I’ve come up with a sketch of an outline for my fourth book, which will be titled “Liberty’s Promise”, and is set in the period immediately before the American Revolution. I am thinking it will end with Lexington/Concord. It represents the two types of ideologies of the conflict: tyranny, both spiritual and physical as represented by the Tory British government, and liberty as represented by the colonials.
The story involves Anna Barton, a young widow and seamstress who lives in a community just outside Boston. She has a teenage son. Her neighbor is Caleb Strong, a bachelor carpenter who is interested in marrying her, but Anna is unsure. He helps her in many ways, including teaching her and her son how to use a rifle for protection. He expresses interest in apprenticing her son. At the same time, she is courted by the Reverend Thomas Rockdale, a pastor who represents the Loyalists. He is the son of an Earl, and his family has money, status, and he personally is attractive and a sought after suitor by many young women. While seeming to promise Anna a spiritual life as the wife of a pastor, his inner intentions are far different, and he represents the tyranny the Americans will be fighting against. He is forceful, domineering, and secretly believes that all women are sinful Jezebels trying to deceive men into falling. He believes all women need to be in subjugation.
One suitor offers a true and steadfast, Christlike love while the other offers duty, obligation without joy, ritualism and legalism. It represents the struggle, both temporal and spiritual, between freedom of the Spirit and the letter of the Law, in essence, tyranny.
After taking a couple of days off from writing, I am reading through my progress thus far (the 7th chapter) in order to ensure consistency of flow in the storyline. Once I’ve done that, I can determine where to go from here. I think I’ve got three, maybe five more chapters at most. Then I will begin the editing process.
I already have part of another book started, but that book will be non-fiction regarding a bible study on marital roles.
I have a couple of more ideas for books I’m looking at, one a children’s book on taking on the whole armor of God, two a continuation of A Wounded Heart in which one of the minor characters will come to the forefront and become a powerful witness for God. A third idea involves a war widow, but I’m not sure where I am going to go with that yet.
My current work, A Wounded Heart, plays off of my last novel, Coming Home. Sam Treadwell, the hero of that novel, is now a high school history teacher in his neighborhood in Central Los Angeles. He faces the challenges of teaching urban kids while trying to help them through some of their troubles.
Some of the characters are George Hunkele, a young Jewish man who must face prejudice and harassment from the troublemakers in his school; Patsy Reed, a young woman dealing with dysfunction in her family life; Larry Foster, a hard-working young black man trying to build up his self-esteem to go on to college and Kathy Schneider, a Korean War orphan who, though well assimilated into American society, must handle the trauma of her past.
Sam also has had to handle trauma as a residual from his experience as a Marine during World War II, and seeks healing through his faith. This experience will help him to work with these young people to find their own healing.
It seems almost fitting to me that the first novel of mine to be published was based on my mother. My mother had always encouraged me to be educated, always thought of me as a genius actually. She had faith in my abilities, even though as a young person I was rather lazy in my accomplishments. I was an A and B student and probably would’ve done much better had I been more ambitious. But I took it for granted. I thought of myself as a smart kid because my mother thought so.
Writing for me was the same way. I was good at coming up with ideas for novels. Even creating a few characters. But I never had the passion, the discipline, the drive to write. It’s only been recently, through the inspiration of the Lord, that I have felt these things. Coming Home is about finding a secure place in a storm. It’s about finding something to believe in that will take us out of our circumstances, and a Christians, we know that something is Jesus.
It was recently 17 years since my mother passed away, so I’m glad it’s so near to that anniversary, so near to Mother’s Day that my first book has been published. I have felt this story in my heart for a couple of years. I am happy with the results and pray that this book will do well. It is the culmination of a life-time dream, and my mother’s hopes for my life.
My first novel, Coming Home, is currently available through Kindle and Amazon.com. I plan to distribute it through various apostolic bookstores as soon as I can get some printed copies.
Loosely based on the experience of my mother in coming to California at the age of 17, it involves a young girl, Jennie Jones, whose mother is stricken with tuberculosis in December 1943. Jennie is traveling alone by train to meet her brother in California and encounters a young Marine, Sam Treadwell, who is en route to Camp Pendleton and deployment in the South Pacific. Sam leads her to an experience with Jesus and through this encounter finds faith and encouragement to make a new life.
It is my hope to inspire those who are going through difficult situations to see that God can change your circumstances and give you a new life in Him.
I am currently writing my third novel, A Wounded Heart, which involves the hero of Coming Home, Sam Treadwell, who has become a high school teacher working with troubled teenagers in Los Angeles.