Graham Leo is not your average fiction author. But then again, who and what is your ‘average fiction author?’
An author of five books, as well as a school principal for 20 years, Graham has just penned A Clear Dusk Settles, written due to what he believed is a lack of quality in the Christian marketplace for younger readers.
“I was tired of not being able to find a novel for young people that expressed hope and reflected good values,” he states. “Too many novels, especially for young people, are about depressing topics such as drugs, family breakdown, crime, or suicide. The only ones that did were soppy or unrealistic, or set in unrealistic religious settings.
“I wanted to write a novel for ordinary people that provided strong traditional values, while not preaching at them. I wanted to smuggle Christian values into a secular novel.”
That he has. In A Clear Dusk Settles, the main character is a young woman who is a university student at Britain’s Oxford University. Part of her family lore is that there is some family secret hidden in Tasmania, the small, rural island to the south of the Australian mainland. But details are sketchy. No-one knows the details. Deep inside herself, she nurses a desire to find her true home. Accordingly, she decides to go to Tasmania to try to find out the family secret and also perhaps to find herself.
In a culture where it is just normal for young people to experience serial sexual encounters as part of their social life, this book stands as a reminder that this is not the only way for young people to live. The author is careful to avoid any kind of ‘preachiness’, but he shows his heroine and several others in the novel thinking their way into loving relationships, rather than just plunging into yet another physical experience.
As Graham says, “They make choices based on good values, and preserve their humanity by doing so.” The effect is subtly achieved, and by the end the reader is deeply impressed with the power of love that has been thoughtfully but passionately engaged.
After completing his first novel, Graham is not done yet. He is in the process of writing another novel, as well as planning a new children’s series.
A Clear Dusk Settles is now available globally.