Just as his dream came true, his world fell apart. Just two months before Mike Delloso’s novel, The Hunted, was scheduled for release, Mike discovered he had colon cancer.
He’s now in treatment but bloggers at Writer…Interrupted have linked arms to help Mike market his novel in the midst of personal difficulties.
About the book:
A town’s deadly secret will drive one man to the edge of his faith…
Mike Dellosso offers a bone-chilling mystery in the style of Frank Peretti and Stephen King about the town of Dark Hills and the deadly secrets it holds in his debut novel,The Hunted, to be released June 3, 2008.
Joe Saunders is determined to unravel the mystery surrounding the brutal mauling of his nephew.
But neither is prepared for the truth when the mystery revealed uncovers the horror that is lurking in the shadows of Dark Hills.
After learning of the disappearance of his nephew, Joe Saunders returns to his childhood home of Dark Hills to aid in the search effort. When Caleb is found, badly mauled and clinging to life, Joe embarks on a mission to find the beast responsible. But the more Joe delves into the fabric of his old hometown, the more he realizes Dark Hills has a dark secret, shrouded for three generations in a deadly code of silence. As Joe unravels the truth behind a series of unexplained animal attacks, murder, and corruption at the highest level of law enforcement, he is led to a final showdown where he must entrust his very life into God’s hands.
About the author:
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted, was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years, has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets, and has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer’s Network, and International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master’s Graduate School of Divinity.
Where did you get your idea for The Hunted?
The idea for The Hunted came from the internet. I was surfing one day just looking for ideas or something to spark my imagination and get the wheel churning when I came across this story of a small town in Indiana that reported lion sightings back in the 1920’s. Several of the townsfolk said they saw an African lion in the fields surrounding the town. A couple cows were mauled and eaten. Then the sightings just stopped. No one knows where the lion came from or where it went. I thought it was a pretty neat idea and ran with it. Story born. Happy birthday!
Okay, so what themes were you thinking about when you wrote the book?
So, here’s what I think the themes are, what I wanted the themes to be when I wrote the book (whether anyone actually finds these themes is another story entirely, and I’m okay with that, really I am, as long as they get something meaningful out of it). One theme is the idea of not putting God in a box, of letting Him be God, letting Him work in your life and do some miraculous things. I think too often we put a leash on God and tell Him what He’s allowed and not allowed to do. That’s not our place. God can do anything He wants to do. He’s the one in charge, remember?
Okay, enough of that. The second theme is the danger of a vengeful heart. Vengeance is a powerful thing; I think that’s why God said He’d take care of it. In the hands of mere mortals, it’s a deadly poison, able to consume a man and turn him into a monster. Revenge is not something we should try to harness. We have no business playing with that fire. In The Hunted we see the end result of a vengeful heart unbound.
Lastly, there’s the theme of forgiveness and acceptance and redemption. Beautiful things we experience from the heart our Heavenly Father and pass on to others.
Why did you choose to write supernatural suspense?
Because I’m weird. No, not really . . . well, maybe. Plenty of people think I am weird after reading my stories. It was a natural gravitation for me. I grew up loving The Twilight Zone and The X-files and any kind of monster movie. I’ve always been intrigued by legends like Big Foot and the Loch Ness monster. The unexplained has always fascinated me. I honestly can’t see myself writing anything else. I have so many ideas now, but maybe when I exhaust them I’ll try my hand at something else . . . maybe westerns.
Tell me about when you were diagnosed with cancer.
Yeah, cancer. Kind of a big thing. I was diagnosed on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day. Here I was getting ready to launch into trying my hand at promoting my new book and in the middle of negotiating a contract for a second book when the doctor dropped the bomb: You have colon cancer.
Funny thing is, I don’t remember ordering colon cancer. Not part of my plans at all.
How has that diagnosis affected your writing?
How has it affected my writing? Well, immediately, it’s halted my writing. With the exception of daily journaling on my blog, I haven’t written a lick since being diagnosed. I love to write, it’s my passion, but this cancer thing trumps it. I took this diagnosis as a nudge from God that I need to set writing aside for a little while and just concentrate on the most important things: my relationship with Him and my relationship with my family. Sometimes it takes something like cancer to refocus you, to get you to evaluate your life and do a little re-prioritizing.
In the long run, I think the experience of traveling through this valley will only enhance my writing, give it more depth, more texture, more emotion and passion. I know firsthand what it’s like to traverse that Valley of the Shadow of Death, to question Why me?, to be scared of dying, not for dying’s sake but for my family’s sake, to live with a monster inside me that wants to kill me (hey, that gives me a great story idea), to be poked, prodded, scoped, and stuck, to live a life that revolves around the next test result or the next doctor’s appointment. I’ve been there now and I can incorporate those experiences into my stories, into the life of my characters. It’ll be interesting to see how my writing changes once I get back to it.
What is one thing your diagnosis has taught you?
One other thing I’ve learned is to fully rely on God, to willingly submit myself and put my life in His hands. And of course, this carries over into my writing as well. We writers never know where the next contract is coming from or how much the next royalty check will be for, or even how the next story will unfold, if there is a next story. We are constantly at His mercy, and I’m learning that’s a good place to be.
You can order a copy of The Hunted from Amazon.
Please pray for Mike as he walks with God in this difficult time in his life. Here’s a list of the bloggers supporting Mike in this blogtour:
A Peek at My Bookshelf
An Author’s Life
Behind the Mountain
Blog Tour Spot
Canadian Prairie Writer
Dee’s Christian Fiction:
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
Good Word Editing
His Reading List
In the Dailies
Kells Creative Musings
Life in the Midst of Writing
Life with Missy
Light for the Writer’s Soul
Mommy Come Lately
My Cup 2 Yours
My Name is Michael Snyder
Not Just Romance but a Love Story
Notes in the Key of Life
Portrait of a Writer . . . Interrupted
Real Women Scrap
Refresh My Soul
See Ya On the Net
The Book Beat
The Law, Books and Life
The Surrendered Scribe
The Suspense Zone
The Write Message
wandering, wonderings of a whacked-out woman
Windows to My Soul
Writing Career Coach
Writing on the Edge