Friday, April 04, 2014

Superfan Contest Day 5, featuring John Cooper, Sr., aka DAD

Each weekday between March 31 and April 10, I'm posting a new This Side of Salvation "trading card" on my blog and on my various social networks. The cards feature quotes by the different characters, as well as iconic images associated with them. By sharing this image on your blog and/or social networks, you could win some great prizes!

Today's card features David and Mara's father. He's one of the most challenging characters I've ever created. A recovering alcoholic, he replaced booze with religion after his older son, John, was killed in Afghanistan. When the economy went bad, he got laid off from the finance job that had provided his family with the secure, comfortable life he'd lacked as a child.

Unwilling to accept help from mere humans, John Senior retreated further from reality and began speaking in nothing but Bible quotes. He proved adept even at small talk (turns out there's a lot of weather and food in the Bible, and holy wars make great sports metaphors), but his weird habit freaked out his children and alienated his friends.

Then cult leader Sophia Visser gave his life a new meaning. More on her next week.

The quote is Dad's own words, obviously, not from the Bible. It's how I felt when I lost someone dear to me a few years ago, the death that informed so much of This Side of Salvation. I realized one day that I was not sad or depressed, but rather deeply, existentially unhappy. Sadness is an emotion that comes and goes, while unhappiness is a state of being, which I believe stems from the world feeling fundamentally, unalterably wrong.*

Side note: This is my favorite yet of the cards, design-wise. Using a simple piece of clip art, I used an image filter to give the Bible this effect. It kinda reminds me of the cover of this novel's musical inspiration, Neon Bible by Arcade Fire:

For Superfan contest details, including rules, prize list, and entry form, see Saturday's post. If you already know what to do, here's a direct link to the entry form, which contains helpful instructions on how to link to your posts. To see a gallery of trading cards (and other interesting stuff from the book), visit the TSoS Pinterest page.

NOTE: There won't be any more cards until Monday, so you have all weekend to share this one!

Play every day for maximum points toward the grand prize, plus chances to win the daily drawings. It's super easy and super fun!

*Pleased to report that while I am still sad from time to time, I am no longer unhappy. Time may not heal all wounds, but it does eventually make them stop bleeding.

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This Side of Salvation

This Side of Salvation, Jeri's new contemporary YA novel!

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“A smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self.” —Booklist, **Starred Review**


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Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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