One of the hardest aspects of writing The Sins Trilogy was settling on a genre. I had a story to tell and wasn’t very concerned with where it belonged until it was too late. Many fiction writers self-identify according to genre, and so write to fit that mold. On the other hand, I had issues I wanted to treat…difficult ones that haven’t been sufficiently explored in reality.
Issues like sexual abuse and mental illness in both civilian and military settings; power and the fallibility of the human element behind security intelligence; governance, democracy and responsibility; crime, punishment and the hypocrisy of enforcement. Just to name a few.
Heavy reading for a romance?
Definitely! There are no unicorns dropping rainbows in these books.
For that reason, the series is many things to different people.
The Romantic will despair that the love story is darkly disturbing; there is nothing ideal about Todd and Amy or the things they do. The Romantic will find Traditionalists good company when discussing this series.The latter will be confused by a romance that is too dark; a suspense that is so inextricably tied to the love of two people that the story crumbles without it; and characters that are all so flawed that none of them can be considered heroic.
To the Dramatic, it is a tragedy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula ilk. After all, bad has never looked better than it does on Amy Koehler and Todd Birch.
But to the Realist, it might have been inspired by actual events. The story is infused with possibilities, elevating it from contemporary fiction to ‘Inspired’.
There have been many questions, most of which I hope will be answered with the release of The Wages of Sin: The Sins Trilogy Book 3 on March 15, 2015 on Amazon and iTunes.
A few familiar faces from The Sins of Our Father: The Sins Trilogy Book 1, take the stage in Book 3.
We meet Amy’s family. I make no excuses for her choices, but at least the reader begins to understand how she could have arrived at those decisions.
Don Blitzner and his mysterious designs are revealed.
Major Edward Cummings appears in the flesh, and despite the odds, is humanized.
And the Afanasenkos have a lot to say.
Some readers of Book 1 will be pleased to learn that The Sexual Encounter — which they argued deserved to be considered an independent character — become less explicit in rest of the series. There is a very good reason for that. The Sexual Encounter in Book 1 was not gratuitous; it served a deliberate purpose. It offered a glimpse into Amy’s psyche. Some readers may have even walked away from The Sins of the Flesh: The Sins Trilogy Book 2 with ideas about her condition. Book 3 lays all doubts to rest.
The Sexual Encounter also struck at the heart of the relationship between Amy and Todd. Of course, each character has his/her own reason for pursuing the relationship, but what makes it work is their chemistry. That is as undeniable as it is uncontrollable… or trust that both parties would have overcome their weakness somewhere along Book 2.
Todd said it best: “There was something between us from the first time we met. You cannot deny that, Amy. And you can’t manufacture it either. …I can’t change how I feel… [I] couldn’t stop loving you although I’ve tried.”
Heartless as they might seem, neither Todd nor Amy is tossing around paper hearts.
Should you complete the series and continue to be plagued by doubts, questions or concerns…
Ask away! You never know. You might even be the inspiration behind a short.