After years of wanting to and even starting to write a book, inspiration came at the right time for Jim Cheney.
âA year or two ago, I was in a restaurant in Monteagle, [Tennessee], and I probably drank too much coffee when I had an idea, âhe said.
Cheney, a knowledgeable reader, has worked in the communications industry for over 25 years, and writing a book is a goal for so many people.
When the right idea came to him, he instinctively acted. Before he knew it, he had 10,000 words on paper, then 20,000, and he was still writing.
âOnce I started, it was like the floodgates were open; I couldn’t type fast enough, âhe said. âI was like, ‘What if I don’t know how to stop? “”
Cheney used his interest in psychology and his knowledge of history to develop a multigenerational saga of a poor, hard-working, hard-living family and the effects their circumstances had on the main characters, who were forced to grow up quickly.
What came out of his idea was his recently published novel, “All Is Set Anew”.
The book begins in the rolling hills and valleys of rural Middle Tennessee in the 1930s. Two young boys endure their abusive and drunken father and their weak, submissive mother who lacks emotion until she abandons them.
The boys are in their teens when survival takes a turn after deciding that killing their father is the only way out of the life they are trapped in.
Instead, they are trapped in other ways.
âI lean towards characters who tend to be darker and carry baggage throughout their history,â Cheney said. “I’ve always had a passion for books that make you bounce back and you have to put the pieces together as they happen.”
Cheney’s characters start out in a dark place and move forward, blurring the lines between good and evil, good and evil, and in the process, they affect others.
“Each character [in the book] builds on the next character, âhe said. “I started with a plot and went back and forth to get there instead of telling the story.”
When the act of killing is done, the boys go their separate ways, both affected by their parents’ failures and their own actions.
Throughout their life journey, a supernatural element guides them – one seeks out and attacks the weak, while the other is haunted and, though he feels kindness, is sunk deeper into his own. own darkness.
Cheney admitted that he sees part of himself in the book.
âThe writing process creates a tremendous amount of soul-searching, bringing out elements of oneself – what we did years ago, the choices made and the directions we took,â he said. .
âAll Is Set Anewâ is an attempt to see family dynamics in a âmore complete way,â Cheney said.
âThere are some very ugly people in this book and, conversely, some very honest people who have been overwhelmed by the actions of those who came before them – unfairly,â he said.
While there has been a fair amount of bloodshed, it’s not a horror novel or a thriller, according to the author.
“Its purpose is to undertake a crude examination of evil from multiple angles and hopefully exhibit sympathy where it would generally not be found,” Cheney said.
âAll Is Set Anewâ is available online at Amazon and locally in Franklin at Landmark Booksellers on Main Street and Bound Booksellers in Westhaven.