FW: I started writing stories, and labeling myself “a writer,” in my own head, anyway, when I was ten years old, and I even majored in creative writing, and had a few short stories published, in college. But I didn’t really get serious about becoming a working author until 2013. I turned fifty the year before, and had launched a blog called “Felix at Fifty,” subtitled “A blog about food, faith, family and finding fulfillment at (and after) fifty.” On the Felix at Fifty blog, I worked hard to encourage middle-aged folks like myself to “go for it,” to live their dreams, express their creativity, find fulfillment. About a year into that project, the irony was too much. Here I was cheering others on to follow their dreams, while ignoring my own… I had thought of myself as a writer for forty years, with little to show for it. It was time to get serious. I parked the blog with a “gone writing…” sign, and got to work. Children of the Good is the result.
FW: While reeling in the wake of Barrack Obama’s 2012 reelection, I happened across this New Testament Bible verse from Paul’s second letter to Timothy:
But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power…
And I thought, my God. Could there be a more accurate description of present day America? Of a nation that would elect a proud champion of the most egregious anti-life, anti-family, self-involved, Cultural Revolution, “Me-Generation” values of the ‘60s and ‘70s to the most powerful office in the world… And do so Twice? It’s like the Apostle Paul could read today’s headlines through the mists of time. He could see where we were heading, what we would become. And I thought, What if these really are the last days? What if the Antichrist is already in charge? Everybody expects the Antichrist, when he comes, to demand the faithful turn from God and worship him… But what if his real trick is to get us to exchange love of God for worship of ourselves instead? Or money, power, sex, pleasure, the sloth of letting government take care of all our needs and solve all our problems… Anything, so long as we turn away from God. If that were his goal, could anyone look honestly at the USA today and deny that he’s won? That he has our country firmly under his wicked spell?
OK, I thought. Spin that fifty years into the future to gain some narrative wiggle-room, and you’ve got yourself a story…
BBB: Do you ever get writer's block?
FW: So far, no. I have a heck of a time finding time to write, between my full time day job and my busy family, but when I do find a few free minutes here and there, the words flow out. That was my experience writing Children of the Good, anyway. It’s like this novel wanted to be written. Whenever I found opportunity to turn on the spigot, story flowed…
BBB: What are you currently working on?
FW: The next book in the Children of the Good series. The working title, at this red hot moment, and this could change, of course, is Fruitless Works of Darkness – a reference to the New Testament Book of Ephesians. It picks up exactly where Children of the Good leaves off. Nelly Harper, Neil Coleman and Billy Conner are on the lam, the Antichrist is still in charge and laying plans to seduce little Nelly into his service, we discover a deeper level of the Remnant in Mexico... I'm mostly outlining now, but you can count on book two to take the story to a whole new level, both as gripping narrative, and as theological exploration, from a Catholic perspective. Folks should watch my blog for previews and progress reports!
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
FW: My current blog Children of the Good, subtitled, Author Felix Whelan on Creativity, Culture and All Things Catholic, can be found at http://www.ChildrenoftheGood.com