Welcome to Wednesday Writers! Today’s guest, Jake Tyson, will be bringing us something different. I don’t know about you, but I love to read in different genres, and I must admit, Jake’s book is a genre I love in secular movies, but haven’t yet seen in Christian fiction. Jack is a lover of super heroes and author of Vigilante’s Light, which is his take on a Christian-based Superhero (Superhero fantasy/Christian fantasy) novel with a touch of romance. In addition to giving us the background on the book, Jake has included an excerpt for your reading pleasure. So without any further ado, here’s Jake!
Vigilante’s Light first took shape in the summer of 2016. I was a big fan of the show Arrow, a TV adaptation of the DC Comics superhero Green Arrow. As I watched that show, I thought about what a Christian-based superhero story would look like. The only one I was aware of was Bibleman. Although that brought up fond childhood memories, it didn’t inspire the same epic mythos as Arrow.
I began to formulate an idea of a Christian superhero of my own. Taking inspiration from Arrow, I also looked to a couple of other sources: the movie Beyond the Mask, a Christian movie about a vigilante during the Revolutionary War, and the music video of the for King and Country song “Shoulders,” which featured a man (or angel) in a hooded white outfit saving people in need. In particular, I was inspired by the end of that music video, which had a shot of the hooded man up high, looking out over his city.
I didn’t finish writing Vigilante’s Light in 2016. In fact, I got stumped about 40 pages in and left it alone. In the fall of 2018, shortly after graduating college, I picked up the idea again. This time, I reshaped the story from the ground up, creating my own city, redefining some of the character roles, and forming my original outline into something that could be the first book in a series, rather than a standalone novel. By the time I pitched the novel to Ambassador International, barely five of the original 40 pages were included, but Vigilante’s Light had become a story I could be proud of: a grounded take on a modern superhero story that integrated the faith elements I had always intended.
By Jake Tyson
After being captured in Venezuela by guerrillas and used as a genetic engineering experiment, Gideon finds himself with strange super-abilities.
When he is rescued and returns home to Sojourn City, it is in shambles. The police are understaffed and the poorest area, The Brooks, is torn apart by crime.
Gideon decides the city needs a vigilante protector, but at what price?
When Gideon woke up, the sun was shining through the window at his back and to the left of his bed. He inhaled, rolled onto his back, and slowly let the breath out. He felt…refreshed. He wondered how long he’d slept. It hadn’t been later than eight or nine o’ clock when he’d gotten home. What time it was now?
He’d dropped into bed as soon as he possibly could. He’d hardly waited for the car to stop before opening the door and trudging up the sidewalk toward the house. As his father had unlocked the door, Gideon had been tempted to just crash on the couch, but he ultimately decided that he needed his own bed. He forced himself upstairs, mumbling good night to everyone, and he barely remembered entering his room or collapsing onto his bed.
He tried to sit up–and pain racked his body. He grimaced. All the beatings and prodding he’d suffered had finally caught up to him. The adrenaline from running, followed by the relief of rescue, had dulled the pain. But now, it hit him full-force.
Slowly, he pushed himself upright. Every nerve in his body seemed to scream at him. He looked at the alarm clock beside his bed. It was just after noon. He took a breath to steady himself and swiveled to put his feet on the floor. The house was too big to call out and hope someone was nearby; he’d have to get downstairs himself.
Gideon grabbed the edge of his bed and pushed. When he was on his feet, he shuffled toward the door. He realized he hadn’t even taken off his shoes before he’d fallen asleep. He was still in the same raggedy clothes he’d been rescued in. But he didn’t feel like changing. Not right now.
He reached for the door. The brass knob was cool on his hand–cooler than pretty much anything else he’d touched in the past year. He opened the door, went out, down the hall, and to the stairway. His mother was in the living room below, sitting on the couch facing the fireplace, her back to him, talking to…
He steadied himself on the banister.
“Jolie.” He hardly recognized his own voice.
Her head swiveled around, and she beamed. “Gideon!”
“Are you okay?” Mom asked.
He gritted his teeth and nodded. “Yeah, but I…think I need a doctor.”
Jolie’s smile disappeared. Both women jumped off the couch and ran up the stairs to his side. Jolie got there first; as she reached him, he leaned into her for support.
“I’ll call Doctor Edwin right now to let him know we’re coming,” Mom said. “Let’s get you down to the car.”
Gideon looked at Jolie as they walked down the stairs. Her dark hair and almost-black eyes contrasted beautifully with her pale skin. She was everything he’d remembered, and despite the pain, he wanted to just stand there and relish being in her presence again.
“Hi,” he said.
“Hi.” She smiled again. “I’m so glad you’re home.”
The stairs were an agonizing affair, but finally, they reached the floor. Jolie helped Gideon out the door while his mother grabbed her cell phone and keys off one of the side tables. Gideon groaned as he stumbled out the door and to the car. Jolie sat beside him in the back seat, and he slumped against her.
“I love you,” she said.
“I love you, too.” He gingerly wrapped his arm around her and gave her the best hug he could manage. “I never thought I’d see you again.”
“I knew I would.” Jolie beamed. “I never doubted it.”
Gideon smiled. As they drove to the hospital, the two of them just sat there, resting in each other’s arms. Gideon tried to ignore the pain racking his body, but it seemed to keep reminding him, I’m still here.
It seemed like forever, but they finally reached East Regional Hospital, where Dr. Edwin worked–where Gideon himself had worked, before his trip. Carl Edwin was a member of Refuge Church, where Gideon’s father pastored, and he had assured them that he was on call for them whenever they needed him. Jolie helped Gideon out of the car, while his mother ran to get a wheelchair.
Edwin was waiting for them just inside the hospital, and he led them back to an examination room.
“Let him lie down,” Edwin said.
Gideon held out a hand, and Jolie helped him to his feet. She brought him over to the bed and he pulled himself up. Edwin stepped up beside Gideon and began his examination.
Suddenly, Gideon worried that somehow, Edwin would find out about the light that had come from Gideon’s hands. Would that be the kind of thing that would show up on any scans the doctor did? Even as a doctor himself, Gideon had no idea what had happened to his body, and no idea how it would manifest itself.
“He’s definitely sustained some serious bruising,” Edwin said. “Not surprising, all things considered. There are no signs of internal bleeding, though. I’d like to do an x-ray to make sure he doesn’t have any broken bones.”
Gideon hoped that was allEdwin found.
About the Author:
Jake Tyson, a journalism graduate from Central Baptist College, has been writing creatively since he was nine years old and has been a fan of superheroes and Star Wars for as long as he can remember. He is a resident of Conway, Arkansas, where he lives with his wife Jessica and works for Lifeword Media Ministry. He has also written a flash fiction short story, Joining the Team, for gohavok.com.