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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Author Showcase: Lex Allen

Review: No Heaven by Lex Allen is the first book in the Imagine Trilogy. At its core, Jesus has returned to earth to gather a small group of people to aid him as he sets the record straight about who he really was two thousand years ago, and why he had even come in the first place. We learn that he is in fact an alien, not the Son of God as he was portrayed, and that the miracles he did were simply abilities his kind possess. He is not shy about being noticed as he performs some incredible things while here, and that gets the attention of some government agencies from several countries that want to get their hands on his abilities. With the ability to dematerialize and reappear thousands of miles away in the blink of an eye, Jesus, as well as his companions, become quite the globetrotters as they attempt to carry out Jesus' objectives in time.
    This is a complex story involving numerous characters aside from Jesus. With sweeping locations in vivid detail and strong character development, author Lex Allen brought to bear months of research of not only the Bible, but quantum physics, philosophy, near death experiences, and reincarnation, all of which are the central theme of the “real” Jesus. Mr. Allen's ability to weave fiction with historical events while building this story just plain worked. It flowed well despite the depth of the writing and the complexity of the possibilities. No Heaven spans genres with its action, adventure, thrills, sci-fi, suspense, and a bit of romance with the reuniting of long lost loves - and I mean really long lost. No Heaven is an engrossing read, and will give the reader much to ponder. - Reviewed by Chameleon for Reader's Favorite
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Q. Lex, No Heaven, the first book in your Imagine trilogy, is a well written story. I can't even imagine the vast amount of research that went into this endeavor. How did you pull it off?
A. Fortunately, a lot of the research occurred over a period of many years, without any plan to use it in a book. Since my early teens I was interested in religion, history, mythology and life after death from a non-religious perspective, so that as the premise for the Imagine trilogy began to evolve, I already had a head start on the research. The quantum physics angles were new, and I spent a couple years tracking down and reading books and articles that were clearly designed as “quantum physics for dummies.” Once I felt that I had a good enough handle on that aspect of the story, I was able to take out the handbook on artistic license, all the research and throw them into my imaginative mixer. I was pleasantly surprised at the product.
Q. Yes, you managed to blend fiction with historical places, figures, and eras very well, but how did you manage to keep it all straight?
A. Truthfully, I was pretty much winging it. Most of the historical places were either pertinent to a specific character or had something to do with vortexes. In my quantum physics world, vortexes are very important both in geographical and biological terms. (Bet you’re scratching your head about the biological connection to vortexes, eh?). As I wrote a current scene, I would look for a similar historical occurrence, and if it “worked”, I could fit them together. It wasn’t a question of keeping them straight; rather, it was like assembling a jig-saw puzzle or a very large, model aircraft carrier. The pieces were all there, I simply had to connect them. “Simply” being an understatement, of course!
Q. An understatement indeed considering the complexity of it all for us mere humans.The second book in your trilogy, No Hell, was a nice transition from No Heaven. Considering the time span between writing the two, you never seemed to have floundered to get back on track. You must keep impeccable notes.
A. LOL… yes, and I continually re-read my own writing in No Heaven! Not only did that prick my memory, it also helped me to keep the “voice”consistent.
Q. Knowing what you know now, compared to what you knew when you first started writing, what would you do differently?
A. Everything? No. I wrote No Heaven from 3 am to 5 am, most mornings, and then went to work. Occasionally, I was able to get some weekend writing done, but it was sporadic with constant interruption. It took a long time. From the finish of No Heaven to starting No Hell, I took a very early retirement and moved into a hundred year old “Bauernhof” that needed renovation; unfortunately, it turned out needing more fixing than I had initially thought. I’d planned to write full time and have the second book done in six months. It took well over a year. I was back to writing from 3 am to 5 or 6 am and renovating the barn, the house, the horse stalls the rest of the day. So, I would never do any of that again! Finally, I thought I’d get No Religion finished, without interruption, writing on a normal schedule in four months. Sigh. Bottom line, what I would do differently is… completely move out of the house and live the life of a hermit until a book was done. Move back home for six to eight months and then, do the hermit jig again… lol.
Q. Finding time to write is definitely something most writers are plagued with, for sure. Is there anything you'd like us to know about your trilogy that hasn't been said yet?
A. The trilogy is controversial because it deals with religion and religion conspiracies from a secular, agnostic view. Although some of my characters are decidedly anti-religion and atheist, the premise of the story is not to destroy anyone’s belief, or change their minds about their own personal faith; instead, it is simply to provide a speculative, entertaining notion that Jesus may have been someone entirely different than the world has been taught. The trilogy is certainly not Christian fiction; but neither is it an atheists cry for revolution and abolition of monotheistic religions.
Q. I agree, that was the sense I got when reading it. When can we expect No Religion, the last book in this trilogy, to be available?
A. Unable to move out and do the hermit jig, life continues to complicate my writing schedule. I’d hoped to have it published this past fall. Providing nothing new comes along to interrupt current progress, I plan to publish the conclusion, No Religion, late spring of this year – 2014.
Q. Care to give us a sneak peak?Sure, why not? Please keep in mind, however, that this is first draft, without re-writes or editing, and subject to radical changes before publication. This is a partially complete introductory chapter for a new character that could play a pivotal role in the conclusion of the trilogy.
I know that the Pope is Antichrist and his seat is that of Satan himself”
Martin Luther
