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Product Categories Archive: by Horvath
Anthony Horvath is the Executive Director of Athanatos Christian Ministries, a ministry dedicated to defending and promoting the Christian faith through the arts, as much as through arguments and evidence. He is the author of numerous works, the publisher of many others, a speaker, author, and advocate for life issues.
Anthony is the founder of and an author with Bard and Book Publishing. See his latest releases with Bard and Book.
BIRTH PANGS SERIES
The Birth Pangs series was conceived while Anthony Horvath was driving a semi truck back and forth across the country back in 2005. Many of the places described in the series were ones he saw with his own eyes and in some cases scenes are directly inspired by things he witnessed. The series is on its second book. The first book, Fidelis, was first released in 2006. The second book, Spero, was released in October of 2008. The third book, Caritas, is in the works.
Horvath was a religion teacher and a director of parish ministry for seven years before his spate as a truck driver. He currently invests much time writing on explicitly Christian themes. The Birth Pangs series is not shy about its Christian roots but it is written to be enjoyed by non-Christians. Horvath cites CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and JK Rowling as inspiration and/or influences.
Fidelis is Latin for faithfulness and Spero is Latin for I hope. Astute readers will guess what the name of the third book in the series, Caritas, means. The three books overlap each other a great deal in terms of the events and time periods covered but the events and time periods are described from three different perspectives, emphasizing faith, hope, and love, respectively. The remaining four books have titles that have not been released.
The series is set in the not too distant future of the United States. The United States has been defeated by the joined forces of the Chinese and Mexican armies to the south and humiliated by United Nations forces to the north. However, because of a small scale nuclear holocaust and a devastating pandemic, these enemies have been thrown off. The current context is one of anarchy, but not for long. Various groups are vying for power and control. In this setting, the characters strive to determine what is worth living- and dying- for and what, if anything, is true.
The term “Birth Pangs” is derived from a passage from the book of Romans in the Christian Scriptures:
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the one that subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time…” Romans 8:18-22.www.birthpangs.com
Q1: Why do you write?
I write because I have to, really. I feel all bottled up if I don't. Sometimes, its worse than that: I feel like my characters and stories are locked within the cage of my mind, when they really ought to be free to roam the minds of others. I know that sounds like I'm assuming that other minds would welcome them, but that part is really irrelevant to me. It doesn't matter if others like what I write. I've got to write. My creations have got to be free. Otherwise, I just don't feel right.
Q2: How would you describe your writing 'method'?
I've never suffered from "writer's block." My problem is lack of time and opportunity. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), many of my stories "live" inside my mind, often fully formed, until such time as I can get them down on paper. A good example is my first published book, Fidelis, of the Birth Pangs series. This story essentially played itself out in my mind in its entirety before I sat down to actually write it. It was as though I were witnessing the events and it was merely my job to record them. When I did finally sit down to write them, the 155,000 words or so spilled out in just a couple of months. It took longer to edit it than it did to write it. In the meantime, the other five as yet unpublished books play out in my mind, almost relentlessly. It can get a bit annoying; sometimes, I'd like to just some peace and quiet in my brain. When I do finally sit down to let my creations spill out of my skull onto paper, I don't like to be interrupted until I am done. So, I will often postpone a project completely until I know I'll be able to finish it. I don't know if that's a good habit or not.
Q3: How would you respond to the classic question, "Is there Christian art, or artists who are Christians?"
Since I believe that Christianity is true, not merely my opinion, I think that all art is Christian. Since we are all created in the image of God, and our creative natures reflect God's creative nature, we cannot create and not in some way be reveling the glory of God--as Christians understand him. This leads me to re-cast that question a bit. Creation should be done for creation's sake. Art for art's sake, as it were. I think sometimes Christians put stuff out there that is not of very high quality but figure that since it has Christian content, or has a 'higher purpose', that's 'ok.' Worse: Christian publishers put out this stuff. Presumably, because it is safe--it preaches to the choir. I think genuine art will resonate with both believers and unbelievers.
Q4: Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?
Genuine artists are always trying to improve their craft. Writers, painters, musicians... and even engineers, software coders... all who create strive to create the best they can. If you are the sort of person who has to write, or they'll die, I doubt very much you're not the kind of person who tries to improve their writing. However...
Realistic expectations are critical. Absolutely critical. What is it you want? Do you think that your writing is meaningless unless it finds a publisher? Will you release your stories from the cage of your mind, only to see them confined to your desk drawer until your death, simply because you can't find a publisher? I think there is a lot of that going on, and often because authors feel like they need to be validated by others. Unfortunately, publishers are producing a lot of crap these days--and here I am referring to the 'traditional' publishers--and if one of them picks up your work, that doesn't at all mean you've been validated. I think one of the pitfalls authors fall into is that they seek validation for their work but not honest and earnest criticism of it--and if a traditional publisher releases the work, obviously the work must be so good it can't be criticized!
But that kind of attitude wars against the artist's instinct to improve their craft.
There are oodles of ways to get your content out these days. If you have to create, you can create, and you don't need to wait around to be patted on the back. At the same time, this means you can open yourself up to feedback from others, because negative responses don't necessarily mean the death of your 'dream.' For under a thousand dollars, these days, anyone can achieve their 'dream.' So, I say focus on producing the best, most satisfying creative piece you can and then let the pieces fall where they may.
Q5: Which of your creations has brought you the most joy?
I have a work, yet unpublished, written for pre-teens to early teens, that made shiver run up my spine many times while writing it. I can't wait to finish it and let it out of its 'cage.' It presently has a terrible name: "The Mammalites."
Q6: Which has brought you the most heartache?
Probably my short story series imagining Antony Flew, Mother Teresa, and Richard Dawkins dying and going to heaven. This short story collection was discovered by a somewhat famous blogger who fronts as a biologist at a public university in Minnesota, who proceeded to review it, without, it seems, comprehending even the tiniest aspects of it. His followers, in turn, issued their own reviews of the stories--not based on their own reading of them, but based on their reading of the aforementioned review. It seems that in this case, my creation got out of its cage and behaved like the proverbial bull in a china shop. There has been some good that has come out of it--but only in the cases when the 'china' happened to be alive and breathing and could move to get out of the way. That is not normally how you find fine china, as the reader well knows.
Sales have not been great; probably because the aforementioned blogger violated the law in posting one of the stories at great length on his web page. Oh well.
Q7: Is there anything you'd like to say?
The publishing market has been turned upside down. If history had been reversed, and we started out with Ebooks and print on demand technology rather than Gutenberg's press, the whole distribution system would look nothing like how it looks today. That system is on its way to collapse. In the meantime, most of the avenues for promoting one's book still harken back to marketing approaches in the decaying system. Be on the look out for new ways to get your work out to the public, and make your expectations correspond to those new ways.