SIDNEY — John Lane, of rural Shelby County, has self-published an ebook, the third novel he’s written, but the first he’s published.
“Dating the Devil,” a horror story, is available atwww.smashwords.com. The usual price is $9.99 but it is discounted through Aug. 31 to $5.99.
“It’s fiction with lots of truth in it about human nature,” Lane said recently. The idea for the plot came from a phone conversation Lane had with a friend in Kentucky. She told him she routinely left the door to her house unlocked.
“I teased her. I said, ‘Anything could come in through that door. I think I need to make a story about that.’ I ended up with a 550-page book,” Lane said.
Insisting he’s not a writer, the retired plant manager spends four to five hours writing every day. He has completed hundreds of short stories and poems and three novels. He has seven more in various stages of development.
But his tales are not for the faint of heart. “Dating the Devil” contains scenes of cannibalism and other graphic violence. Its characters range from the fantastical to the human. Zombies, demonic rats, the hounds of Hell, caretakers of death, ghosts, fire bats, spiders, demonic spirits, the mother of death and the grimm reaper, as well as Satan, all make appearances.
“It was prophesied in the days of old that: From hell there shall rise a heinous creature filled with power beyond power. It will be an evil, soulless, heartless and godless being that will not know of goodness or compassion,” Lane wrote in his introduction to the book. “The creature will release upon the earth its uncontrollable wrath and hatred-filled evil in a fury beyond all existing evil and possibility of understanding on earth … Disease, suffering and death shall accompany the creature that will end life as it is known to prove its dominance over life. The creature will be driven by evil’s insanity and its endless quest for self-importance through intimidation, fear, and death … Taken from the book of wisdom: 666BC.”
The plot concerns a beautiful young woman who becomes the subject of Satan’s lust. Satan plans to use her to create a totally Godless child.
“I want to surprise people’s minds with something different, something they dont’ see happening,” Lane said.
He is an anomaly: a writer who doesn’t like to read; however, he still remembers decades later the impact one book made on him. When he was in high school, he read “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo.
“It stimulated my imagination and created an unfamiliar world in my mind,” he said. “The best thing to come from the story is (I realized) that what is known to you, experienced by you and limited by your mind’s knowledge doesn’t have to be what it is, because there is a different world created by every thought, and that can be lived as if it is real in your mind and in your story.”
An amateur photographer as well as a writer, Lane has some 100,000 photos on his computer. He created the cover for the book.
Like many artists, Lane has a hard time leaving his works alone. He likes to rewrite and tweak. Although he worked off and on on “Dating the Devil” for five years, he published it this summer in order to actually finish it.
“I finally said to myself, ‘I have to stop changing it.’ I thought, ‘I’ll be dead before I get done with this,’” he said.
When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending time with his two sons and six grandchildren.