Author Guest Post With Randall Lowe

Randall Lowe has kindly agreed to guest post here about his work, and share his inspiration for becoming a writer in honor of his newest release in the Immaculate Resurrections Series.
 About The Author:


Randall Lowe was born and raised in Oregon and now lives in Connecticut with his wife and son. He graduated from Willamette University with majors in History and Religious Studies and from Columbia Law School.  He practices corporate law by day and writes novels when he should be sleeping.

Find  Randall Lowe on the Web:
 
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 Guest Post:
I never thought about being a writer. I wanted to be a lawyer. So I went to law school. Then one day in the fall of 2009, I was in my yard raking leaves when an idea started burrowing its way into my consciousness. At first, it was little more than a collection of hazy, precariously tethered images. A scene set in Nicea in the year 325 AD—the year that the Emperor Constantine formed the council of Nicea. In a matter of hours, the idea had evolved into a story spanning two thousand years. But it all starts in antiquity. 
The beliefs in what we refer to as the Second Coming, the Antichrist and the Apocalypse all pre-date Christianity and were not referenced in early versions of the New Testament. Constantine was introduced to these beliefs, these truths, in England while leading the Roman legions against the northern tribes. Armed with this terrible knowledge, he knew that he had to warn the world about the Antichrist whose arrival would trigger the Second Coming and the Apocalypse. But his ability to disseminate the warning was limited by fourth century technology. So what did Constantine do? He hijacked Christianity.
Moving swiftly, Constantine adopted Christianity as the official religion of the empire, and then called a meeting of all the bishops in the realm to the city of Nicea. Contrary to what we commonly accept as historical fact, Constantine didn’t form the council of Nicea just so the bishops could debate scripture and theology. He formed the council to force the bishops to accept his version of the New Testament—the version that we are all familiar with today—the version that includes the doctrines of the Antichrist, the Second Coming and the Apocalypse. The vehicle that Constantine used to prepare the world for the events that would one day determine the survival of the human race is known throughout the world as the New Testament.  
Nearly 1,700 years later, a small town kid named Felix August enrolls at Portland College. He’s racked with guilt for cheating on the SAT, and struggling to deal with a recent tragedy. But with the help of Lucas, his reality star roommate, and Allison, his friend from high school, his outlook on life starts to improve. Even with the city of Portland on edge as the mutilated remains of several hikers are discovered in the woods near the headquarters of Ashfield Enterprises Incorporated, Felix begins to feel comfortable with the routines of college life. He meets a girl, plays on the football team, parties with his friends, and just as he starts to feel like he belongs on campus, the school’s groundskeeper approaches him and says, “Welcome to college, Felix. By the way, you’re the Second Coming. And the Antichrist, well, he lives on the other side of town.”
And with that, the adventure begins…
The idea that formed while doing yard work soon became an obsession. That same day, I sat down at my computer and started writing the Immaculate Resurrections series. Two years later, I completed Book I (Rise of the Antichrist) and Book II (Tears of Constantine).  Both books were published by Outskirts Press in January 2012.
People who know me are usually surprised after they read Immaculate Resurrections. Because I’m a lawyer, I think they expect me to write legal thrillers. But I’ve always been drawn to stories with global consequences, where the fate of the world is at stake and failure means everyone suffers. Immaculate Resurrections is rooted in that tradition. But unlike other books in that genre, Immaculate Resurrections is not a simple tale of good versus evil played out by generic stereotypes with obvious motives. The world is a complex place, so shouldn’t our heroes and villains reflect that complexity? Heroes aren’t born with halos. And evil is slippery, deceptive and subtle. The evilest among us do not announce their presence with fangs, horns or snake-like features. Sometimes they look, and act, just like the good guys.   
I’ve been surprised by some of the reactions to Immaculate Resurrections. I never expected people I’ve never met to accuse me of “making light of their faith,” or insist that my books “are stupid because Christ will prevail.” Some have even accused me of being “in league with the Antichrist.” My response is always the same. The series is a work of fiction. And yes, it involves a religious conspiracy, but at its core, it’s a contemporary adventure story mingled with elements of fantasy. I’m not making light of anyone’s faith. And if these people actually read the books, I think they would realize that their objections are misguided.
Thanks for inviting me to post on your blog, Lucy. Immaculate Resurrections Book I (Rise of the Antichrist) and Book II (Tears of Constantine) are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback and Kindle/Nook. The Immaculate Resurrections Facebook page also has additional information about the books. 

