Hi guys! Today I am really pleased to welcome the fabulous Andrew Q. Gordon to Joyfully Jay. Andrew is here to talk to us more about his latest release, Purpose, from Dreamspinner Press. He has brought a prequel to the story to give us some more details about the book. Andrew is also offering up a $25 Dreamspinner Press gift card to one lucky winner out of his tour stops! So be sure to leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. And please join me in giving him a big welcome!
For those following the Purpose blog tour, this is the third of three prequels to the book. Like the two others (Goodbye and Journal Entry), Wake, deals with something mentioned in the book. Purpose takes place about fifteen years in the future from the time of Wake.
In Wake, we find Will at his father’s wake. He’s in full ‘Gar’ mode, but for reason’s he can’t explain, he finds himself interested in attending his father’s funeral. There is no direct explanation for why he felt compelled and I don’t go back in the book and address it, but if you read the entire book you should be able to figure out what happened. At least it’s clear to me, but I have you all at a disadvantage.
The goal of these prequel shorts is to show a bit more about the main character and to get you interested in the book itself. Taken alone, much like an excerpt, the short may or may not make total sense. It should make sense after you read the book, however. If you like the short, you should like the book.
Forty years ago the Spirit of Vengeance—a Purpose—took William Morgan as its host, demanding he avenge the innocent by killing the guilty. Since then, Will has retreated behind Gar, a façade he uses to avoid dealing with what he’s become. Cold, impassive, and devoid of emotion, Gar goes about his life alone—until his tidy, orderly world is upended when he meets Ryan, a broken young man cast out by his family. Spurred to action for reasons he can’t understand, Gar saves Ryan from death and finds himself confronted by his humanity.
Spending time with Ryan helps Will claw out from under Gar’s shadow. He recognizes Ryan is the key to his reclaiming his humanity and facing his past. As Will struggles to control the Purpose, Ryan challenges him to rethink everything he knew about himself and the spirit that possesses him. In the process, he pushes Will to do something he hasn’t done in decades: care.
Excerpt: Prequel #3: Wake
Journal Entry: 25-14
Someone died. An innocent. Someone whose time had come.
I mingle among the family and friends. He had a lot of both. Most wear their sorrow on their sleeve, but a few go a different way. He lived a good life and they try to remember the good times.
No one sees me. It would raise too many questions. Cause too much commotion. I’m not here for that. This isn’t about me. It never is.
I’m not sure why I came. Funerals aren’t my thing. But this one I felt I needed to attend. More than just felt, impelled really. It wanted to come. Morbid spirit.
The room is crowded, but most ignore the reason they are here. Alone at the front of the room, the deceased lies quietly, hands holding a rosary. A small chuckle escapes. It’s a somber day, but the beads must have been someone’s idea of joke. He was an atheist.
Most of the family gathers around the widow. No one mentions who’s missing. To lose someone after fifty-nine years is hard. Talking about the son who disappeared, but isn’t dead, is harder.
Still confused, I make my way to pay my respects. He died in his sleep of natural causes. There’s nothing to avenge. So why do I feel him?
“Hello, Dad.” It’s been twenty-five years since I’ve said that. Twenty-five years since I’ve seen him. Unlike me, his appearance changed, but not the man. The opposite of me.
He might recognize me, but he wouldn’t know me. When I left, I wasn’t the son he raised. Now? I’m not even that person anymore.
I shouldn’t feel his soul. Only those killed by the guilty call out to me. He’s not calling for vengeance. I don’t like what I don’t understand.
A small part of me wonders if I should apologize for leaving, but I quickly dismiss the thought. I’m not sorry. Seeing me now would only have been–be-worse. I’m not Will anymore. What good would have come of watching me change into what I am today?
The guests huddle in the back. A few at a time they break away and come to the front. Before they go pay their respects to my father, they stop and say something meant to comfort my family.
My family. Do I even have a right to call them that anymore? Even if I didn’t mean to be cruel when I abandoned them, the result is the same. I don’t have to read my mother’s thoughts to know how my vanishing affected her. Family doesn’t do that to each other.
When I think about going, It lets me know I should stay. I don’t fight it. Finding an out of the way place, I make sure no one sees me and I watch. I won’t do this forever, but for now I’ll do what It wants.
Soon it’s time. My brother Tom walks to the front. His grief is clear as he struggles for words. I notice it, but I’m not part of that.
I watch my mother. She’s held up so well, but the walls are cracking. Until now it might not have been real, but now? She has to say goodbye. I prefer detached.
Her tears break the resolve of those around her. Margret, my sister, Abbey, Tom’s wife, even Aunt Irene, who didn’t cry when her own father died, start to cry. Somewhere deep inside I remember grandpa’s funeral, but it’s just an image. Just like now.
Tom has told everyone to come pay their last respects and asks people to sign the guest book on the way out. Maybe that is what It wants. I’ll get in line when the crowd has thinned out. My mother is watching the line, looking for something, someone. Her son, Will.
That’s unfortunate. Will is gone. There is only Gar. And she wouldn’t want Gar at her husband’s wake.
She watches until the end, but when the last person walks away, the disappointment I expected never appears. My brother scans the room with a scowl, and then takes her hand. He knows what she was looking for. If he knew what his brother had become, he’d be glad I don’t show myself.
For an instant I consider walking up and standing beside them. Sentimental is a foolish emotional state. People pay their last respects for themselves, not the dead.
My mother lingers, telling my brother and sister to go on. For a while she stares at the peaceful look on her husband’s face. He was a good man, good husband and father. They captured his whole life in that expression.
Finally she nods then slowly turns toward where I’m standing. There’s no doubt she’s staring at me. I can feel something from my father’s soul. A sigh? No, it feels like a smile.
My mother smiles and nods once. The soul is gone and It relaxes.
It takes me a while to process what happened. I’ve no experience to compare this to. There was no vengeance to be had, no guilty to punish. And yet.
The sound of the casket closing brings me from my thoughts. The room is empty and the staff is preparing to move the casket to the hearse. One of them is by the book. I tell him to go check on something.
Holding the pen, I wonder why I want to do this. The need to stay is gone. Whatever reason It had for bringing me here is over, so why sign the book?
An emotion slips through my walls. I expect sorrow, but instead I feel regret. He was a good man who didn’t deserve to die without knowing why I left. For all they did for me, I owed it to him, to my parents, to let them know it wasn’t their fault.
Somehow she knew I’d come. Maybe this would be enough to tell her.
Someone died. A loved one. Someone who deserved better. The guilty must live with what they’d done.
Enter for a chance to win a $25.00 Dreamspinner Press credit. To be entered, you can leave a comment here, on any of the other post release blog stops, or on the Purpose page on my site. For those who don’t know what to write – you can ask me a question about the book – I can’t promise to answer them all – don’t want to give away things – but I will respond to them all.
Please leave an email so you can be notified if you win. All comments from all guest blog posts between the June 21, 2013 release date and July 1, 2013 will also be entered to win. The winner will be chosen using Randomizer.org on July 2. One entry per blog, but you can enter on each participating blog for more chances to win. For a complete list of eligible blogs, please see the Purpose book page on my blog:
About the Author
Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day and not get the shakes.