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  • Patrick's People - Thrilling writer

  • Liberal, Mo., resident Chris Morrow always knew he had a novel in him. And recently he finished his first one, titled “The Devil’s Choir.”

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  • Liberal, Mo., resident Chris Morrow always knew he had a novel in him. And recently he finished his first one, titled “The Devil’s Choir.”
    “I always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a kid,” said Morrow, who lives in Liberal with his wife and two children. “I just never did it until now.
    Morrow’s novel is in the Christian thriller genre and is based on two characters; the mysterious Ari, who is a member of a secret Christian order that dates back to the beginning of the church, and Melanie Elarton, a young college student at a private college in mythical Oak Springs, Kan. Ari’s order — he doesn’t have a last name, Morrow said — investigates and fights against supernatural evil. Elarton has the gift of being able to see people’s thoughts, though she thinks of it more as a curse.
    “I was influenced by the little boy in Steven King’s The Shining,” Morrow said. “I think everyone experiences some sort of heightened intuition, but she has a grandiose level of it.”
    Girls start turning up dead around town, and Elarton decides to use her powers to investigate the cause. Coincidentally, the murders lure Ari, who thinks the killer is demonically possessed, to the same case. Elarton convinces Ari to let her help in his investigation, but little does she know that Ari also is being hunted. Events come to a head on the night of the town’s annual Halloween festival.
    “I’ve always been attracted to stories that keep me on my feet,” Morrow said. “Whether I’ve done it or not, time will tell.”
    Morrow’s novel is Christian fiction and falls under the Christian thriller genre. Christian fiction, he said, is literature that tells its story from a Christian worldview.
    “I’m a Christian, so I just wanted to write a story with a Christian worldview,” said Morrow, who has been writing for more than 10 years. “I wanted to talk about why we experience things such as pain and suffering and death, and do it in a fictional way.”
    Morrow said lots of Christians read the works of the Steven Kings, Dean Koontzes and other writers like them, but that there are a lot of Christian readers who are turned off by the gratuitous violence and language they portray.
    “I wanted to write a novel without all of those things that are in secular horror novels,” Morrow said.
    The first draft of “The Devil’s Choir” took about nine months to complete, said Morrow, who has a degree in criminal justice from Missouri Southern State University. Then he rewrote it four times.
    “Those rewrites are important,” he said. “I never would have been published if I hadn’t listened to a lot of people.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Morrow said his degree, in a way, shaped the type of writer he is.
    “I’ve always been attracted to fiction, and I love notion of exploring ideas and putting them into stories,” he said.
    It’s also important to practice, and Morrow has had plenty of it. He’s had multiple short stories and novellas published around the country, and said those prepared him to take the next step.
    “It’s important to start out in short stories,” said Morrow, who owns a business in Webb City. “There are a lot of lessons to be learned there.”
    Morrow doesn’t just want to write scary novels, though. But he said he like the idea of writing one.
    “Christianity and horror are not really synonymous, and it raises people’s eyeballs,” Morrow said. “We live in a pretty scary world, and if anyone’s predisposed to believe in evil, it’s Christians. I think anyone who’s inquisitive about it should read it. I don’t want to consider myself a horror writer, just a writer. We sometimes get stuck into a specific genre.”
    Morrow’s novel won second place in a contest hosted by Athenatos Christian Ministries, which he said is why he’s lucky enough to be published.
    “I was fortunate enough that they gave me the second prize money, and they extended an offer to publish my book.”
    Morrow said he’s not in the game just for the money.
    “Hopefully it encourages more people to read,” he said.

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