Announcing "A Printer's Choice"

Set in an age reeling from eco-crises, the novel tells a story of faith, the future, and the power of free will

Remember all those posts with a mention of that novel I was writing? Well, after two years, the novel is done. And I wanted to announce today, on the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, that it's ready for pre-order, with a release date set for August 28, the Feast of Saint Augustine. (Besides a dedication to my mom and dad, it's also dedicated to those two saints.)

A Printer’s Choice (Izzard Ink), a sci-fi murder mystery, was conceived in the posts of this blog. It explores questions important to Catholics that are engaged in eco-protection—questions about choice and the necessity of choosing well. Set in locations on Earth and in the orbits, A Printer's Choice takes place in a future extrapolated from today’s geopolitical and ecological turmoil. My goal in writing this story was not simply to illuminate the struggles of our world, but also the promises and implications of building a better one, one choice at a time.

And so far, reviewers have championed this message.

“W.L. Patenaude pens an out of this world, whodunit mystery in A Printer’s Choice,” writes Cheryl E. Rodriguez at Readers' Favorite.

Rodriguez adds that the book “challenges the reader to consider the enormity of the gift of free will. . . . As the narrative reaches its apex and descends to its conclusion, the crime mystery is solved, yet its solution gives birth to a deeper, profound mystery: what makes us human? A Printer’s Choice incites contemplation of the essence of the freedom of choice.”

The question for me was, how do we share these topics with a wider audience? The answer was easy: Have fun with them. And so I went back to my roots—science fiction, which I devoured as a teenager.

The story developed from my desire to explore some of the big issues being discussed in this blog—discussions happening internationally about social cohesion, environmental protection, and faith.

The question for me was, how do we share these topics with a wider audience? The answer was easy: Have fun with them. And so I went back to my roots—science fiction, which I devoured as a teenager. I was also inspired by my mom, an avid reader of murder mysteries.

For sure, readers of “old-school” science fiction will pick up on a number of nods to the genre’s classics—especially the work of my childhood hero, Arthur C. Clarke. But here's the twist: back then I wasn't a believer in the faith I’d been raised in. As many of you know, I had abandoned Catholicism after I made my confirmation.

But as Arthur C. Clarke reminded us, our childhoods do end. Fast forward twenty years, one re-conversion, one degree in engineering, and one master’s degree in theology later, I decided I wanted to do more than write an homage to my favorite sci-fi experiences. I wanted to critique them—to bring the light of faith into the genre, to use them to explore the life-and-death issues of our age, and then see what happens next.

In other words, besides having fun, I wanted to get to the important themes championed here in this blog and by so many others—ideas and teachings that form the foundation of our Catholic faith and its teachings on eco-protection.

That's a tall order, I know. That's why A Printer’s Choice is the first in a series.

So, stay tuned for more, both here at Catholic Ecology and at APrintersChoice.com. There you'll find a summary of the plot, the pre-order links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble (for hardcover, paperback, and e-versions), as well as more reviews as they come in the next few months.

For now, please say a prayer for the success of this endeavor—one I hope will advance our common cause of helping each of us choose well, for the good of all.

About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.