“The Great Crusade for Christ III” was in its fourth day, and the huge tent had reached maximum seating capacity of ten thousand a good hour before the evangelist and self-proclaimed reverend, Angel Ramirez, was scheduled to take the stage. Hundreds more people waited outside for the go ahead to enter the tent and occupy standing room, available in the aisles, after all the seats were filled. This would come only moments before the “Angel” mounted the stage to begin his sermon, or as he called it, his “Exhortation of Truth”.
    In a large recreational vehicle, a hundred yards from the tent and enclosed within portable fencing, complete with roving guards and dogs; Angel sat before a mirror while a makeup artist applied a skin toned mask that would hide the numerous wrinkles in his face. In thirty minutes, barring a close examination, Angel Ramirez would appear to be twenty years younger than his actual fifty-eight. The effects of the make-up would last about six hours, depending upon how much of the pasty substance was washed away by the evangelist’s sweat.
    Television and video cameramen were forbidden close-ups during Angel’s performance. The last cameraman, actually a woman, who had forgotten the rule about close-ups, had not only lost her job, she’d also been sued by the Angel Ramirez Foundation, and black-balled from ever working in television again. Four years after her “mistake”,she’d committed suicide, leaving a husband and two small children. When asked by a reporter to comment on the camera woman’s death, Ramirez had said, “I understand she was a Baptist and not a Catholic. So, assuming she was God fearing, and had accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, she’ll be in heaven rather than hell. I’m happy for her.”
    From a corner chair inside the RV, Angel’s road manager, Elijah Worth, was rattling off numbers representing the total attendance and the associated ticket take, both from advance sales and ‘at the gate’ totals. He was prepared to provide his boss an accounting of the concessionaire booths that sold everything from souvenir articles of Christianity to hot dogs and soda pop. Angel seldom wanted to hear these reports, but the one time he had, was the only occasion that Elijah didn’t have the numbers. He’d nearly lost his job over it. He would certainly never make that mistake again.
    His security chief was also present in the RV. Manuel Santana was an ex-Navy Seal. He was a big man with a bald head and shoulders as wide as some of the Texas Longhorns where he’d been raised. He was not only competent at his job; he was 100% loyal to Angel, as well.
    “How are things outside, Manny?” Angel asked.
    “Good. Quiet.”
    “Any news?” For the past several months, atheists had been demonstrating around the evangelists’ crusades. Some of these demonstrations had been quite large.
    “No, nothing from the locals or the state cops. The feds… they’re still up in arms about this Jesus character.”
    At the name, “Jesus” Angel’s face turned red and he clenched his fists.
   “Ah, yes… the man who would be Jesus!” Angel got out of his chair and paced the floor. He stopped, looked up at the ceiling and closed his eyes. Suddenly, he fell to his knees and then, rolled over onto his back. His entire body was shaking – shivering as if freezing cold.
    Neither Elijah nor Manny were alarmed. They’d seen these episodes before and knew that Angel had been filled with the spirit, and God himself was speaking to him. They knelt next to his convulsing body and began to pray, waiting patiently for God to finish his possession of the evangelist. As in the past, each man knew that Angel would share His communique with them. That usually meant specific directives and actions that they would be required to execute.
    Only a few minutes passed before Angel’s spastic-like vibrations stopped. Without warning, he sat up, drenched in sweat and slowly reached towards Elijah. His voice dry, he whispered, “Water, please.”
    Elijah jumped to his a feet and returned within a few seconds with a large glass of water that Angel downed in three gulps. His subordinates helped him to his feet and sat him on a leather sofa that filled the tail end of the RV.
    Angel leaned back and closed his eyes. Still whispering he said,“This man who would be Jesus… he’s not… he’s… Oh, God, oh my God… he’s the Antichrist!”
    His eyes shot open and he jumped to his feet. Seemingly completely recovered from what had looked like an epileptic attack, he was instantly his old self. “I need to make some notes. Tonight’s sermon is not going to go as planned. The Lord God has commanded me to raise an Army and lead the attack against the Antichrist.”
    Elijah and Manny glanced at each other with raised eyebrows, but neither would ever state their true feelings about Angel’s directives from God.
    Manny recovered first. “What do you want me to do, boss?”
    Angel stared at him for several seconds, as if his security chief was a stranger. He shook his head, recognition returning to his eyes and said, “Nothing right now, Manny. When I’ve finished my sermon, there may be some violence… some disturbances; you need to be prepared for that. I will announce the coming battle tonight, get the balls rolling and tomorrow… tomorrow we’ll hold a council of war that will lead to the destruction of the Antichrist and the greater glorification of the Lord God.
    He turned to Elijah. “Set up a meeting for… ten o’clock, with all of our media and publicity folks. We’re going to war, Gentlemen. We will truly become God’s “Onward Marching Soldiers”and we’re going to send this bastard back to Hell, where he belongs!”
Sounds like this will be exactly what it should be, Lex, an explosive culmination of the first 2 books in this trilogy! I look forward to reading it, so, of course, I wish you the best in getting it finished! Thanks for joining me here, I have no doubt we'll have you back soon for No Religion.
No Heaven (The Imagine Trilogy) Click Here to Purchase for Kindle

Click Here to Purchase for Nook, Sony, and Apple Chameleon Author


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Bryan, am going to re-do the other blogs with this same format as Lex's. I want to give readers as much info as possible on the authors as well as the books- without overloading them, of course. I think it's a nice bit of info.

  2. Trilogy almost complete? Good job. Good interview.

  3. I loved No Heaven. Currently reading No Hell. I'll be back for the sneak preview of No Religion. Thanks to the interviewer and the author for doing the interview!

    1. Thanks, Ed! Mr. Allen is a very talented writer, no doubt. As soon as I catch up to myself, I'll be going back and posting the Book Showcases. Almost all the authors that I did showcases on have 2 and 3 books. I listed the first book and review of it along with the author's showcase, but I want to do the other books by them- provided they were 5 Star reads. So you can count on seeing a book showcase of No Hell soon as I gave it 5 Stars :)