Q&A with A.F. Roberts

Q. Why ‘Dream-Walking’ integrated into a faith-based story? How do they fit together?
A. In the Old Testament, there are passages regarding dreams and dreaming. “And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream…” Gen. 40:5; (primarily to do with Joseph and his interpretations of the dreams of Pharaoh.)
“And the king (Nebuchadnezzar) said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.” Daniel 2: 3; (Daniel interprets the King’s dreams.)
A friend then shared a book on the subject of Dream-Walking, and I was fascinated. Eventually, though I had no success with the technique myself, I deemed that my characters should – and would! As the story progressed, I found elaborating on the concept into a greater power, even beyond the dream-world would create an engaging hook.

Q. What brought about the Templar Knight notion as part of the character line-up?
A. I felt the storyline should have something of ancestry and history to it. As so many riveting movies and novels do, an ancient element adds that spark of mystery, and helps somehow to resolve the events of the future, from the past. I felt the Knights Templar, with its Christian-warrior symbolism fulfilled that task, not to mention the fact that at least one evolution of their symbol was a circular cross icon, which was well, perfect!

Q. Why not just call Jesus ’Jesus’ instead of mostly ‘The Shepherd’ in the story?
A. I wanted Cross Gate not to fall into any kind of stereotypical cliché of a Christian story. I wanted God/Christ to be depicted in a deserving, yet subtle grandeur. By giving him a slightly mysterious name such as Shepherd, I felt like this was accomplished; similar to ’The Maker’ in the movie Noah. And He is ‘the good shepherd’ in scripture anyway.

Q. Neither Cassie nor Sandra, and especially not Murro, come off as ‘true believers’; so how are they chosen of God as these ‘gate-keepers’?
A. I wanted to show that it is often the unlikeliest of people picked for things of greatness. I also felt it was an entirely great opportunity for character development, for faith itself is not place you’re immediately at, it is a journey. And the journey these guys are on is definitely a ‘growing’ adventure!

Q. The duality between Cassie and Sandra, Cassandra, is very interesting. Any particular reason for that?
A. No, initially, not really. It simply played out as something that could be done with the closeness of the two characters that would be cool. But in retrospect, looking at it through the eyes of faith, it does smack of a (human) example of the dual portion of the Godhead, the Father and the Son… (with them), ‘Mother’/daughter…

Q. Why Turkey of all places, for the European trek of Severs & Co.?
A. Only one reason, actually, as Turkey was not exactly a Templar mecca. But, logistically, it’s a reasonable path… to the Caspian Sea. Just as names like The Shepherd and Cassandra were keynote personas, I felt Cassie, unto herself, needed an evolution; a ‘superhero’ guise, if you will. In research of the Templars, which obviously lead to the European continent, mapping brought me to the Caspian Sea; at which point, The Cas-pian was born!

Q. The Name – Cross Gate – smacks of ‘Star Gate.’ Is it not an unabashed Rip Off?
A. Honestly… Yes, it IS! The inspiration for the title came from an actual, existing icon In A Church… on the ceiling, built to about the actual size of the ‘stargates,’ and looking almost exactly like one! (I’ve been an avid Star Gate watcher for a long time.) Not far from it (in this worship center) is a giant cross, over a baptistery. Thus, easy math, one, plus the other, equals – CROSS-GATE!

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