Author Insights 12: Topics vs. Themes (part 3)


Topic: 1a subject of conversation or discussion

Theme: 2a unifying or dominant idea, motif, etc., as in a work of art

The Three Major Themes of Eternal Curse

Purpose | Discovery | Faith


Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. ~Voltaire

The first thing I want people to understand about the importance of faith is that faith and religion are not the same thing. Granted, a lot of the time when people discuss faith it’s usually directed toward faith in a particular belief system or religion, but you can or cannot have faith in anything. In Eternal Curse, I touch on many facets of faith.

So before I really get into the basic faith themes in this book, let me tell you what tests the faith of my characters. Dealing with such issues as death, solitude, and the existence of angels, demons, and others stretched the limits of what my character are willing to believe in.

Most people agree with the old saying that states that nothing in life is as absolute as “death and taxes”, but what if you experienced something that made you question the finality of death. What if death wasn’t coming for you, ever? Is Eternal life on Earth all that it’s cracked up to be? And what about an afterlife; would you want another life after death, bad or good?

Solitude can be experienced in so many ways and at varying levels. Giovanni feels that his solitude has left him with little faith in humanity. If you have no faith in someone or something, is it worth pursuing, worth preserving, worth dying for trying to save?

So, now it’s time to talk about faith.

Faith in one’s self– In Eternal Curse, the characters have some insecurities to overcome. While Mira is confident in her strengths and knows just how much she is capable of, she never stops to consider that there might be something completely different for her to do with her life. Giovanni on the other hand is obviously endowed with great power, but because he has no faith in his ability to be and do good, he hides away and does nothing.

I think Mira suffers from minor displaced faith in herself. She has so much faith in what she’s currently good at that she can’t see the other options and things presenting themselves around her. I think Giovanni suffers from a complete lack of faith in his goodness. He only sees the odd and the bad.

Faith in something or a purpose bigger than your needs and wants– It happens all the time, though we don’t always know about, but people discover causes worth pursing and go after them. I know that in the US it’s hard for people to look outside of themselves to see something greater because our culture focuses on individuality (not that that’s bad). It may not be front and center in our culture, but all kinds of people are putting faith in something bigger than themselves right now. People are giving to charities even though their money is tight because they have faith that that need is greater than their situation and that their donation will make a difference. People are volunteering time, people are writing books and songs, people running and hiding or coming out and standing up, people are risking their lives because they have faith in something bigger than themselves.

Faith in a being, power, or force beyond you– This is where the question of religion comes in. Most people believe in something even if it’s not a religion. While some people put their faith in a god or gods, others put their faith in science, or nature, or fate, or politics, or what have you. Even with my own personal beliefs, I respect people for believing in something, even if I don’t agree with it. I think it’s sad when someone doesn’t believe in anything.

*Disclaimer- There is currently debate about whether my book is strongly religious. Though it is a work of fiction and is a paranormal romance, it does have a monotheistic faith-based approach to concept of angels and demons. The current consensus seems to be that though the book weighs heavy with religious ties it remains fresh, thought provoking, and entertaining. It is more figurative than literal and more inquisitive than informative.*

That’s all for my contemplation on theme and topic. Thank you for sharing this experience with me and please enjoy this excerpt from Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel.



“So, I take it you had an especially rough day today,” said Abraham in a questioning tone.

Mira shrugged her shoulders and slowly turned around and gave a sigh. “This isn’t what I was expecting,” said Mira, beginning to pace again. “Tell the truth, Abraham. Is there really something special here or am I just wasting my time?”

Abraham answered swiftly, “You’re asking the wrong person, my dear. That is why you are so upset. I can’t tell you if Giovanni is special, you have to decide that for yourself. Besides, you’ve been running all of these tests, surely you’ve learned something by now.”

Mira paused in thought before she puffed out her breath and responded, “The computer is compiling all of the information into a single, easy-to-read report. I’ll print it out in the morning and then…well then I’ll know.”

“What will you know?” asked Abraham.

“The truth!” she snapped back at Abraham before realizing it. She took two steps back and sighed again. “I’m sorry, Abraham. I shouldn’t be taking my frustrations out on you.”

Abraham moved closer to Mira; he reached up and touched her shoulder. “You didn’t know about me when you headed out to come here, and yet here I am. I existed before you knew I did. You came here with hope,” he said, removing his hand from her shoulder. “Find that hope again. If you’re really concerned about being so frustrated, maybe you could try to have a little faith in something you don’t know and can’t see or feel.”Mira was left standing there speechless as Abraham began to roll away. He was already at the backdoor of the house when he stopped for a moment to say one final thing. “You know, you and Giovanni are a lot alike in that way… Neither of you seem to have much faith.”

Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel Copyright © 2013 Toinette Thomas

A new edition of this book is now available.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.