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By Michele Roberts
For The Lancaster News
It only takes watching the 6 o’ clock news or picking up a copy of the newspaper on any given day to find out that some sort of violence has taken place somewhere in the county, state, country or some other part of the world.
But what if violent tendencies were not limited to just select members of the population? What if every individual in the world gave in to thoughts and acts of violence? One local author considered that fact, and wrote a book in which such an apocalyptic situation becomes real.
Lancaster resident Chris Sherrill decided to title the book, “What Rough Beast”, which comes from a line in the poem “Second Coming”, by William Butler Yeats.
“That poem is very cataclysmic, just like this story,” he said. “The inspiration for the story came one day when I had a moment of anger, accompanied by an inappropriate thought, and we all have those at some point. It made me wonder, what would happen if we couldn’t control these violent thoughts or impulses? What if the entire population of the world went mad in such a way? The thought was so intriguing I had to write it down.”
“What Rough Beast” centers around Reverend Jonathan Taylor, a resident of a small South Carolina town who finds himself caught up in just such a world. Between random acts of violence happening everywhere, rumors of a deadly virus gone airborne, and an increase in seismic activity, Taylor finds himself fighting not just for his life, but also for his humanity. The book went up for sale on Amazon.com in December, and Sherrill is now waiting for the sequel to be published, entitled, “Taylor’s Kin.” If all goes well, the book will be released at the end of this month, he said.
“The sequel just follows Taylor after he survives all of this,” Sherrill said. “It looks at what you would face after such a thing has happened, and what you would do in the aftermath.”
Sherrill said although the discussions are in the very early stages, he has been exchanging emails with someone about the possibility of turning the book into a screenplay.
“The person I’ve been talking to has contacts in that area,” he said. “And I’m excited about the prospect of possibly turning this into a movie. I don’t know at this point what the end result will be, but the talk of doing such a thing is going on.”
Sherrill, who moved to Lancaster in 2002, is self-employed as a paralegal that researches real estate titles. He is married with two children, three stepchildren and four grandchildren.
“ I’ve done manual labor so greasy and dirty it became part of my fingerprint. I’ve done clean work, first as a minister and then as a paralegal researcher, and both of these became part of my fingerprint, too,” Sherrill says in his biography. “And I write. I tell the stories that tell themselves to me. I think readers will come to recognize my fingerprint. It’ll be coarse and gritty at times and at times respectable and clean, and it will show the nicks of someone who grapples with what it means to be.”
“What Rough Beast” is available for purchase on Amazon.com, and the sequel, “Taylor’s Kin”, will also be available on Amazon when it is released. It can also be purchased as an e-book for reading on Kindle or other electronic reading devices.