 Immaculate Resurrections Series:
Title: Immaculate Resurrections: Book 1 – Rise of the Antichrist
Author: Randall Lowe
Release: December 29, 2011
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Welcome to college, Felix. By the way, you’re the Second Coming. And the Antichrist, well, he lives on the other side of town…

Felix August enrolls at Portland College with two goals: prove that he belongs at the school, even though he cheated on the SAT, and crack the starting lineup on the football team. But when Bill Stout, the school’s groundskeeper, tells Felix that Landry Ashfield, the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, is the Antichrist, and that Felix is the reincarnation of a long-dead Druid who is known throughout the world by another name, the Second Coming of Christ, his life changes forever. Already struggling to cope with a recent tragedy in his life, Felix’s desire to fit in at school and be like all the other students on campus is complicated by the knowledge that he could be the Second Coming. And although Felix could have never imagined a stranger way for any freshman to begin his college career, as the semester unfolds, an ordinary college life of football, partying and pursuing girls with his reality star roommate almost seems possible. But a horrifying recurring nightmare not only threatens to undermine Felix’s attempt at normalcy, it may reveal a disturbing secret from his past. The religious intrigue of the DaVinci mythology collides with a magical world that is both fantastic and believable. The Immaculate Resurrections series is the most original urban fantasy to come along in years.

Find Rise of the Antichrist Online
Goodreads  | Amazon | Book Depository | Facebook
Title: Immaculate Resurrections: Book 2 -Tears of Constantine
Author: Randall Lowe
Release: December 29, 2011
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Does it matter what your college GPA is when you’re trying to prevent the Apocalypse and the rise of the Antichrist?

For nearly twenty years, Bill Stout bided his time, waiting for the day that Felix August would come along to carry out Bill’s plans. On the campus of Portland College, that day has arrived. Convinced that his destiny is to oppose the Antichrist and prevent the Apocalypse, Felix prepares to destroy the First Templar Amulet, a deadly talisman in the Antichrist’s possession. But if Felix is going to survive his first mission in the war to save mankind, he must trust in Bill to teach him to unlock his incredible power. But Bill is hiding a dark secret from Felix that calls into question what Felix really is, and whose side Bill is on. And as the mutilated remains of several hikers are discovered in the forest where the First Templar Amulet is guarded, the plan to destroy it looks like a suicide mission that will not only cost Felix’s life, but the lives of his friends. Book II in the Immaculate Resurrections series is an exhilarating ride into the world of Felix August, a world where good and evil, triumph and tragedy, love and anguish, self-determination and destiny are pitted against one another in a universal fight for survival.

Find Tears if Constantine Online
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Facebook
 Book 2 Excerpt:

