The neo-noir thriller, Transubstantiate, by Richard Thomas is out from Other World Publications. They’ve done 100 signed/limited hardcovers, as well as a much larger print run of paperbacks.

Transubstantiate was inspired by a couple of things,” says Thomas. “One would be the television show, Lost. I’ve been a fan for years, and have always enjoyed the way they held back information, made you think about what was going on, and then slowly revealed the story, the truth, bit by bit. I’ve never had so many revelations, insights into the human condition.

“Another would be the idea of change, for that’s really what the word transubstantiate means, to change. For some, it may be in the biblical sense, to change water into wine, wine into blood, the wafer into the body of Christ. But I’ve always been intrigued by the defects in people, the mistakes we make, and what happens when we fail, when we fall down. Are we inherently bad, us human beings, or can we redeem ourselves, can we still have value, hope and a future, even if we do bad things, if we kill people, if we betray, and lie and steal, and hurt others? At what point are we worthless? And CAN we change?”

Description: “They say Jimmy made it out. But the postcards we get, well, they don’t seem … real.”

When an experiment with population control works too well, and the planet is decimated, seven broken people are united by a supernatural bond in a modern day Eden. Most on the island are fully aware of this prison disguised as an oasis. Unfortunately, Jimmy is on the mainland, desperate to get back, in a post-apocalyptic stand-off, fighting for his survival and that of his unborn child. Back on the island, Jacob stares at the ocean through his telescope and plots his escape, reluctant to aid the cause. Marcy tries to hide from her past, sexual escapades that may be her saving grace. X sits in his compound, a quiet, massive presence, trapped in his body by ancient utterings and yet free in spirit to visit other places and times. Roland, the angry, bitter son of Marcy is determined to leave, and sets out on his own. Watching over it all is Assigned, the ghost in the machine. And coming for them, to exact revenge, and finish the job that the virus started, is Gordon. He just landed on the island and he has help.

Transubstantiate (to change from one substance into another) is a neo-noir thriller, filled with uncertainty at every portal, and jungles overflowing with The Darkness. Vivid settings, lyrical language, and a slow reveal of plot, motivation, past crimes and future hope collide in a final showdown that keeps you guessing until the final haunting words.

“The process of this novel was very complicated as well,” adds Thomas. “It’s actually seven first-person perspectives. We rotate within each chapter between all seven of them, starting off with Jacob, a reluctant hero, through Marcy a promiscuous femme fatale, to Assigned, the ghost in the machine. We spend time with Jimmy, the average guy, X an immortal creature, Gordon a stone-cold killer, and Roland, a young, bitter boy. It was a new process with me, having to remember where everyone was, how to hand off the story, the baton, from one person to another, how to deal with time and geography and who knows what facts and at what time. I ended up writing each sub-chapter on a different day, about 700 words a day on my lunch hour at work, closing my office door (I’m an art director in the world of advertising) and banging away. Each day, I knew who I was writing. Monday was Jacob. Tuesday was Marcy. And so on. So I’d have time to think, between each character. And by the time I got to lunch, I was eager to get going.

“I don’t know if I’d do that again! HA. In fact, my next book, the one I’m writing now, Disintegration, it’s one guy, one perspective, and it’s a whole different beast.

Transubstantiate combines all of the authors and books that I enjoyed growing up. There is the epic tale that Stephen King did in stories like The Stand, although on an abbreviated scale, and the fantasy and violence of Clive Barker, like in Weaveworld. I also have a bit of science fiction in here too, growing up wtih Bradbury and Heinlein. And, it has the most recent influences of neo-noir writers, edgy prose and darkness by relative unknowns like Will Christopher Baer.

“Life doesn’t stop at one genre, so I don’t mind blending the horrific with the fantastic, the technology with the mood and tone of contemporary noir. It’s a fast read, and one that I hope will keep your attention, and not let up until the final scene.

“Speaking of that final scene, I have one last thought. I’ve read On Writing, Stephen King’s book, and he talks about getting into a zone, and letting the characters tell him the story. That when he’s really succeeding, he isn’t writing so much as channeling, simply putting these characters in a setting, a scene, and letting them do what they would naturally do. And I had that experience with Transubstantiate, for the first time, on such a massive level. I had no idea how it was going to end, the headlights of the car only going so far ahead of me. I didn’t know who would live and who would die. I only knew how they would react – the pacifist behaving differently then the assassin. But I knew when the story was done, that’s for sure. Everything fell into place, and I took a deep breath. It felt right.”

You can purchase the book directly from the publisher here: Transubstantiate

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