Oswego writer Jonathan P. Davis released his latest book Beneath the Northern Lights in September.
Beneath the Northern Lights is a collection of six short stories with different subjects but a common underlying theme. The stories include:
“A ritualistic old man haunted by lost love and years-ago tragedy; a young soldier forbidden by religion and dictatorship to think and feel for himself; a despondent woman threatened by jealous rage at her musical passion; a King Midas–like real estate broker on a crash course with his comeuppance; a young woman and an older man who find themselves in an eerie encounter at a trendy Chicago bar; and a gifted artist who battles to overcome social stigma and family dysfunction.”
Three of the stories were first written during the 1990s and later significantly re-worked. The other three stories were written in the past three years, Davis said.
Davis said his latest book isn’t for everyone as it is “a bit gritty and edgy.” He said the reader needs an open mind as the stories explore the dark part of the human condition and show that a lot of hope exists within the dark.
“The stories will challenge your imagination and intellectually draw on feelings about yourself,” he said.
Jane Ricciardi is a former colleague who was an early reader of Beneath the Northern Lights.
“His stories have the power to grab you and make you think for days and days…He gives you little peeks into different ways of thinking about things and the relationships between characters,” Ricciardi said.
As a college senior, Davis won a Richter Scholarship, which provided funds to conduct independent research on Stephen King. Davis gained access to unpublished materials including the newspaper columns King wrote as a college student. In 1994, Davis published his book-length thesis: Stephen King’s America.
“There’s something about the nature of his writing that hit me at a deep level. He tapped popular culture yet had an artistic deep quality…He has this scary horrific element but his stories were still about people and relationships,” Davis said of King’s writing.
In 2006, Davis published Life, Inc., described as an “existentialist fantasy novel.”
Davis explained why he enjoys writing:
“There is intensely delayed gratification. It is one of few art forms where you are not sitting there to gauge the audience reaction,” he said.
“For me writing is compulsive – it burns within me and is what I always wanted to do,” he said. “You have to go to a lot of places within yourself. It is a very non-social endeavor. The ideas are just burning inside you and you have to get them out.”
Davis’s books can be purchased online from amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or the publisher AuthorHouse.com. They can also be specially ordered at most bookstores.
Davis was born in Chicago and has lived in the western suburbs his entire life. He graduated from Wheaton Central High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from North Central College in Naperville. He has lived in Oswego since 2004.
Davis’s professional background includes marketing and journalism. Davis is a freelance marketing writer who has helped many Oswego businesses.
Davis is a guitar player and song writer. He currently performs every Sunday for Big Life Community Church.
“I’m excited about what the future might hold – even on just a persona l level. I have enough material to write the rest of my life,” he said.