abuse of drugs, abused, Afghanistan, Christian radio, Christian woman, crime boss, depression, destructive path, emotional struggles, human trafficking, poor, promoting, prostitute, publishing, revenge, self-indulgence, success, surprise encounter, Temujin Hu, The Rage, writing
Temujin Hu is a hard-working American living rather like a nomad. At 36 years of age, he’s moved about 36 times and at one time or another called “home” California, Texas, Colorado, or five other states as well as Germany, China, and Kuwait. In 2003, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures. He served over four years in the US Navy in the 90′s and recently spent more than six years doing professional security in Los Angeles, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He also ran a small family-owned internet business for a couple years. He’s a Christian who spends a lot of time in the Word, and his interests include mixed martial arts, international relations, and dogs. Hobbies include hiking and shooting guns, but mostly he loves being an American and wants everyone to believe they can climb mountains.
His latest book is the inspirational crime fiction, The Rage.
Visit Temujin on the web at http://www.temujinhu.com.
Thank you for the interview! The Rage is a redemption story and reflects my growth in understanding grace over the past few years. Basically, I feel no one is righteous, everyone struggles, and everyone needs help (me especially). In my experiences working and traveling over the past few years, I’ve met many people who express to me in one way or another that they don’t feel capable of being good enough. They eventually give up trying which leads them to believe they can never be right with God. These encounters of mine lead to the question that drove my story, “When does a wicked man lose all chance at redemption?” I believe this is a very common, yet unspoken question among many. My story pushes two likeable characters to making increasingly despicable decisions, yet at the end when they should be most irredeemable, the reader will still want to see them turn their lives around. I hope it gives everyone who feels not “good enough” a reason to stay in the fight.
What was the experience like writing The Rage?
Scary! It is my first novel, but I quit my job so that I could give it my all, and that’s what I did. While writing, I spent so much time dwelling on people doing bad things, it messed with my spirit a little and at the end I had to immerse myself in positive Christian radio to get me thinking uplifting thoughts again. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about writing, publishing and promoting, and there’s plenty more to learn. I’m inspired to keep at it and get better.
How did you come up with the title?
The title refers to emotional struggles that lead to bad decisions, but in the extreme. The characters Roland and Nicolas experience traumas that warp their thinking and change them. With Roland, he grew up traumatized by his parents, so his thought life is incredibly deranged and full of self-hate. Nicolas’s trauma created a depression that altered his priorities and lead to very poor choices. Both of these men go into different sort of “rages” where their strained emotional state leads to weakened character and judgment, resulting in bad decisions. The title describes the darkness that drives good men into negative lifestyles. I believe a lot of people who suffer from depression, self-hate and drug addition will relate to the feeling of being driven to bad choices by seemingly uncontrollable emotions.
Can you tell us more about your main characters, Roland and Nicolas?
These two grew up very differently. Roland was poor and abused, while Nicolas was wealthy and comfortable. Roland was basically trained into a self-destructive life, while Nicolas was groomed for success. However, the traumas they experience take them off course and plunge them into darkness they never imagined they’d experience. While Roland seeks to build his own gang of highly skilled criminals, Nicolas abandons his old life to develop himself into a most terrifying killer. By the end of the story, the two men are very much alike, which is meant to drive home the point that any person put through trauma, without adequate training on how to deal with it, could end up in similar dire circumstances.
Are there any supporting characters we need to know about?
Three women: Vanessa knows both Roland and Nicolas, and cares for them deeply. She’s a strong, confident Christian woman and the voice of reason. But when she chooses a career in law enforcement, she finds herself hunting them down like criminals. Janie is a prostitute just trying to get by when she crosses paths with both men, encounters that change her life for the better until a criminal racket uses her as bait. Then there’s Darlene, a very beautiful woman with a mystical power of seduction used to control the various arms of the mysterious racket. She’s loyal to her organization until her feeling begin to interfere with work.
Can you open to page 25 and tell us what’s happening?
Nicolas is about to experience the trauma that will ultimately transform his entire life—he’s meeting Roland for the first time. Roland has just been pushed over the edge by discovering his parents’ indiscretions and is beginning his abuse of drugs. Nicolas just had a huge break through at work and is celebrating with his loving family when they stop at a gas station. It is a total contrast of characters and personalities, a clash that will turn into two men hunting for what they mistakenly believe will give their life meaning: self-indulgence and revenge.
What about page 65?
Nicolas is finishing a surprise encounter with Vanessa at one of his martial arts schools when he heads to a coffee shop. There he meets a strangely attractive woman whose words of encouragement manage to guide him further on his destructive path and away from good sense. It is an experience he will not fully understand until years later.
Now that The Rage has been published, what’s your next project?
I am working on a few projects. The two I will focus on are the sequel to The Rage, which will be titled The Chaos and will take some of the characters into the arena of human trafficking and prostitution as a crime boss is pursued by not-so-legit means. The second project is a satire of sorts based on my experiences doing security in Afghanistan on one of those bases that doesn’t exist; I plan to publish this one a chapter at a time on my blog.
Do you have anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
Pursue your dreams, but develop a plan first! Most of us are more capable than we give ourselves credit for. Be abundantly blessed.