I’ve known Andy Lockwood for a couple of years now. He’s a nice guy with a great sense of humor. Every time we meet for our writer’s group, we have a great time. I remember when I first met him how he brought a dynamic flow into the meeting. He’s charismatic without trying to be.
Would I say I know Andy like the back of my hand? I wouldn’t say that. Yet, there’s a genuineness to him. What you see seems to be what you get when you meet Andy. I’ve no idea how he will respond once I post this link to his FB wall and then run for cover.
Why mention this? I typically showcase faith based books on the blog and my shows because I do want Christian authors to have my platform as part of their marketing and audience outreach.
Andy’s work wouldn’t be considered Christian by any stretch of the word, nor do I believe he would classify himself as of any belief. Through our talks througout the years, Andy has always given me the impression he gets ‘it’ better than those of us who profess our faith.
What’s ‘it’? The human condition — that people are flawed. The Bible makes that perfectly clear and I agree. I don’t have to look any further than the mirror in the bathroom to know that. Humanism postulates the idea that humans are essentially good at the core–we just have to realize that. It sounds like a great idea but people have a tendency to prove that mankind is wicked at it core.
Are these Andy’s beliefs? I have no idea but while I read this fascinating series I am showcasing on my blog, I couldn’t help but blown away by his insight.
Andy is a horror writer, and horror is my first love. I grew up reading Stephen King, another author who gets the human condition. Horror is a good vehicle to look at the human condition when survival is the key. When fear is the motivator for survival. And the unknown the source of the fear. But in Andy’s series, the characters aren’t human. They are beings that control the cycle of time personified by the months.
Sidenote: There’s a vague memory of Andy mentioning this series in our writer’s group some time ago but I may have been stuffing my face with food (Tuesday, our fearless leader is one of the best, most imaginative cooks on planet Earth. Who can think when you’re eating one of her meals?) so I can’t be sure.
Each book is short, 40-45 pages tops. I read each one within a half hour or so. The main character is Ember (December) and she’s lets us know what life is like as a handler, controller, janitor of time. All together, each being is part of a collective called The Intercalary. We do know from the beginning of the series that all these beings used to be human. Now they’re immortal. But they still have mortal thoughts, relationships, and ideas.
Ember’s the Omega and her mate is Janus (January), the Alpha. While she’s happy it’s Christmas and the New Year is on the horizon, she’s sees something. A shadow cast from nothing. When she turns her head, it’s not there any more. The shadow is the beginning of the horror that plagues each one of the Intercalary as the shadow kills them off one by one.
What would happen if all of the Intercalary was killed off? What would happen to time itself? To mankind? You would think knowing each member of the Intercalary is targeted would get old…it never does. I think that’s the beauty of Andy’s work. He does a wonderful job keeping you on the edge of your seat. Lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
Throughout each installment, there is a number of philosophical issues that come to mind. Issues of death, love, and other things. The over-arching theme that I got or that struck me the most was self-identity. Who are we? Are we defined by the relationships we enter? Are we defined by our occupations? Are we defined by our hobbies? Are we defined by the company we keep? Are we defined by the struggles we endure? Are we defined when the truth stares us in the face and makes us come to grips with that truth? Who are we? These beings of the Intercalary lived for countless lives but they had no idea who they were until death stalks them.
Let me talk about the artwork for each book. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. Again, I seem to remember Andy talking about the artist who did the artwork. It’s a bit more clearer to me that this time we were at his house for the meeting. Yet, I was stuffing my face with chocolate covered strawberries and sandwiches so the memory’s a little vague. Kudos to Brian Ritson for his wonderful artistry!
I hope you get a chance to read this wonderful series. Each installment is only .99 cents but you’re going to definitely get more than your money’s worth.
Andy, see you Saturday!