I was a fan of the Left Behind series. Seriously, who wasn’t? Jenkins did a superb job of story telling that spanned 16 novels. That’s an amazing feat. I enjoy any novel about the last days and God’s final plan for the Earth. But I’ve been thinking lately…what if the End Times could be used as just another setting? I looked it up and found one novel about a cop in the last days. It was a secular novel and a good premise. Imagine investigating a murder when you knew the end of the world was approaching.
From a Christian perspective, however, we know that the last days may take ten years, a hundred, maybe even another thousands. In fact, the New Testament writers of the first century claimed they were in the last days. The arrival of Christ marked the beginning of the end. So we’re quite correct when we say we live the last days. Of course, that’s theology. We want fun fiction.
the calm before the storm
I named my site “the calm before the storm” because that’s where I see America, and the world, right now. Or very soon. I imagine an entire set of genres built around this end times setting. After all, just because the economy has crashed, or an EMP has been detonated, or a plague has wiped out 90% of the population, it doesn’t mean that life doesn’t go on. We’ve had devastating plagues before. People still fall in love. Murders still happen. Suspense is still in full swing.
A romance in the calm before the storm? Why not? We could have another fifty years before God’s final judgement. Ain’t gonna spend it alone. A murder mystery after a devastating plague? Sure. People still commit crimes. Someone has to solve them. A thriller is a given. The vote’s still out on Chik Lit, but I’m up for any possibility.
Writing the End Times novel
My current novel in progress, For Another Tomorrow, takes place after the Last Great Crash. The economy is in ruins. Starvation is rampant. America is divided into a pre-Constitution type of civilization, where every state and community create their own laws, their own currency, and fight among themselves. No zombies. No nuclear fallout. No roving bands of cannibalistic bikers (seriously, just once I’d like to see a roving band of vegetarian bikers). Just people trying to make a new life in a new America, or Americas, depending on how this shakes out (I ain’t tellin’).
In For Another Tomorrow, my protagonist finds himself the key witness in the murder of a cop. The problem? My protagonist is on the run from the federal authorities, who are still trying to hold America together, so he can’t reveal himself. Because he values justice as much as he values his freedom, his only choice is to solve the murder himself and lead the local police down the trail without giving himself away. In his quest for truth, he discovers that faith is his, and America’s, only hope for reconciliation.
That, my friends, is an End Times Mystery. It’s the calm before the storm. When life goes on. While there’s still time.
What are your thoughts? Can the End Times before God’s final judgement serve as a setting for any genre?