Today I’m featuring “Sons of God” by Rebecca Ellen Kurtz. I read this book roughly one month ago and I have to say that the story is still floating around in the back of my head. Where less memorable books begin to fade from memory within a couple of months of reading them, I don’t think that will be the case with “Sons of God.” I have a feeling I will remember this one for a long time. I found the book to be riveting, original and thought-provoking.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the author after I read the book, which was a lot of fun. After a couple of email snafus, we finally got everything straightened out so I can post the interview here. You’ll find it just below the summary below.
Here’s the official summary:
“Sons of God” tells the tale of a 3,000-year-old half-angelic, half-human female warrior who disguises herself as a treasure hunter for mythic items while hunting down her fallen brethren who’ve committed atrocities against mankind. But now, in the present day, some mysterious murders begin occurring at the archaeological dig at Nineveh and she must return to face her worst mistake. This mythic thriller is based on research from the Old Testament on this paranormal race and historical accounts of these blood-drinking tribes, which introduces an alternate vampire theory. It raises the question–is this paranormal race mythical or not?
There have been a few other nephilim novels released lately, but I think your book has a very unique concept in linking the ancient gods with the nephilim. What made you think of this concept and what led you to write “Sons of God”?
On what led me to write Sons of God…. Upon my own personal fondness of vampire novels being able to have their protagonists live through millennia, I wanted a protagonist who could do the same. Once I saw that Nephilim survived the flood, I had my protagonist. Sons of God started as a logline assignment for a film Story Structure class at Regent University. I loved the idea of Nephilim pretending to be archaeologists and fighting evil spirits. Then I began researching. I was amazed at what I discovered. After classes finished, the one sentence logline turned into an entire script. When I began writing it, Elohim laid upon my heart to embed my own personal struggle with demonic deception, so I did. Hence, Sons of God.
A few verses and a ton of background knowledge made me think of the concept. Here are those verses.
Deuteronomy 32:17 They sacrificed to demons, which are not God – gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your fathers did not fear.
1 Kings 11:7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.
2 Kings 23:10 He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech.
1 Corinthians 10:20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.
Colossians 2:18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.
“When the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:4) Some translations say “heroes of old.” It doesn’t say that all Nephilim were evil, it sounds like some were respected and champions of the people. Sounds similar to Hercules, Medusa and many other myths around the world of half-breeds being fathered by supernatural entities – some heroes others evil. Then one reflects upon the images of some of these ancient gods and goddesses having animal parts (Egyptian gods), appearing human but with wings (Sumerians), and then compound that with the knowledge of Bible verses describing some angels of having a head of a lion, eagle, etc. Interesting… Then there is the common knowledge that ancient civilizations sacrificed children to the gods, and the Biblical knowledge that children were sacrificed to demons. Were the Canaanite gods demons? Makes sense. Even today, demons and fallen angels display their supernatural powers to gain a following – something seen often by missionaries in Africa, India and Asia.
For a further in-depth look at this concept, please read “Are the Hebrew N’filim the foundational element of all world mythologies and vampire lore?” It can be found at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&suggest¬e_id=130990862031&id=163712519464#/note.php?note_id=134543087031&ref=mf
It looks like you did a lot of research for this book. How long did it take you to write “Sons of God”?
Well, Sons of God was originally a film script. I tend to write a rough draft for screenplays in a couple of days. I had done the research for the script in about…. 2 weeks? The novel took me about two weeks to write, but gathering the sources in non-copyright infringement mode took about a month and required me to take a trip up to Boston.
Now the backstory, I am a history major specializing in ancient civilizations, ancient religions, and world mythology. I know the Old Testament exceptionally well, and my historian’s brain easily identifies and connects patterns across large spans of time and cultures. Additionally, when I began to be physically assaulted by demons and experienced demonic deception, I began researching my enemy to better protect myself and my relationship with Elohim (God). Add to all that, researching theological mysteries is one of my hobbies. When a few verses caught my attention and sent images of archaeological finds flashing through my mind, the theology behind Sons of God began. After a few days of hard core research, my mind took over. My family says I became almost catatonic for three days. I don’t remember much of those days, just my mind whipping around all the research, my sister trying to push food into my hand for me to eat, realizations becoming scary within their connections, and I literally felt my brain moving in my head. Needless to say, the research will be slowly given out throughout the series. It’s too overwhelming to come out in one novel.
While researching for the last three novels in the series, Elohim dropped a revelation into my lap. I shook for twenty-four hours. In book 4, Elohim continued his revelations. Elohim is truly guiding the novel series Sons of God. It normally takes me days if not weeks to absorb His revelations. I know that many will be moved like I was. I just can’t wait for people to be able to finish the whole series, and I look forward to whatever Elohim has for me to reveal in book 5.
