Reading became an obsession for me the day my big sister started taking me to the library as a first-grader. She introduced me to Lyman Frank Baum‘s OZ series, and I devoured it like it was candy. By the time I was introduced to audiobooks a few years ago, I had to keep a spreadsheet of all the novels I “read” so that I wouldn’t repeat one accidentally. It grew to over a 1,000 in short order.
Writing has been a passion of mine since I first learned to put together complete sentences on paper (at least a couple of years ago). I grade school, I wrote a satire of the Star Trek series (yes, that would be the original one), which was immensely popular with my teacher and fellow students. It seems that from that point on, I was writing something at various times in my life. In college, one of my English teachers tried o encourage me to do something with my writing. All my life, that writer inside my head has kept poking his head up. But I have kept stuffing him back in.
God’s word is another passion, so I guess it was just a matter of time before the two came together. I had an overdue spiritual awakening a few years ago, and I felt compelled to start blogging. I didn’t choose the word “compelled” causally. It really almost became an obsession — something I had to do. Don’t misunderstand, it has been very much a labor of love. But I soon realized that I could not stop it even if I wanted to. And I didn’t want to. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone but me, but it is the only way that I can explain it.
But writing fiction is something very different, and that is where I am going now. Having said that, I’m not done with Biblical commentary by any stretch of the imagination. I’m already half-way (or better) finished with two more biblical books. One will be out this fall. The other one will likely be after the New Year.
But I am being completely honest when I say that I never really thought about writing a book. That was a dream that I had given up long long ago. As long as I was just writing my daily Christianity blog, I was content to share my writing with my small group of followers. I cannot really say how it happened, but I suddenly found myself writing the books you see here. But I was content to share them with whoever happened to buy them from Amazon or wherever.
Only my immediate family knew even half of what I was doing. I wasn’t trying to market my books really. I just wanted to see if I could reach more people with God’s word. So none of my friends or co-workers were told a thing. And my wife and I had an understanding about my writing from the day I started my blog. It wasn’t supposed to become about me. That was incredibly (and perhaps unreasonably) important to me. But the one time early on that I told someone about my blog, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Somehow, it felt like it tainted what I was doing. My motives truly were unselfish, and I never did it again.
It was satisfaction enough to know that I have readers in more than 164 countries! But It’s one thing to share your writing only on the World Wide Web, or with a few Amazon or B&N readers. It is quite another for a somewhat bashful introvert to share it with people he knows, much less to declare himself to be an author.
However, the day that I decided to start writing fiction everything changed, as you can see. I did my research, and had already learned that I had to start building my “writing platform.” Only an author of this day can fully appreciate what that means, not to mention how much work is involved in doing it. I have spent literally hundreds of hours researching, working on apps for my Facebook “Fan Page,” this website, and tons of other necessary marketing tools for this day and age.
And I have not yet published my first work of fiction. But that is about to change. It is no longer a matter of what I am going to write. It’s a matter of what I am going to finish first. I initially thought that I would first publish a book of historical fiction. But that book is too important for me to rush. I know how the story will go — all the way through to the end. It is fiction, but it is based on a true story. And my ancestor is a main character. No, that one is too important. I have much more research to do before I can do it right.
So what will my first fictional novel be? I invite you to keep watching, and see where it goes. The only thing I can say for certain right now is about that writer inside that I spoke about – he has been allowed to stay out far too long now, and he likes it. So he’s not going back in, no matter what.
Oh, and by the way, I’m not done with Biblical books simply because I am writing fiction now. I have another coming out this fall, and another in January. Both are New Testament centered.
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