointing to this theme include Landon’s quest to redeem himself from alcoholism and abandoning his role as father and husband. The angel’s name Chysanthium is rooted in a perennial flowering plant, referring to the cycle of death and rebirth, or redemption. The pictures of flowers in Landon’s cabin are also perennials.

The Revisions: The opening isn’t the only part of the story that didn’t exist in the first draft. Several of the major scenes of the story were added in the second or third drafts, including those scenes in the demon camp and the very last scene in the published book. Reading the story now, I can’t imagine the novel with out those sections. They happen to be some of my favorites.

The References: During the course of the novel, through character thoughts, dialogue and descriptions, I reference quite a few other stories and movies. A few of them include Wizard of OZ, Gremlins, The Never Ending Story and Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher. (Side note: Dreamcatcher is one of the only stories that has truly spooked me).

I hope you have enjoyed your backstage pass to Dark Halo. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I’d love to hear your comments below.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Christopher! 

Grand Prize: One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of Christopher's paranormal thriller, Dark Halo

2 Runner-up Prizes: Digital copies of the book.

In a town besieged by shadowy, demonic forces, a father races against time to save his family.

Thirty-five-year old Landon Paddock has deserted his wife and daughter, abandoned his business, and secluded himself in his late parent’s southern Indiana ranch. But he’s barely lapsed into a drunken coma when a mysterious, winged stranger appears during a violent lightning storm, chasing him out into the maddening night with his estranged 15-year old daughter.

As layer after layer of reality is dissolved by a series of violent encounters, the only way to survive might be for Landon to band together with the family he destroyed to make one last stand against a sinister army of unthinkable magnitude.

Buy Links:

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide, but the Grand Prize is available to Canada/US mailing addresses only. This giveaway will close at 12:00 AM CST on December 21, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

11/21 – Workaday Reads – Guest Post
11/22 – Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Reviews and Goodies – Character Post
11/23 – From the Bootheel Cotton Patch – Character Interview
11/24 – Night Owl Reads – Excerpt
11/25 – I Smell Sheep – Guest Post
11/26 – My Chaotic Ramblings – Guest Post
11/27 – Beth’s Book Reviews – Character Interview
11/28 – Sheila Deeth – Excerpt
11/28 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Guest Post
11/29 Alexx Momcat’s Gateway Book Blog – Guest Post
12/1 Come Selahway With Me – Interview
12/2 …the bookworm… – Excerpt
12/3 I’m a Book Shark – Guest Post
12/4 A Daydreamer’s Thoughts – Review
12/5 – Library Girl Reads – Excerpt
12/7 – SpecMusicMuse – Review
12/8 – Jess Resides Here – Guest Post
12/8 – Free Book Dude – Review
12/10 – Lost Inside the Covers – Review
12/12 Once Upon A Time – Guest Post
12/14 – Darlene’s Book Nook – Guest Post
12/15 – Full Moon Bites – Interview
12/16 – Michelle’s Paranormal Vault of Books – Review
12/19 – The FlipSide of Julianne – Interview
12/19 – Reading Away the Days – Excerpt
12/20 - Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Guest Post (Top Tens)
12/21 - Reader Girls –Character Interview
12/22 - The Independent Review – Review
12/22 - Bee’s Knees Reviews – Review
12/23 - Ali’s Book Shelf – Review
12/23 - Read2Review – Guest Post


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