Seward student publishes book


A stack of dark paperback books sits in the Saints Bookstore, freshly printed by an Oklahoma publishing company. Their pages are crisp and their spines don’t bear the tell-tale signs of repeated reading — yet. At first glance, these books appear to be just like any other. Upon closer inspection, a name printed on the shiny covers reveals what makes them so different: these books were written by Seward County Community College student Zach Carpenter. Carpenter’s book, “Soul Hunters”, revolves around detective Mick Johnson, who finds himself taking on the roles of both the hunter and the hunted as he attempts to track down those who destroyed his childhood. Filled with action, adrenaline, and monsters, “Soul Hunters” is a horror novel with a Christian twist. Carpenter began writing “Soul Hunters” when he was 17, but he’s been writing since he was 13 years old. He cites his inspirations as Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, two thriller/supernatural Christian novelists. He’s not limited to authors, however; he lists several different types of media as influences. “I started getting into movies like Underworld and video games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill,” Carpenter said, going on to name bands like As I Lay Dying, August Burns Red, and Devil Wears Prada. He’s always been interested in the horror genre and has a theory about where that interest originates. “My mom went to a haunted house when she was pregnant with me before Halloween. I guess maybe that might have been when it started,” Carpenter said. He admits that being a published author isn’t all fun and games. “Writing the book is the fun and easy part,” he explained. “It’s the selling it part that can be a challenge.” He has been forced to take on responsibilities and learn key points of business, which can be overwhelming at time because he’s new at it. He plans on setting up book signings in the area to spark interest in the series. “Right now, it’s just a matter of communicating with the people. I’m trying to set things up with them because everybody’s busy,” Carpenter explained. Carpenter does not have a definite date set in stone for a book signing, but he’s working on it. As of now, the first “Soul Hunters” book can be purchased at the Saints Bookstore or on the Tate Publishing website. The book will be available for larger chains (such as Wal-Mart, Hastings, Barnes and Noble, and to order on Nov. 8. Carpenter is currently working on the second book in the “Soul Hunters” series and expects to be finished in either spring or summer of 2012. The book will follow the same characters introduced in the first novel and a third book will follow. Carpenter envisions seven “Soul Hunters” books altogether: three in the initial series, a follow up book to the first three, and then a separate prequel series that would introduce the ancestors of the characters in the first “Soul Hunters” book. In the future, Carpenter would like to shift to his music career. Ideally, Carpenter would like to move away from Liberal and settle into a town that has an active music scene so he could become more involved with music and collaborate with other artists. Carpenter plans to use the revenue from his book series to give him enough time to focus on music. “I can write from anywhere,” Carpenter explained. “As long as I have a laptop and flash drive, I could write out my story ideas sitting in a hotel room before a show.” For now, Carpenter sits in class and does homework, just like any other college student.