Friday, November 7, 2014

Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse at Certainty by Victor Bevine + Giveaway! (US/Can)

Victor Bevine

When you're fighting an injustice, can it be wrong to do what's right?

Inspired by the scandalous true story that shocked a nation at the close of WWI.

With America's entry into World War I, the population of Newport, Rhode Island, seems to double overnight as twenty-five thousand rowdy recruits descend on the Naval Training Station. Drinking, prostitution, and other depravities follow the sailors, transforming the upscale town into what many residents—including young lawyer William Bartlett, whose genteel family has lived in Newport for generations—consider to be a moral cesspool.

When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, in the face of dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth—he must confront the very nature of good and evil.

Certainty recalls a war-torn era when the line between right and wrong became dangerously blurred.

The Long Road to Certainty

Hi everyone and thanks for reading, and thanks to Books à la Mode and Karielle for asking me to add a bit to the mix. I will scrupulously attempt to avoid spoiling any of the mysteries of Certainty, though I will offer one bit of info for Karielle specifically that the rest of you may find interesting as well... if/when you read the book, and you’re trying to conjure up an image of young sailor Charlie McKinney (one of the twin protagonists), you should definitely think... Henry Cavill! I did not specifically write it for him (he was probably about 10 years old when I first conceived this story), but I can’t think of anyone who more embodies the look and swagger of Charlie then himself, or anyone I would rather have play him in the movie.

As I mention in my author’s note, the first seed of Certainty was planted one rainy night many years ago when I ducked into a bookstore on Lower Broadway in NYC to get out of a torrential downpour. Not surprisingly for me, I was immediately drawn to the history section and there discovered the true story of the Newport Navy Vice Scandal of 1918-1919, a tale that seemed both incredible and incredibly relevant to our own more or less current-day struggles with issues of love, justice and identity. And not just sexual identity (though certainly that), but more the unique identities we each create out of what we call our "values," an amalgam of personal experiences, family and social history, religious traditions, and most of all, the dictates of "our tribe." These tribal values go to our core, and as such are often accepted as "received wisdom," or "certainties" that we question only at our peril. The personalities involved in the actual historical event seemed to me to have faced just such a moment, and it is from this crucible of values that Certainty was born.

Being a life-long actor and then screenwriter, my first instinct was to write it as a film, and so I did. The movie was nearly made twice, the last time in late 2007 with me set to direct and Liam Neeson playing the role of Reverend Kent. When the production fell apart at the last moment, and with the looming financial crisis already striking fear in the hearts of anyone with money to invest in a film, I reasoned that it was time to resurrect the dream I’d had since I’d first read The Great Gatsby when I was 15... the dream of writing a novel. I had nothing else to do at the time other than whine about my lost directing career, so I decided I would write at least one page a day. I wrote way more than that, and in six months the first draft was complete. It was still very far from a novel, however, mostly just a screenplay without the formatting, so I put it aside, and then started my audiobook narrating career (over 200 titles to date available on If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s amazing book, Outliers, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I refer to the 10,000 hours it takes to master most anything you’re trying to master. So, after seven years of narrating, and many hundreds of hours of re-writes, my guardian angels at Amazon Publishing appeared and told me how much they loved Certainty... and well, here we are. Whether or not I have indeed mastered my craft will of course be up to readers to decide, but I hope you will at least enjoy the journey.

People often ask me how I stuck with the same story for nearly 20 years of my life? I suppose the answer is that over the years, I invested so much of myself in each of my characters that the unfolding of their stories and the conflicts they faced became a personal journey for me as well, a way to work through some of my own tribal prejudices, and try to get closer to the things that truly matter to me at a fundamental level. As one of the main characters asks, how much of virtue is simply an accident of birth—the right family, the right culture, the right century—and how much is truly absolute? I hope it will stimulate some of the same questions in those of you drawn to read it, but most of all, I hope you will fall in love with each of these characters in the way that I did as I struggled to unravel the unique humanity in each of them.

About the Author

For over thirty years, Victor Bevine has worked as an actor, screenwriter, audio book narrator, director, and more.

A graduate of Yale University, his acting credits include many prestigious roles onstage as well as roles in the film version of A Separate Peace and countless television shows. He has read over one hundred and eighty titles as an audiobook narrator; in 2010, he received an Audiophone Award for his narration of the Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Beak of the Finch. He has written several screenplays, including Certainty, which was chosen for two prestigious writers’ conferences and which served as the basis for his first novel. His thirty-minute short film Desert Cross, which he wrote and directed, won accolades at the Athens International Film Festival.

Currently, he serves as CEO of the World Freerunning Parkour Federation (WFPF), of which he is co-founder. He resides in New York City.


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Certainty—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Victor's question below:
Certainty is dedicated to two people, my amazing mother Sofia, my first and greatest role model, and to a later and almost equally important role model, James Gatz... which we all know, was Jay Gatsby's birth name—until he reinvented himself as Jay Gatsby! Dedicating the book to him was a symbol for me of reclaiming my own authentic identity.

If you wrote a book, who would you dedicate it to, and what significance would it have?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Victor and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher and tour publicist—a huge thank you to the folks at Lake Union Publishing and TLC Book Tours!
Giveaway ends November 21st at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canadian residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!