RAHWAY – Author John Ruggiero recently published his first novel, Faith or Fate, which was a labor of several years.
“I was a huge Stephen King fan as a teenager, I thought he was genius,” Ruggiero said. “I was always interested in writing, but for some reason I would always start a story and never finish it. With Faith or Fate, it was completely different. I had the whole entire story worked out in my head within a day or two. I could see the characters clearly in my head and I knew exactly how I wanted to tell the story of Thomas Greggs’ life.”
Ruggiero, a lifetime New Jersey resident, says that Faith or Fate is “a story driven by great characters” and hopes that it makes readers question things like “religion and destiny.”
Thomas Greggs was born with the ability to heal people. As a child, he kept his unique talent a secret, but he did use it to heal the injuries his mother suffered at the hands of his alcoholic and abusive father when he could. Thomas’ family situation and his secret, combined with his naturally introverted personality, serve to isolate him from others. He dreams of being normal and finding a place where he and his mother fit in.
But when Thomas uses his ability to save the life of his best friend’s father, the ensuing publicity shatters his previous life and isolates him even more. As he struggles to understand the reason for his “gift,” Thomas meets a charismatic preacher of questionable morals who dreams of being a wealthy television evangelist. Rev. Billy Johnson convinces the teenage Thomas that he can help him find the answers he seeks if he joins him. Together they found a traveling religious movement called “The Mission” and bring Thomas’ miraculous gift of healing to the world.
Faith or Fate is the story of the choices that define Thomas’ life as he searches for forgiveness, love, family and his purpose.
Ruggiero said that the toughest part of completing Faith or Fate had nothing to do with writing it. “With this book, I knew I had told the best story I was capable of writing. I wanted to share it with everyone, but I was afraid to.”
Ruggiero offers this advice to other aspiring authors. “Keep trying and don’t give up. Like most aspiring authors, I have been rejected more times than I care to mention from publishers and literary agents. If you feel you have written something really good and you know it in your heart, don’t give up.”
Editor’s Note: Faith or Fate was published by CMD Media, the publisher of NJTODAY.NET.
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