I’m a voracious reader, admittedly, and have been known to read a compelling book from cover to cover within twenty-four hours. Not lately, though, as I do have to get on with my day job; which leads me to the subject of writing.
As a full-time writer, I write novels, blogs, short stories, you name it, and have been doing so in some form, for as long as I was able to write fluently. The first meaningful piece I wrote was more than forty years ago. What a tree means to me won me a Georgia statewide contest–the beginning of my love affair with writing.
I love writing as much as I love reading, if not more, even when the words don’t flow, which does happen from time to time. I’ll come to more about this later.
In the meantime, note that I am what you call a prolific writer. What do I mean by this? I write rather quickly, once I’m on to something.
While it might take days, weeks, months to find a spring of sorts, once I have it, my writing flows as freely as a river, until the river runs dry. When that happens, I have to dig deep until. But it need not be laborious; it can be rather adventurous and often is. My love for the craft is such that I could never exist peacefully without it.
To put all this into perspective, I have delivered two novels within two years – The Barrenness and The Blindsided Prophet, and have been known to bang out a short story or two, several articles and family speeches and so on, somewhere in between. Admittedly, both novels were extensive re-workings of novels I had written over the years, which means that much of the research was in the bag, but not all of it. Hence, my capacity to devour books and articles in record time.
In total, I’ve written four novels; the jury is still out on whether the other two will see the light of day or if something new and shiny will keep them in the dark. Will I revisit the deep South again with first time reporter Grace Bradley who faces racism where she least expects in Preparing for Grace or will I catch up with dynamic congresswoman Ivory Stone who is on a mission to secure the African American right to vote, while her own life is falling apart, in Running Out of Time.
Or will I find inspiration elsewhere all together, perhaps in a new historical romance set in the UK. It all depends on what I am able to bring to the surface and then whether I can write passionately and resolutely about the topic or not.
One of my editors says that stories seem to “pour out of me.” I think maybe sometimes too swiftly, which is why the editorial process is so important – both mine and hers. A mentor says proliferation is a gift, not every writer has it. Again, I absolutely love gifts and do like to make good use of them, which is why I tend to think everyone else loves gifts too. Thus I have a commitment to create meaningful gifts through my stories.
This doesn’t mean that I write “how to” books or try to weave lessons deliberately into my stories, though I have toyed with the idea of modern day fables. Cool, yeah!
In the meantime, however, I do work with themes, that is, global themes, with a view to somehow influencing change, if only a spot of it.
In this story about redemption, the underlying message is that no matter how broken you are, you can be restored, this being a message from God to the people of the small town Coffee, Georgia.
All that is a required is a willingness to look within and exercise the freewill He gives us to govern our own thinking.
Although it sounds pretty straightforward in words, in practice governing thoughts can be challenging. The people of Coffee know this very well.
After a mass killing in a church that claims the lives of twelve people, the survivors blame God, modern day prophet Isaiah Brown (who was fourteen at the time and failed to predict the massacre) and their enemies for their life experiences from then on. They take no further responsibility whatsoever and continue to head down a dangerous path.
After the killings, which claimed Isaiah’s mother and grandfather, he flees the scene and disappears into the woods, where he goes blind. Subsequently, God sends a man for him to take him back to the community in upstate New York where he had lived until he was four.
Fifteen years later, at God’s bidding, and able to see again in all senses, Isaiah returns to Coffee, to make reparation and free himself from his past.
Through his work in Coffee, Isaiah explores thinking at the deepest level. The idea is to get the people to develop a new understanding of God, through their minds, their own thinking.
Ultimately, their salvation begins at home, by taking responsibility for their own thoughts and thus taking responsibility for some of their life experiences.
On many levels, The Blindsided Prophet deals with the question of freewill. Is it possible to exercise some control over one’s experiences?
This fundamental question springs up often in day-to-day living, particularly in difficult situations. Should we stay stuck in a place, which makes us unhappy, be it the workplace, a course of study or a relationship because we believe we don’t have a choice? Or do we explore the possibility of choice when it comes to thinking, and on some level, recognize that unrestrictive thinking can be a gateway to finding peace within?
This in no way suggests that selfishness is the way to freedom; it is quite the opposite. Freedom comes through governing one’s self in cooperation with God, if you will, regardless of fundamental beliefs.
In short, my gift to readers in this particular novel is a wildly imaginative story that, hopefully, gets them thinking.
Thanks to Sonja & Katy Manic Readers has two (2) ecopies of THE BLINDSIDED PROPHET to give away to commenters. Do you like a book to make you think, re-examine your parameters, one you can breeze through or does it all depend on your mood? Giveaway ends @12am est 11-15-13 with the winners announced shortly thereafter. Good Luck y’all, this sounds like a great read.
Meanwhile, I’m hanging out on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. until the next serious excavation begins. Afterwards, I’ll have to go with the flow until I deliver a new novel. For now, however, looking forward to chatting with readers and picking up a few good books myself.