A Question of Possession a novel                               J O H N   F O N S
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About John Fons
JOHN FONS is a first-time literary author. He is an attorney by training who has coupled his innate curiosity, his eye for detail, his vivid imagination, together with his passion for history, to craft this most unique, compelling novel.

John lives in Tallahassee, Florida with his wife.

Author's Notes about A Question of Possession

A Question of Possession is my first novel, and I would like for you to read it. But, why should you? I spent my decades-long legal career honing my writing skills; creating various written legal materials, including pleadings, testimony, journal articles and analyses. Okay, so legal writing is not quite the same as writing a novel. Consequently, in my spare-time I read hundreds of books of all genres, relishing the qualities of a well-written book; and my ‘writing course’ teacher told me that the best way to learn how to write fiction is to read lots and lots of novels. She was absolutely correct in her advice. For the last several years I have read novels with an eye towards what it takes to make a work of fiction, readable, informative and interesting. I believe that A Question of Possession satisfies each of those criteria. 

The genesis of the ‘two spirits in one body’ concept arose from my belief that my spirit is not the original inhabitant of the body I now occupy: Like Jack, the original inhabitant had a traumatic head injury when he was six-years old. By the time I was in college, I half-believed, and half-imagined, that I was the ‘walk-in’ spirit of an American P-38 pilot killed in a mysterious plane crash somewhere in the Pacific at the exact same moment that my predecessor died. This belief was driven by what I perceived to be memories of experiences that would have predated the birth-date of the six-year old, and could not possibly have been the memories of the dead boy. Perhaps these memories were merely the result of my having absorbed reminiscences reported to me by my two, much-older, brothers.

There was nothing, however, particularly remarkable about those memories, or about my subsequent life-experiences, that warranted writing a book about a rather ordinary, unremarkable life. Moreover, I was never quite able to convince myself that my ‘walk-in’ theory was sustainable. Still, it was an enjoyable fable; always proving to be an engrossing tale, sure to entertain gullible drinking companions.  

While my aim was to explore the concept of ‘spirits’ and replacement ‘spirits’, I realized that I needed to fictionalize a different set of ‘spirits’, and to develop the story around two ‘spirits’ who would be involved in a complex, unsettling, ongoing relationship. This was to be a relationship that would create interdependence and conflict, and would impact and alter Jack’s interactions with his family and others. At some point in the creative process, I realized that the story had to deal with whether Jack suffered from a sick, deranged mind, or was he the victim of demonic possession? As the novel’s author, my biggest challenge was how to resolve that issue and the associated issues of who ultimately controls Jack’s body, and of who bears the responsibility for the actions of that body – Jack or ‘the spirit’.  

In the end, A Question of Possession took on the characteristics of a mystery story. I love a good mystery, and it was not much of an adjustment to the theme of the novel for me to put Jack and Fritz at the center of why Jack has gone missing, along with his Aunt Rita and her companion, Hannah, with whom Jack was living. It was the search for Jack that provides the impetus for the discovery of the three-dozen Big Chief tablets; which, in turn, provides the mechanism for permitting the relationship between Jack and Fritz to ‘play-out’, to resolve itself. It also allowed me to develop the characters of Aunt Rita and Hannah: two remarkable, passionate women who have vastly conflicting plans for dealing with Jack and Fritz.  

As much as Jack and Fritz’s growing relationship was the main catalyst for the novel, it was the response of Jack’s parents, Paul and Nell, as well as his Aunt Rita – Nell’s sister – to Jack’s predicament from which the novel gains much of its emotional dynamic. It is Nell and Rita, together with Hannah – the mysterious Jewish war-refugee – who are the real power-players of the story; it is Rita’s love, and Nell’s lack of love, for Jack that drives his development from an insecure, love-starved small boy to a more mature, self-aware teenager. 
"I want to recognize and thank my talented daughters, Kathy Barkley and Laura Granberry, for the design, implementation, and functionality of this awesome website, and for their steadfast support and efforts to bring this novel to fruition."

- John