I found this post I wrote back in the fall of 2010, just before Thomas Nelson offered a contract for Spirit Fighter and the Son of Angels series. I apparently never posted it – it was saved in my blog post drafts…I think I felt like if I did, I’d be speaking too soon and somehow jinx myself. I thought it would be fun to share this with you now – these were my feelings as I waited, and waited, and waited to hear back from the publisher, wondering if they’d want to publish the book, thinking at this point they probably did, but not counting on anything yet. At this point, I hadn’t even told people I’d written anything at all.
So I wrote a book.
A novel, actually. I haven’t talked about this with a lot of people, so you probably had no idea. I’m not sure why I haven’t spoken about it more often – I really only talk about it much with Susan, my parents, and occasionally a friend. I think it’s because as a “wannabe-writer”, it’s always a little awkward to discuss. Not the kind of thing I bring up at parties or in casual conversation. I think there’s a difference between having an idea for a book, and being able to actually, you know, write. And I’ve often felt stuck somewhere between those two places. A lot of people have an idea for a book. A very few actually complete it. And a small percentage of those who complete it see it in print. (unless it’s out of their Canon InkJet)
Well, my book is not published…yet. And man, do I ever not want to jinx myself by putting this in print. But since I’ve decided I don’t believe in jinxes…
Right now there’s a decent chance it might get published.
By ‘decent’, I mean that a publisher has the manuscript, has had it for almost 8 months, and hasn’t said NO yet. Now, they haven’t said ‘yes’ either, and I’m certainly aware that at any moment they could turn it down, that every part of a publisher’s process is designed to tell the writer no, and that it’s easier for them to say no than yes. But it’s still alive. And honestly, that’s more than I can say I expected.
You should also know that it’s not my first novel. It’s actually my fifth. Five fully-completed manuscripts written over the last ten years. I’ll spare you the details, but one had a slight chance, while the rest were misfires. I like to think of them as practice. (At least, that’s my justification for the ridiculous amount of time it took to finish each one) Let’s just say Susan is anincredibly patient, supportive wife. I’ve had the inclination every once in awhile to write something non-fiction, but the truth is I just love stories.
If you’re interested, here’s a little bit about the book, and the process that got me from there to here – from the idea to the last chapter written. The summer of 2009 was a tough one for the Laws. Susan was dealing with a recurrence of breast cancer, and we were in the process of shutting down the church we’d poured our hearts and lives into for the last five years. Not a banner year. Anyway, at about that same time, I had an idea for a story that I wanted to write, primarily for my kids. (An aside – for whatever reason I have had good seasons of writing when I’m going through frustrating times in other areas of life – that sounds like good psychiatrist-chair fodder some day)
So I began to develop a story about a normal thirteen-year old boy who discovers that he is not so normal after all. After he begins to develop certain powers, like super-human strength, he discovers that he’s really only three/fourths human. He’s one quarter angel. When he discovers that the Evil One himself, Abaddon, has kidnapped his mom as part of a plot to rule humankind, getting cut from school basketball tryouts because he’s too short becomes the least of his concerns. The novel is about his quest to retrieve his mom, and how in the process he discovers that there is a spiritual world behind what can be seen. And that there is a battle raging between good and evil.
It took about 3 1/2 months to do the actual writing. In February I reached out to someone I’d met a few years back, a terrific author in Charlotte. He graciously agreed to look at some of my work, and then was willing to contact his publisher on my behalf. This was absolutely huge. It is so hard to break in – having tried off and on for 10 years, I know. The publisher read a sample, asked me to rewrite it, and eventually requested the whole thing.
There’s a lot more I could tell you, but that’s enough for now. Guess I just felt like sharing. I’m still waiting, which is half-exciting, half-insanity inducing. I’m excited about the message in the book, and about the possibilities it holds.
The main thing is, though, that my kids loved it. Anything else is gravy.