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Verndale native publishes fantasy book

Verndale native Christopher Schmitz, 26, will host a book signing from 2-6 p.m. on Aug. 11 at Inspirations of Wadena for his recently released book "The Kakos Realm: Grinden Proselyte." It is the first book in a fantasy series exploring a realm more fallen than earth where Satan has been allowed to create his own world, according to the author.

Schmitz describes the book as a "fantasy novel of speculative fiction that brings together a Christian world view and the modern fantasy genre."

He said the audience for his developing series includes people interested in role-playing fantasy games such as Dungeons and Dragons--people Schmitz said the church is usually interested in getting cleaned up before inviting them to attend services.

Schmitz said many Christians confuse fantasy role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons with the Satanic and misrepresent what the game is about. He said he does not play Dungeons and Dragons, but concern over the books similar style to such fantasy games and some violent content in the book led to his firing from an assistant pastor position he held at the time he finished the book.

"If [gamers] can see what I believe through telling a story ... then I think I need to do that," Schmitz said about the motivation for his novel.

He said he began writing the book after he graduated from high school, but set it aside for five years because the novel's concept, which he describes as "a truly original idea," was too theologically complicated for him at the time.

"I stopped until I got re-inspired," he said.

Schmitz said he believes his imagination and story-telling ability are a God-given gift.

"My principal calling is to reach out to people with the gospel of Christ," he said.

Although Schmitz has a spiritual agenda for his book, he said he wants the story to be accessible.

"I try to avoid be overtly religious because people don't like to read that," he said. "It's just a good, entertaining story."

"The Kakos Realm: Grinden Proselyte" is available at select bookstores, on and through the author's Web site at