Why I Write and How I Got Started

Blog Post #1

Why I Write and How I Got Started

This is usually where you’ll find an About the Author post. But honestly, this is more interesting, and probably what you want to know anyway. How did I write a book you found compelling enough to search for me? Much better story, for sure.

It started when we almost lost everything—2008. That horrible, no good year.

My oldest daughter, Emily, had been absorbed in a book and that didn’t happen often. Between my three daughters, she was the least likely to read for fun, but I couldn’t tear her away from it. So, I read it too. And for me, what really stood out was the dismal view of God presented through the main character’s eyes.

It was a great story.

Awful God.

It’s ironic that it bothered me so much because my spiritual tank was stuck on empty. We’d suffered so many losses—our business, the church we attended folded, many of our friends moved, and my marriage felt weak and unstable. I thought it was entirely possible that in another few months we’d be homeless.

I didn’t have the strength to chase God. And I believed that if I stopped chasing him, he’d let me drift away. Through all the craziness of my childhood, and the panic-attacks I survived as a young mother, I always saw myself as the one pursuing God, not him pursuing me.

So, there I was, on the edge of a cliff, suddenly feeling like I just didn’t mind getting swept off.

Except this stupid story was really bugging me! What a lame gospel it had! God didn’t sit high in some distant heaven, waiting for people to prove themselves. Phsh. Didn’t the writer know any better? (See the irony?)

I daydreamed about how I'd showcase the hope in the gospels in a fantasy novel. For a while, I fought the idea because I’d never written anything. But one day I realized I literally had nothing else to do. We’d lost our business. No one was hiring. We had no church and no friends. No money to do anything. It was write or watch paint dry. Actually, I couldn’t afford paint.

I wrote Tamed in four months.

My character, Damon, spent centuries believing God (or the gods—Damon has no clue who’s in charge) hates him because his ancestor was a demon. And as if to prove God right in hating him, Damon falls into the worst kinds of depravity even though he’s always trying to do good to impress the fates. It just makes him feel worse. Like he’s damned.

As I wrote through this character’s eyes, I sensed God drawing near to me in a way that had never happened. One of the biggest things that spoke to my empty heart came after I developed a crush on Roman centurions. Through my long hours of research, I became enthralled with these brave warriors. And then one day a devotional landed in my lap about how we forget to think of God as our warrior. As a hero who will never let us go and who will fight any battle in order to free us.

It didn’t stop with one devotional. The theme kept falling into my life—God is your warrior. He will never let you go.

My husband, Dale, started reading my book and was blown away by the story. He asked me if he could help me edit and would I mind if he made me a cover? The hope I’d lost for my marriage began to bloom again.

We kept our house. Dale started another business and we found another church, eventually made new friends. But I learned a lesson through writing about Damon’s journey to real hope—it’s God who holds on to me, not me holding on to God.

And it’s why I keep writing. I know a beautiful God because he intervened to make me see the beauty of his story, the Bible.

But when I write, I feel his smile.

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