Did you ever have a question for a fictional character? I do, sometimes, and I enjoy reading character interviews. Paula Vince, of The Vince Review, sent me a question for Tony Warner of Heaven’s Prey. (Thank you, Paula!)
This is an “after the novel’s ending” question, so if you haven’t read Heaven’s Prey and you’re thinking about it, you might want to skip this post. Spoilers…
Tony, I can hardly imagine what it must have been like, when a sporting hero of yours committed such a heinous crime against your family. I can understand how you must have felt when your wife, Ruth, began praying for Harry Silver. But since Ruth’s return from her own ordeal, have you been able to forgive Harry from your heart too?
It’s been over a year and a half now, but there are days I have to forgive him all over again. Every time something reminds me of our niece, Susan, or see how much her parents — and Ruth and I — have aged. The worst times are when it comes back on Ruth in a nightmare.
The damage can’t be undone. I know God worked it all out for good, bringing Harry and me both into a saving relationship with Him. <Tony laughs> I can tell you it didn’t do anything good for my pride when I realized I was as distant from God as a serial rapist-murderer.
God kept Ruth safe from the horrible things Harry would have done to her, and the experience strengthened her faith. But she carries the emotional scars, and I hate that. The counselor she sees, and her pastor, help her keep holding onto Jesus, and He is enough.
Did you know Ruth’s started sharing her story in some local churches? The investigations have wrapped up now, so the circumstances of Harry’s return to custody don’t have to remain secret. Ruth doesn’t talk much about his conversion — she says that’s his story, not hers — but she speaks to women’s groups about how God kept her safe and sane. And about the importance of prayer.
Sometimes I go with her, especially if it’s a mixed event. People seem to want to hear my side, too. We’re trying to encourage Harry to write his story, not the crimes so much, but his journey. What made a successful, healthy man turn into a dangerous offender? And how did the God of the Universe break his heart to heal it?
Thanks for asking, Paula. All the best!
Did you know there are links to other character interviews and bonus features on my book pages? Just scroll down past the buy links: Heaven’s Prey and Secrets and Lies.
Thanks Tony and Janet.
I know it was a difficult question, drawing up all sorts of emotions for you, Tony, so thanks for your thought-provoking answer. What a great outreach you and Ruth have embarked on, and what a powerful tool that book would be, if Harry does ever work on it.