This novel tells the story of Chris Marcum, a man who seemingly has everything. Chris is religious, but refuses to believe that his faith in God has anything to do with his personal success. So when he’s visited by an angel who challenges him to test his theory by re-living his entire life, he accepts.
Blurb: Chris Marcum was a man who had everything. The perfect wife, the perfect job, and the perfect life. He was also sure his belief in God did not depend on those successes. So when an angel appeared to him on his deathbed with a challenge to prove the depths of his faith, Chris immediately accepted. Relive your life, with no recollection. This time however, without the breaks. What happens when instead of going right, you go left? What if there are no happy endings? How much can a man endure before he hits his breaking point? And what happens then?
My thoughts: Two Ways to Sunday presents an engaging tale of emotional twists and turns for Chris Marcum, who has a chance to live out the “what ifs” of life. It’s a story that takes a deeper look into personal faith and a person’s doings and undoings. Starita delves into the heart of human emotions while keeping the reader involved and wondering, “what will happen next?”. His characters are believable and easy to relate to. The themes guide the reader to explore life’s more profound questions.
Q. 1) Holly: Like your character, Chris Marcum, have you ever had a moment where you realized that taking a different path or not getting the break you wanted would lead you in a new direction?
A. 1) Tom: I got engaged (for the first time) back in July, 2005. That night my cousin and future best man Greg came over with a girl he was on his second date with, Melissa to congratulate us. Life was great. Fast forward two and a half years later to November 30, 2007. I was in the shower, getting ready to go to the bar with a couple of single friends and I couldn’t believe how my life had fallen apart. The week prior I was at Greg and Melissa’s wedding, alone because my engagement had gone done in flames in May, 2006. Even worse, there was a girl who was absolutely perfect. She was beautiful, funny and when I was around her I was happy. The problem was I had met her while I was engaged and we decided to stop talking because there was no future for us. When my engagement crumbled she offered to be there for me as a friend but I was too distraught to do anything except say thanks. When I finally pulled myself out of my misery and contacted her she had already met someone else. Since I met him and he was a great guy I told her that I’d back off and when they broke up I’d be waiting. Well, they wound up getting married. All of these events were playing in my head while I was in the shower. I couldn’t fathom how everything had gone so wrong and even worse, I met someone who could have been the one and blew it. I was just so angry and blamed God for where I was. Then I started looking at the situation and thought how much of this was my own doing. At that moment I realized after years of waiting I finally had my book. I raced out of the shower and banged out four pages. (the hospital scene in the beginning) From there I kept typing because I wanted to see where the story would go. It took almost five years to the day, December 1, 2012 before I could hold my book in my hands and it was worth the wait.
Q. 2.) Holly: So looks like you decided to change your course of life and become a writer. Are you writing full-time, or planning to write full-time?
A. 2.) Tom: Right now I’m an Aflac agent. The problem with the job is its commission only and no benefits. So while I’m looking for a more stable job I’m taking advantage of this time and writing everyday. My dream is to never hear my alarm clock go off ever again. After everything I’ve been through over the last seven years I want to live life on my terms. To be a full time writer would be heaven on earth.
Q. 3.) Holly: Are you currently working on another book? If so, what can you tell us about it?
A. 3.) Tom: I’m currently in the third draft of my second untitled book. That book is from the perspective of the main character and follows him during a portion of his life. He’s selfish, completely unaware and narcissistic so it’s a lot of fun to write. Besides that I’ve been cranking out humorous little essays and since I’m clueless about how the literary world works I’m trying to figure out what to do with them!
Q. 4.) Holly: You self-published. What have you learned from writing and publishing Two Ways to Sunday that you’ll do differently with the next book.
A. 4. )Tom: The one thing I learned is don’t rush the process. I am impatient in general and badly wanted to get published. Naturally that is not a good combination when you’re writing and so I thought after my second draft BOOM it’s finished! Now I know that even when I think the book is done there’s at least two more drafts to go!
Q 5.) Holly: What is your favorite part about writing?
A. 5.) Tom: The complete and total freedom you have. I love how I can write in my apartment or if I want I can go to Barnes & Noble and write in the cafe or if its 80 degrees I can sit in the park and work there. The only limit is the strength of your battery. Plus, you can’t beat working while wearing a hoodie.
Q. 6.) Holly: Describe the typical person who you’d think would most enjoy your book
A. 6) Tom: That’s a great question. My book is obvious religious in nature, so for people with faith they’ll definitely enjoy it. At the same time I have several friends who are atheists and agnostics and they loved the story because they could relate to the character. I think this story has something for everyone, faith, romance, comedy and in the end a good story people can disappear into.
Finally, the one thing I hope my book conveys is a sense of hope. If there’s one thing I’ve learned on the roller coaster I’ve been on for the past seven years is you can endure anything as long as you have hope. It doesn’t matter how bad life gets, the sun is going to rise tomorrow and when it does you have another opportunity to take control of your life and turn things around. It’s your life so take ownership of it, embrace the mistakes and do whatever it is that makes you happy.
Great thoughts and advice Tom. I’m sure your readers will agree. Thanks for popping in today!