Chapter 37
Felix was the last to arrive at the library. As he stepped into Dale’s Room, he knew immediately that something was wrong. Lucas was sitting in his usual chair at the table with his laptop open in front of him. Harper, Caitlin, and Allison were huddled behind Lucas and bent over so that they could see his monitor. There was something about their expressions that gave Felix pause; it was a mixture of horror and revulsion. Caitlin looked pale and was holding her stomach like she was having severe cramps.
“What’s going on?” Felix asked as he walked around the table to see what they were looking at.
Only Lucas glanced up from the computer, the others apparently mesmerized by what they were viewing. “It’s a…another…they said it’s two more people. They were out hiking and were killed…um…butchered out in Ardsley Forest. Another hiker came across the bodies, and the sick f***ing dude uploaded a video on the net. It’s like a minute long, and it’s horrible—worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
“I think I’m gonna be sick,” Caitlin moaned, walking over to the sofa, where she sat down cradling herself.
Felix looked at the computer, but the images on the monitor didn’t seem to be of anything discernible. “What is that?” he asked. “What am I looking at? I don’t understand what…”
“Go back to the beginning,” Harper said, choking back tears. Felix noticed for the first time that both Harper and Allison were crying.
“Okay.” Lucas clicked on an arrow underneath the video window.
The images on the monitor bounced around, the amateur-quality video obviously taken by someone using a cell phone. Two objects lying close together on the ground suddenly came into view. They appeared to be about ten yards removed from the person taking the video. Even at that distance it was obvious that the two objects were human—they wore jeans and brown hiking boots. The area where they were lying was covered with thick underbrush, tree refuse, and moss-covered rocks. Beyond the bodies in the distance could be seen clusters of enormous old-growth trees. Just like what Felix saw when he was in the woods with Bill. The video was slightly dark, as if it was taken in a densely shaded area, or perhaps at dusk.
As the person taking the video moved closer to the bodies, their features gradually came into view. It became apparent that something unnatural had happened to them. At first it appeared that they were both wearing red masks and matching red jackets. But as their faces and torsos grew larger on the monitor, Felix realized what he was actually looking at. He fought the urge to throw up.
“Holy shit!” Felix exclaimed. “Is that what I think it is?”
“Yeah,” Lucas answered. “Something tore out their throats. And the one there, the one on the left, he or she, I’m not sure, is missing everything from the nose down. Something ate most of her face off.”
Felix stared at the monitor. Both people were lying on their backs with their arms and legs jutting out from their bodies at physiologically impossible angles. What was left of their faces was completely covered in dark red blood. Their throats were shredded. All that remained of their throats were thin strips of bloody flesh.
            “There’s so much blood,” Lucas said in a hushed tone. “I’ve never seen so much blood.”
            The images of their mutilated and barely recognizable features played out on the monitor for several more seconds and then stopped as the video came to an end.
            “That’s it,” Harper said, wiping the tears from her face. “I can’t watch that again.”
            Felix pulled his eyes away from the monitor and sat in the chair next to Lucas. “How’d you get this?”
            “My brother called. My mom’s got him all freaked out because of all the murders out here. He gets alerts whenever anything’s posted on the net about Nick Blair or the Mormon Mephistopheles. Once he saw the video he called.”
            “Who took the video?”
            “It’s just rumors now, but they’re saying it was just another hiker. He uploaded the video and then took it to the police. It’ll be shut down soon. You watch.”
            “It should be,” Caitlin called over from the sofa. “It’s disgusting!”
            “He turned himself in?” Felix asked, perplexed. “They think he did it?”
            “Haven’t heard anything about that,” Lucas answered, “but what idiot would kill two people, take a video of it, and then turn all the evidence over to the cops? Besides, how could a person do that?”
            “Yeah, it’s impossible,” Felix said. “Nick Blair couldn’t have done that. It looks like an animal got to them. Like a bear, maybe.”
            “Then that’s the seventh person who’s been killed by a bear since last summer,” Allison said. “Seems pretty unlikely, doesn’t it?”
            “Yeah, I guess,” Felix conceded.
His cell phone began to ring. He pulled it from his pocket. Everyone in the room instantly froze, staring at him as he held the phone to his ear and said, “Hey, Bill.” The conversation lasted less than thirty seconds. Felix didn’t say anything else. He put the phone back in his pocket and looked at his friends. They all seemed to sense that something was about to happen. They stared back at him. There was complete silence in the room.
            “It’s tonight, isn’t it?” Allison said softly, breaking the calm.
            “Yeah.”
            “Holy shit!” Lucas exclaimed, the color seeming to drain from his face. “We’re going into that forest tonight?” He pointed at his monitor, which just moments ago had showed the images of two people mutilated beyond recognition.
            Caitlin exhaled loudly and got up from the sofa.
            “What’d Bill say?” Harper asked.
            Felix shook his head. “He just said it’s tonight and to go to his house ASAP. I’m going over there now. I’ll call you when we’re done.”
            “Do you need a ride?” Caitlin asked, brushing strands of hair from her face.
            “No, I’ll walk. It’s not very far. Oh! Hey, Caitlin, do you mind if we use your SUV tonight?”
            Caitlin looked surprised. “No. But I thought Bill was going to rent a car.”
            “That was the plan. But I haven’t actually told him yet that all of you are going with me. When I tell him that, I’ll let him know we’re taking your car. He’ll like being even further disconnected from the whole thing. It’ll protect his access to the info he gets at A.E.I.”
            “Good for him,” Allison said disapprovingly.
            “No shit,” Felix replied. “We’re going into that f***ing forest while he stays home drinking tea. Anyway, I better get going. I’ll call you.”
            He walked out of the room.
Caitlin, Allison, Harper, and Lucas looked at each other in silence. It was a long while before anything was said.
Happy reading until next time!