WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg native Christopher Russell will be taking part in a book signing at Barnes & Noble for his book “Twilight Divinity: Rebirth” on Saturday, Aug 6.
“Twilight Divinity: Rebirth” follows the story of the children of a great war as they work to face the power sealed away — a power that the world would rather forget, but has certainly not forgotten them.
The work was the result of the author’s love of fantasy and science fiction, as well as his love for history.
“The first long-form work that I did was a book called First Legion,” Russell explained. “I never published it, but it was a historical fiction that I wrote in high school. It was a ‘what if’ scenario of what if Julius Ceaser had never been killed. I had a lot of fun with that, creating the characters, creating the situations. But there was always a little bit of a creative slump when doing it. And that’s because, as I realized later, I wasn’t getting to come up with everything myself.”
Russell still uses that love of history to influence his work, but with his choice of genre, finds more creative freedom in getting to pick and chose what carries over and what doesn’t. Thus, feeling less constrained by the genre of historical fiction as opposed to fantasy.
Russell discovered a love for reading at a very young age thanks to a series called the Redwall by Brian Jacques. Being a part of a military family, he spent most of his life moving around the world and across the country. With the encouragement of his mother, he started writing his own stories while in high school, living in Williamsburg.
Now, Russell is a mechanical and aerospace engineer. He rediscovered his love for writing, and the passion for creating the Twilight Divinity series, while in school working toward his degree.
“I read a series called Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky,” Russell said. “His series was essentially about combining magic and science. I rediscovered my passion for writing while in university mainly from reading this series. And so I had thought, ‘Huh, I can do that too,’ and that is where the very steampunk world of Divinity’s Twilight comes from.”
In addition to Russell’s work as an engineer, he also attends cons to promote his books, averaging two events a month in order to get his work out there. Besides the signing at Barnes & Noble, he is also going to be at the Book Wearhouse in the Premium Outlets and Virginia Comic Con later this month.
“Rebirth” received the Ozma Fantasy award in 2020 and the second book in the Divinity’s Twilight series, “Remnant,” will be out on Sept 14.