The Keating Files – October 2, 2023
Much has been said and written about Christians engaging the popular culture – or perhaps more accurately, their unwillingness or inability to do so, or even worse, an unfortunate tendency to only criticize. Well, I stand as a Christian trying to engage the culture as a novelist.
Indeed, as a newspaper and online columnist over the decades, I’ve been fortunate to engage the public on assorted matters regarding and related to faith and theology. However, I, too, have been troubled by the fact that few Christians engage in our popular culture – from novels to television to streaming to movies – in a constructive way.
My decision to write and publish my first novel in 2010 wasn’t based on making the fiction world some kind of battlefield in the debate and discussion over our culture. Instead, it was about my interest and passion for writing, and wanting to tell entertaining, interesting stories, while not being shy about naturally integrating my faith, or more accurately, the faith of my characters, in my thrillers, mysteries and historical fiction.
Having said all of this, my Pastor Stephen Grant novels (18 published so far), and the first book in my Alliance of Saint Michael series (titled Cathedral) offer characters, storylines, themes, and ideas that should be embraced by traditional Christians across denominations and churches.
And now, I’m trying to use technology to expand my fiction writing. I’ve benefited enormously from ebooks and print-on-demand abilities via Amazon, operating my own website for signed books, and reaching readers thanks to social media, including Facebook.
And now I’m turning to Kickstarter to further expand my writing. My Kickstarter project – “7 Exclusive Novels from Ray Keating: Thrillers, Mysteries, Historical Fiction and a Pinch of Sci-Fi” – will allow longtime readers of my works to continue reading books exclusive to this campaign’s backers; while new readers can jump in with these limited new releases with the option to get all of my previous novels and short stories. (By the way, I write all of my books so that they don’t have to be read in order – as a reader I hate when I dive into a book and am lost in terms of characters, etc.)
The seven new books will include two new thrillers/mysteries in my Pastor Stephen Grant series, two new works of historical fiction in my Alliance of Saint Michael series, and first books in three new series, that is, the first novel in my Quinn Porter series, the first installment in my Berger & Knight series, and the initial book in my Decker Files science-fiction series. Each of these books are written first and foremost in the hopes to entertain and get readers thinking, while also making some points along the way without hitting readers over the head with a two-by-four.
Following is a quick rundown on each book forthcoming if this Kickstarter is fully funded…
#1. Put Not Your Trust in Princes: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel
Pastor Stephen Grant isn’t crazy about politicians, but a race for the White House gets personal for Grant, as well as for his wife, Jennifer, and his former CIA partner, Paige Caldwell. Political and physical dangers swirl as the campaign spins out of control.
#2. Evil Triumphant: An Alliance of Saint Michael Novel
The Alliance of Saint Michael loses a key supporter, while Adolf Hitler takes control of Germany. The Alliance finds itself dealing with the dire consequences, including parts of the Church in Germany becoming an accomplice to evil.
#3. Wrath: A Quinn Porter Novel
Quinn Porter, a Catholic priest, suffers horrors and descends into a dark place. He struggles with loss, with evil, and with the call to forgive. He even fights with God. Porter isn’t sure if he ever wants to find his way back to where he was before – or whether he should.
#4. Freebooters: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel
Jennifer Grant treats her husband, Pastor Stephen Grant, to a classic films cruise. But Stephen’s love of movies gets interrupted by a hijacking on the high seas. Grant must use his experiences as a Navy SEAL and CIA operative to stymie the plans of these modern-day pirates.
#5. Clement Point: A Berger & Knight Novel
Clergy are dying in the small New England town of Clement Point, and no one has a clue if this is coincidence, a series of murders, or a mix of both. Sutton Knight heads up the small police department, but her history makes her a suspect. Nick Berger left behind a career as a policy expert in Washington, D.C., to become a pastor, and just accepted a call to the local Lutheran church. He has to rebuild a congregation, but also finds himself pulled into this mystery. Berger also is trying to figure out if he can trust Knight, and vice versa.
#6. Wittenberg: An Alliance of Saint Michael Novel
Adolf Hitler wants to use the Berlin Olympic Games to show the superiority of the “Aryan” race. The Alliance of Saint Michael is looking to use the Games as an opportunity for its most ambitious effort to save Christian and Jewish thinkers and artists, as well as precious relics and artwork, from the threats closing in from the Nazis.
#7. Disruption: A Decker Files Novel
Kyle Decker, a hard-boiled private detective in 1940s New York City, finds his uninspiring life turned upside down. His existence had been about solving sordid crimes, protecting people not worthy of protection, drinking and womanizing. Only an appreciation for fine food and an incongruous compulsion to wander into churches for prayer helped him stay somewhat grounded. Then a naïve nephew from the Midwest arrives, and a mysterious, sharp-tongued woman, Gloria Chance, shows up for work, even though Decker never hired her. As Decker tries to deal with these changes, Chance hands him a case that has him pursuing clues and suspects across time.
My advice to my fellow Christian creators? Engage the culture, but do so in a loving and constructive way. Criticism is easy, but creating makes a difference.
I hope my fellow Christians view this as an opportunity to support this Christian writer engaged in the popular culture via this Kickstarter, and most importantly, that they will enjoy these limited-released books, along with my other novels.
Ray Keating is the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers and mysteries, the Alliance of Saint Michael novels, and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consider books by Ray Keating, including…
• The Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers and mysteries. There are 18 books in the series now.
• Cathedral: An Alliance of Saint Michael Novel is at Amazon.
• The Lutheran Planner: The TO DO List Solution combines a simple, powerful system for getting things done with encouragement, inspiration and consolation from the Christian faith.
• Signed editions of Ray’s books are at www.RayKeatingOnline.com.
• Order The Weekly Economist II: 52 More Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist. Kindle editions and paperbacks via Amazon here and signed books here.And don’t forget the first book in this growing series, i.e., The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist at Amazon.com.