Cloistered Catholic Monk Assists with Adventure

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East Texas author Fletcher King had the rare opportunity to meet and work with a Catholic Monk, while doing research for the newly released medieval adventure, "The Advent of the King."

The Advent of the King

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In the process of doing research for Fletcher King's newly released medieval adventure, "The Advent of the King," the East Texas author had the rare opportunity to meet and work with a Catholic Monk (who requested anonymity) whose forte is history, at the Subiaco Abbey located in the State of Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks area. It was important to King to understand what life would have been like in a medieval monastery.

"Some have commented that monasticism and faith are unusual elements to include in a novel that contains graphic sex and violence; but people are people in any age; and sex, violence, and faith were all prevalent in the medieval world," King says.

King, who graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, learned that the first monk-missionaries of Saint Meinrad arrived in Logan County, Arkansas, on March 15, 1878. The monks of Subaico Abbey are Benedictines and trace their monastic history back to 5th Century Italy, where St. Benedict lived in a cave (Sacro Speco) and wrote his famous Rule for monasteries at Monte Cassino. His Rule, now 1500 years old, emphasizes a way in which men and women living in community can seek God through prayer, work, holy reading and leisure.

While staying at Subiaco's Coury House Retreat Center for two days and touring the beautiful Arkansas Historic Landmark in the heart of the Western Arkansas Mountains, King was allowed to participate in the observance of the Hours with the brothers, get a taste of the daily discipline, and was able to ask many questions about monastic life now and then.

"I needed to know everything from daily life in a monastery to what the Mass and the churches and cathedrals of the pre-Crusades period would have looked like. And there is only so much information you can glean from a stack of history books," says King.

When King left Subiaco, the Monk agreed to continue answering questions concerning monasteries and medieval times via email and was helpful in creating the final version of the novel.

King describes "The Advent of the King" as a quick-paced, engrossing, and thought-provoking adventure that plunges readers into a medieval world of faith, duty, and honor as they follow the plight of a young king who is beginning to realize that his reign cannot endure.

King intends the "The Advent of the King" for adult readers but says it is not a history book. "The kingdom and characters are fictional, but the issues in the story are not. Parts of the story may shock some readers, but all will be entertained."

"The Middle Ages was far from a golden age. Although medieval culture depended on fealty to function, I believe the actuality of everyday life was much less pristine and noble than portrayed in the Hollywood movies of the 40's and 50's. It was a world of violence, struggle, power, sex, honor, and loyalties in which some demonstrated great faith and self-denial as they sought God and strove to live a higher ideal. To leave any of it out is to paint an incomplete picture."

"The Advent of the King," ISBN 1-4259-1493-4, LC 2006900565, was published in 31 July, 2006 by AuthorHouse and is distributed by Ingram. In December 2006, Midwest Book Review awarded it a five star review. The 704 page novel may be purchased direct from the official website http://www.AdventOfTheKing.com or from your favorite online bookstore.

For more information about Fletcher Kings' medieval adventure and the famous Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas, go to http://www.AdventOfTheKing.com and http://www.subi.org/history.htm

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D. Fletcher

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