Monday, August 22, 2016

The Other Side of Hope by by R.F. Dunham @goddessfish @DunhamWriter


How did you start your writing career?
I got started in ghostwriting, actually. For anyone who’s not familiar, that means I would take an idea, or an outline, or a rough draft from a client and make it into a professional, polished story. They would pay me a predetermined fee, and they publish the book in their name. I did that for a few years while I was working on The Other Side of Hope and I always referred to it as payed practice because I wrote several novels (for money) before ever publishing my first.

How do you describe your writing style?
I think of my writing style as being somewhat sparse. Or efficient. I don’t spend a lot of time describing characters or settings in great detail. Instead, I focus on what’s happening, what the characters are saying, thinking, and feeling. I aim for a deep point of view where you’re not going to see elaborate descriptions of things the characters wouldn’t be paying close attention to in real life. Instead, you spend the whole story in the minds of the various characters. You get to see what’s important to them and nothing else. Efficient.

What do you think makes a good story?
Characters who are transformed by conflict. On the most basic level, that’s all you need for a good story. Realistic, engaging characters who want something, but are prevented from getting it in some way. Their efforts to get around those obstacles change them and they reach the end of the story having achieved something, even if it’s not what they originally set out for. There are lots of other details that go into writing a good novel, but that’s all you need for a good story.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
         I have lots of suggestions! In fact, a little over a week ago, I wrote this post for a friend’s blog sharing some of my best writing tips. It’s about how to trim unnecessary words from your manuscript and you should definitely check it out. Another tip I’ll share here is a little more specific and involves dialogue tags. A common mistake I see new writers make is to write something like this:

“‘Stay back!’ Sarah hissed.”

Can you spot the problem? It’s the fact that you can’t actually “hiss” the words “stay back.” Another example is using a word like “grimaced” for a dialogue tag. You can’t “grimace” a word. That’s a facial expression, not a manner of speaking. My basic point to make sure that when you describe a person’s speech, you’re using a word that actually describes speech.

What are you passionate about these days?
Connecting with readers. Like many authors, I’m a major introvert. I could sit at my computer for days without seeing another person and hardly even realize it. But if I do that, I’ll never sell any books. So I’m learning to get out and connect with people. And I’m finding it quite enjoyable. I’ve shifted my focus from selling books, to making connections and it makes the whole process a lot more fun. In fact, I’d love to connect with you guys! I know there are several of you who have been following this tour (you know you who you are!) and I really appreciate it! But my tour is going to be wrapping up soon (only one more post after this week’s) and I would hate to never hear from you again. So I really and truly hope for one thing, not that you would buy my book, but that would head over to right now and sign up for my email list. Once you do that, we’re connected for as long you’ll stay signed up! But I’ll send you a lot more than simple author updates or information about where I’m having book signings. I’m working on two different projects right now and I’m sending both of them to my email list chapter by chapter as they get written. So over the next several months, you’ll get two free books, plus lots of other great stuff. I hope to see you there!

What book are you reading now?
          Right now, I’m reading Capitulation by Liberty Speidel. It’s the third book in her series, The Darby Shaw Chronicles which are superhuman detective stories. I’ve actually already reviewed the first two books, so you can see what I thought of them here and here. I’m also reviewing them on The Wrambling Writers, a podcast I co-host. If you listen, you can get my co-host’s take as well as mine. Plus hear some other fun stuff!

Who is your favorite author?
Ted Dekker, without question. There are others I like a lot, but he’s got to be my favorite. He’s my biggest writing role model for the way that he writes stories that are packed with the teachings of Jesus without being overbearing or religious. There are no preachy scenes, no heavy-handed endings. He’s not a “Christian author,” just an author who follows Jesus. And that’s exactly what I strive to be.


The Other Side of Hope
by R.F. Dunham

GENRE: Alternate History


In 732 A.D., the Frankish and Burgundian forces led by Charles Martel defeated an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi and halted the Muslim advance into Christian Europe. At least, that's what happened in the world as you know it.

Step into the world of The Other Side of Hope, where the world as you know it is turned on its head. A world where Charles Martel fell on that field south of Tours, France and was never given his nickname, "The Hammer." A world where Europe came under Muslim rule and Christianity was eventually forced to flee to the shores of a distant land in search of religious freedom. A land where, without support from European colonial powers, they found only conflict and poverty.

In the modern day, this world remains divided. The wealthy Muslim East and the poverty-stricken Christian West are constantly at odds. A single spark is all it takes to ignite fresh conflict and the cycle seems never-ending.

Follow the paths of Ethan Lewis and Hamid Damir as they are put on a collision course with the other side. Will they find hope for a brighter future or be lost in the despair of intractable conflict?


The path to Elisa’s house was one Ethan had walked often. One he took every Sunday afternoon after church and sometimes other days as well. Since it was Sunday, all the shops were closed. Church had only just let out and most of the people in the town of Cayuga would be at home having lunch with their families now.

Most, but not all, Ethan saw.

A large crowd had gathered up ahead and he would have no choice but to elbow his way through once he reached it. The crowd was loud and raucous, enraptured by the words of a single man standing on a low roof above them. The man wore the loose fitting, layered clothing common to all in Lachlond and the closer Ethan got, the more clear the speaker’s voice became.

“The time of our oppression is drawing to a close. Our deliverer is coming soon. He will ride on the clouds with his name marked on his thigh to bring the judgment of God down on our enemies. He is calling. Our deliverer is calling you! Will you answer his call? Will you stand with him and wear his mark? He is calling you to cast off the chains that hold you down, to rise above the fear that holds you back, and strike back at the enemy that defies His name!”

Ethan had to fight the urge to cover his ears against the cheers of approval. He reached the crowd and pushed his way in. He wasn’t a large man, but he’d always been stronger than his average build implied. Still, it was a struggle to shove his way through the thick press.

“He did not come to bring peace, but a sword, and that sword will overcome the power of our enemy and bring freedom!”

The words grated on Ethan’s ears. They were all too familiar. The same words that had drawn his father into battle ten years ago. A battle he had never returned from.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

R.F. Dunham writes with one purpose: to take you places you've never been before. That might be a distant fantasy land, the far reaches of space, the future of earth, or simply to an idea you've never encountered. A student of language and culture, Dunham's stories will pull you into complex worlds that challenge your perception of your own surroundings.

After working for over two years as a professional ghostwriter, the time has finally come for him to release his first full-length novel published in his own name, The Other Side of Hope. His short story, “Just a Drop,” was recently published in Nebula Rift Science Fiction magazine and an interactive version of the story is currently in beta testing. When he’s not writing, R.F. can be found playing the trumpet, writing his thesis in Arabic linguistics, or hiking in the mountains of Virginia. 



R.F. Dunham will be awarding $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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