I see the book was published by Maxmilian Press? How did you find this publisher and how has the publishing process gone for you?
I’m a film producer, so I am very familiar with royalty issues with novels going to movies. I wasn’t willing to just give away half of my rights to a publishing house when I, as a producer, had already connected another producer to the film project. As said, Sons of God was a script first. My mentors advised me to turn the script into a novel, secure my intellectual property rights (for television, film, video games, merchandising, etc.), include all the fascinating research, and then approach talent to make a film after most of the series had come out.
Due to these reasons, I sought out a subsidiary publisher, Maximilian Press, because I had no knowledge on publishing a novel. I garnered my own national distribution deal with Emerald Book Group (under Greenleaf Book Group). After some complications, my distributor helped me change my film company into a small press which required Sons of God to get a new ISBN number – NIGHTMARE, but I have always maintained ownership of the rights. Currently, I’m deciding whether to allow a Christian publisher to have print rights for book 2 or continue with my own small press. Only time will tell. Decisions will need to be made soon. Fans are hungry for book 2, Nimrod.
I know this isn’t really fair to ask because I’m sure it’s like all the characters are your children, but what was your favorite character to write in “Sons of God”? Why?
Nimrod. He’s just so… mysterious. Dark. Unfathomable.
Who are your favorite authors and what kind of influence have they had on your writing?
Dan Brown, Frank Peretti, Stephanie Meyers, Edgar Allen Poe, Screenwriting, and anything gothic (combining both horror and romance to create a pleasing sort of terror). I appreciate Dan Brown’s intelligent and lucid thrillers on religious mysteries; however, I included my research because it’s factual, and it strengthens the argument of a spiritual realm and God. Frank Peretti’s novels deal with my favorite topic, spiritual warfare. And although I’m not a fan of Meyers’ writing style, she does craft great, dark romantic relationships. With Edgar Allen Poe, his stories send chills down my back. I love authors who provoke the senses and do not bore my intellect. If I read five sentences explaining the same environment, I get bored, so I don’t do it. I am a screenwriter, and Sons of God was originally a film script. So my novel is like a film, the story is visual and keeps moving, no getting waylaid by superfluous descriptions. Cinematic characters do not have a lot of backstory, but must be figured out by their actions and reactions. Most readers tell me that the film (mental visuals created while reading the book) continue to play in their heads long after they finish it.
I see you have a sequel planned. How is that going?
Nimrod is currently being edited and will hopefully come out this spring. If not, it will be released during the summer or fall. Nimrod introduces the rest of the main characters in the series which include three women who are best friends. Samantha is an archaeologist whose curiosity and intelligence always gets her into trouble, Mia is a petite Asian who excels in the martial arts and acts as the girls’ protector, and Stacey is an astronomy nut who mothers her two friends. Samantha is hired by Loki and Darcy to help them find the tombs (corpses) of their fallen brethren while Nimrod, Thor, and Caleb research Samantha and her friends to discover if they are ignorant of Darcy’s plans or accomplices. Having Samantha, Mia, Stacey, Nimrod, Thor and Caleb all traveling around together hiding secrets from one another while “researching Caucasoid giants found all over the world” is quite humorous. Their personalities are great together. Raechev, Jordan and Tagas continue throughout the series, but I’m not giving any tidbits about them. 😉
Book 3, Thor, is ready for its first round of editing and Book 4, Caleb is currently being written. With Thor, we spend about 100 novel pages in pre-flood history, and in Caleb we spend even longer watching God interact with his chosen people through the millenniums. Each book begins with back history on the Nephilim the novel is named for, before continuing on with the modern story of the series.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
I am also a screenwriter and producer. I’ve written and produced various television shows and am awaiting feedback from one of my scripts currently in script competitions. I just received notification today that 1636 has made it through the semifinalist round at CWA and will be heading to the finalist round this week. From 2000 down to 20 scripts. I also have a couple of producers requesting the script for Aryan State which I need to finish soon, and I’m helping some Messianic rabbis organize a pastor’s convention for those wanting to know and understand more of the Hebraic roots of Christianity.
How can readers find you on the web?
On the Facebook Fan Page, I give out free prizes, interesting tidbits, and sneak peeks at upcoming novels in the Sons of God series.
Author Site: http://www.rebeccaellenkurtz.com/index.html
Supernatural Blog: http://rebeccaellenkurtz.com/blog/
Godly Goth: http://rebeccaellenkurtz.com/GodlyGoth/