Whenever I am asked why I wrote my novel, Voice of Conscience, I must admit to being a late bloomer as a writer. After years of acting, my creative side gravitated to writing a story that had been percolating in my head for some time; the story of a troubled man and how he faces his inner demons. Voice of Conscience actually started out as a screen play, but I realized how limiting that form of writing was. There was so much more I wanted to describe and express.
My motivation for writing my first novel was two-fold. The country of my birth fascinates people and rightfully so. Turkey has a long history with many civilizations enriching its soul. I wanted to share some of those traditions (particularly of northeastern Turkey) with the American people. Intertwined with that was the need to create a literary work that would touch the reader’s soul and inspire him or her to question, probe and think about life.
The message, that revenge does not pay, is one that touches every culture and every human being in one form or another. However, most people are reluctant to talk about it. I wanted to explore this topic in a fictional form, to explore cultural practices and how instilling these practices so deeply into our children can become all consuming.
Voice of Conscience begins in a small village in northeastern Turkey, where Ramzi Ozcomert Jr., secure within his family structure, is suddenly catapulted into a fearsome adult world after the brutal death of his parents and sister. He is whisked away in the middle of the night with only the clothes on his back, but carrying his heritage, his culture, everything he has learned from his parents, his family, and his village.
Shattered by grief and fear, Ramzi begins his flight from threats both real and imagined that take him from Istanbul to London, engendering in him a deep need for revenge. His plans are interrupted when he discovers love in the most unexpected of times, allowing himself to fall for an American girl and start life over in California. When Ramzi looks back at his successes, he begins to remember what he has also lost. His deep, instinctual teachings of vengeance began to consume him, until he can no longer take part in his accustomed life and in the happiness of his loving family. Ramzi’s obsession will take him to the very heart of his past as he travels back to Turkey, culminating in an ending that will confound all expectations.
Voice of Conscience articulates a collision of opposites – of Turkish customs and Western values, loss and new life, love and hate – and will appeal to readers who enjoy literary novels; those who not only want to be entertained by complex characters, but also want to delve into questions of life.
In addition to Voice of Conscience, I have just completed my second novel, Murder on the Naval Base, which is currently in its editing stage. I also have begun writing a sequel to Voice of Conscience entitled, Erin’s Story.
Readers can purchase a copy of my novel on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Please visit my website at http://www.behcetkaya.com.