OTTAWA (CCN)—Canadian Catholic News’ Ottawa correspondent Deborah Gyapong celebrated the release of her award-winning novel The Defilers June 1 at a glittering launch party in the marble lobby of the National Library of Canada.
Among those who lined up to get copies signed were Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary Jason Kenney and Conservative MP Scott Reid, who used to represent the riding Gyapong lives in before a new riding was created several years ago.
In addition to the politicians, the event drew clergy from a range of denominations, representatives from several pro-family organizations, political staffers, journalists, family, friends and neighbors.
“Deborah, you have found your voice,” said Pastor Doug Ward, senior pastor of Kanata Baptist Church and director of mentoring with Arrow Leadership Ministries Canada, as he introduced the author to a standing-room-only crowd of over 100.
Ward spoke about the importance of stories in building community, especially as Canadian society loses any sense of a meta-narrative. Ward said Gyapong’s faith journey found its way into the story, even though Gyapong stressed the subject matter is not autobiographical.
Gyapong spoke of the importance of community in the creation of a work of art, especially a Christian work and thanked those who had vetted the work for its theology, including Ward and Dr. Allen Churchill, RCMP Chaplain, United Church minister, and chair of the 1998 Ottawa Billy Graham Mission.
“A gripping, credible story about human nature and the rediscovery of a relevant Christian faith,” said Churchill in his endorsement on the novel’s back cover. “As a former Mountie, I found the author’s portrayal of the RCMP authentic. I had trouble putting The Defilers down. Mature beyond what one would expect for a first novel. I highly commend the book.”
“The novel is a fast-paced intense drama written in the genre of Frank Peretti and Dennis Lehane,” said publisher Larry Willard in a May 31 news release. “The author, Deborah Waters Gyapong, is a professional writer with a journalism career that spans more than 20 years. In this story she applies all her skills to give us a twisting, suspenseful thriller, with great insight into the complexity and sinfulness of human nature and of the supernatural power of an all-good God.”
In 2005, The Defilers won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award at the Word Guild Write! Canada conference’s awards ceremony. The prize included publication.
Castle Quay and The Word Guild, a national association of writers and editors who are Christian, sponsored the contest to encourage, raise the bar of quality, and promote quality Canadian authors from all denominations who believe the Apostles’ Creed.
On June 14, The Word Guild will announce the 2006 winner at its Gala Awards Ceremony that has been moved to World Vision headquarters in Mississauga to accommodate the who’s who in Christian publishing and media and the wider community expected to attend. Salt and Light Television will be covering the event, as will 100 Huntley Street and other news media, Christian and non-religious.
Castle Quay, a division of Augsburg Fortress Canada, will hold a Toronto launch for The Defilers in conjunction with the awards ceremony.
Gyapong, who spent 12 years as a television producer for the CBC, joined Canadian Catholic News in October 2004.
The Defilers is a novel about a Mountie who finds redemption through her encounter with a man she suspects of murder and child abuse.
The story centers on Boston native Linda Donner who starts a new life in Canada, becomes a Mountie and takes a post in rural Nova Scotia, seeking balance in her life.
Her efforts to heal herself explode when she meets a strange pastor whose house has been firebombed. The pastor has been ministering in South Dare, a backwoods settlement where a sordid criminal subculture flourishes among dilapidated shacks and trailers.
She breaks in on the pastor while he’s conducting an exorcism on a little girl. Convinced she’s caught him abusing the terrified child, Linda finds herself hampered by a downward spiral into what seems to be a nervous breakdown.
Linda gradually realizes she is fighting supernatural forces and thinks about trying to find God. Trouble is, she hasn’t believed in Him since her priest got her pregnant when she was thirteen. The only person who seems able to help her is her chief suspect, the pastor.
Only after Linda recovers her childhood faith in Christ does she see clearly who is good and who is evil. By then, the evil gripping South Dare has reached well beyond the settlement to threaten everything she holds dear.
Castle Quay is an imprint of Augsburg Fortress Canada. Augsburg Fortress will distribute the book in Canada and the United States. It will be available in Christian bookstores across Canada, at Chapters and Indigo bookstores and through Amazon.ca and Amazon.com as well as through Augsburg Fortresses online book store at www.augsburgfortress.org.
Contact: Castle Quay
http://www.augsburgfortress.org , CA
Deborah Gyapong - reporter with Canadian Catholic News, 802-655-4847
Keywords: Books, new release, award-winning
Category: Catholic Publications
The picture shows Deborah and Pastor Doug Ward.
More launch pictures here.