by Melissa Voss
Guy L. Pace, a Spokane author whose wife graduated from Whitworth, published his first novel on Aug. 12. In this novel, Pace begs to answer the question, “Can youth and faith defeat evil?” Pace’s novel, titled “Sudden Mission,” takes place in a dystopia setting and follows three teenage friends as they face a cunning enemy. The enemy they are up against is Satan.
“Sudden Mission” integrates Christian themes into a thrilling plot and relatable characters that appeal to a young adult audience.
“I wrote a book I would have wanted to read when I was 11, with lots of action and excitement,” Pace said. The novel’s protagonists, Paul, Amy and Joe, are called on to help restore reality after Satan–called “the Adversary” throughout the novel – throws the world into chaos. Throughout the course of the novel the friends are challenged by “everything from zombies to Samurai,” Pace wrote in the novel’s synopsis. Their biggest challenge, however, is staying strong in their faith through their numerous struggles.
Before retiring in 2011, Pace served in the Navy, worked as a journalist and spent 20 years working in higher education and information technology. After his retirement, Pace threw himself into a newfound passion.
“As a Christian, it felt like a natural flow,” Pace said, on why he decided to write a Christian -based novel. He believes that there are important spiritual values in keeping faith in every aspect of your life, a concept that played a key role in his novel.
For Pace, the writing process was unique. As a former journalist Pace said he was used to working under a deadline and therefore decided to write his novel in one month. For inspiration Pace turned to National Novel Writing Month, often referred to as NaNoWriMo, a non-profit and month long event that occurs every November. NaNoWriMo challenges writers to write a novel over the course of the month, a challenge that, in 2012, Guy Pace accepted.
“I’ve always been a hard worker,” Pace said. After setting up some preliminary character sketches and setting details, Pace began the writing process and had the first draft of his novel completed by the end of the month. Although he had put in time to plan beforehand, “the outline didn’t last long once the character took over,” Pace said. After work shopping the novel with friends and editors, as well as sending it around to many publishers specializing in Christian literature, Pace finally found a publisher in Vox Dei Publishing, an imprint of BookTrope Editions. Pace was able to work directly with the people at Vox Dei throughout every step of the publishing process. From editing to cover design, his approval and input was valued by the publishers. For that reason, he feels fortunate to have worked with BookTrope, he said.
“Traditional publishing often takes a couple of years to finally result in a finished product,” Pace said. “Working with agents and many layers of publishers would make the process less personalized.” “Sudden Mission” was released last month and Pace is very excited about the future of his novel. His hope for “Sudden Mission” is for it to get out for kids to read as a positive example of an action novel in a dystopian real-world setting, Pace said.
“I want to become a New York Times best-selling billionaire,” Pace said jokingly. However in the meantime, he is glad to have the book inspire young readers. The author is already working on the second installation to his book series, which he hopes will be released next spring. Pace will hold a book reading and signing at Indaba Coffee on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 2 p.m.