Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nobody by Creston Mapes

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Multnomah Fiction September 11, 2007)


Creston Mapes


Creston Mapes is a talented storyteller whose first two novels, Dark Star and Full Tilt, made him a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year awards and the Inspirational Readers Choice awards. Creston has written for major corporations, colleges, and ministries, including Coca-Cola, TNT Sports, Oracle, Focus on the Family, and In Touch Ministries. Committed to his craft and his family, Creston makes his home in Georgia with his wife, Patty, and their four children.

He's been married for twenty-one years to the girl he first loved way back in fourth grade. They have three lovely girls and a boy in a very close-knit family, spending a lot of time together - watching old classic movies, going on outings, and taking in various school and community events and activities. Creston loves to go for morning walks with his dog, read, paint watercolors, meet friends for coffee and Bible study, watch hockey, take his wife on dates, and spend time in God's Word.


Not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas!

They said, “He’s a nobody.”

They were dead wrong.

When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop.

His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation–and perhaps a chunk of the money–into his own hands?

With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious dead man, but about the lost soul lurking within himself.

Uncovering bizarre links between a plane crash, a Las Vegas pit boss, a dirty cop, and a widowed Atlanta business mogul, Hudson is forced to find out: who was Chester Holte, what was he doing on the streets, and why are his homeless friends convinced he was an angel in disguise?

“Nobody was absolutely riveting from the opening scene to the final page. With compelling characters, a plot that surprised me at every turn, and a subtle, yet profound message that moved me to tears, this book goes straight to the top of my highly recommended list.”

- Deborah Raney, author of Remember to Forget and Within This Circle

“A taut, entertaining novel of mystery, intrigue, and spiritual truth. Creston Mapes delivers a winner in Nobody.”

- James Scott Bell, bestselling author of No Legal Grounds and Try Dying

“Nobody had me fascinated from the first paragraph and kept the surprises coming to the very end. Somehow, as the pages flew by, it also managed to convey a beautiful picture of faith the size of a mustard seed. From now on I’ll read anything by Creston Mapes the instant it hits the shelves.”

- Athol Dickson, Christy Award—winning author of River Rising and The Cure



When the book list came out for October, I ordered Nobody.  I'll admit, though, that after I did it, I kinda wondered why!  The cover of the book looked a bit "freaky" to me~ not like any book that I'd normally pick up and buy in a bookstore.  So, when the book arrived, and I actually started reading it, I wasn't expecting much.

Boy, was I in for a  big surprise!  Nobody is a fantastic book.  Creston Mapes has written a book that not only tells a tale of a homeless man, but also adds a murder mystery, and an underlying Christian message.  I love mysteries, but I tend to avoid alot of secular mystery novels, as they are full of things that I don't need to be filling my mind with often times, or they are scary in a way that I find unrealistic.  (I know, I've confessed my summer addiction to Mary Higgins Clark~ love her books!)  This book definitely satisfied my craving for a good mystery~ it kept me turning page after page, late into the night.  I could barely put it down.

I passed it along to my mom, who had the same reaction to it.  Let me just say this~ you've all heard the old saying "don't judge a book by its cover".  Well, Nobody was certainly a book that made this saying very real to me.  I will go as far as to say that I loved it~ and I will definitely be watching for more of Creston's books to read. 


How did you come up with your hero for Nobody~ Hudson Ambrose?

When I graduated from college with a degree in journalism, I first worked as a reporter for three years. Did feature stories, photography, and then served as a city hall reporter, doing the city beat. I LOVED the newspaper business. It was fast-paced, there was a lot of competition to see who could get their "bylines" on the front page, and there was also a great deal of fun and camaraderie with fellow reporters. So that's how I got the idea for the main character in NOBODY, Hudson Ambrose (Hud for short). Hud works for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the actual newspaper in Las Vegas which I visited when in the city researching this new novel.

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

Sometimes I envision people I know when creating new characters, because that enables me to see their features clearly in my mind so I can better describe them. I also look at magazines to find pictures of people who may become characters in my novels. Some of the characters in my book have personality traits like me, or family members, or friends. But I've never set out to make one character to look exactly like some real person I know--not even close. I think with good fiction, we take a little bit of reality, say 10%, and stretch it out to make it 90% fictional. Get what I mean? You have the seed of an idea from a real person and then you say, "What if....." And let your imagination take it from there!

Where do you do most of your writing?

In my home office, which is on the main floor of our home in Atlanta. I've always worked on Macs. I have a pretty good size screen perched up on my large desk, with a large, comfortable keyboard. This is where I get most of my fiction writing done. My children and wife have to go through two doors to get to my office, so it is fairly quiet most of the time. Summers, when everyone is home, can be tricky, because everyone is around and I want to play. Once in awhile I head off to my favorite coffee shop, Jittery Joes, for a cup of the best coffee around. I can work there and drink good coffee, just to get a change of scenery. 

What is one of your favorite things to do when you're not writing?

I love being with my family, taking my wife on dates, watching hockey, reading, jogging/walking, and serving others where God leads me. Recently I've become involved with several cool ministries at my church that serve other people kind of "behind the scenes," and I like that a lot. I don't get to read as much as I'd like, but I read my Bible in the early mornings, and I read a lot of fiction and non-fiction. 

What is your favorite restaurant to go to with your family?

There are six of us, so it's not inexpensive to go out as a family. But, hands down, we vote for Moe's. After that, it's probably Atlanta Bread Company. Favorite romantic spot with my wife is definitely Aqua Terra Bistro in downtown Buford, GA.

Do you have a new book in the works?  If so, can you give us a "sneak peek"?

Yes I do. I'm writing a fourth novel. It is one that has long been on my heart. I'm thrilled with the way it's starting out. I can't say a whole lot about it, other than, it will be a book I pray people will pick up and absolutely not be able to put down until the last page is turned. As with my other books, it will deal with a contemporary issue that is hurting our society and even people within the church. It's a topic people don't like to talk about, but I feel it's high time the flood lights came on this issue. 

Creston, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions~ any last thoughts?

Great questions, Heidi. Thanks for the interview. Hope all you guys will check out NOBODY! Then Dark Star and Full Tilt. Warm regards, Creston.

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