The Story Begins…
“What do you wanna be when you grow up?” Kids get asked that question all the time. When my son was five, he knew. “I wanna be a green Batman.” By high school I knew; I wanted to be an author of novels. My composition teacher was the spark that lit this fire. She went out of her way to encourage my feeble offerings. “You could really be a writer if you wanted to,” she said. Secretly, I began to write poems and short stories. Only my teacher and mother could read them (such things clashed badly with the surfer-guy persona I’d worked so hard to fabricate at school).
After I gave my life to Christ, my attention shifted in a different direction. I met Cindi, my wife-to-be. Then came a call to pastoral ministry. Then fatherhood. I still loved to write, but found little time for it. In the mid-90′s, we decided I needed a relaxing hobby. Cindi suggested I start writing again. I read some great how-to books and found some wonderful friends on a Christian fiction writer’s board on AOL (back when AOL was the Internet). A year later, my first novel was complete.
It was soon picked up by an agent, Karen Solem, but she found it difficult to market. Not much interest back then in a Christian suspense thriller with a military edge. Shortly after that, the idea for The Unfinished Gift came to me. But halfway through, the Lord made it clear that I had jumped the gun; it just wasn’t the right time. So I set it aside.
Fast-forward the tape 10 years. It’s a long story, but the Lord made it clear in 2007 it was okay to start writing again. Lots of things had changed, especially in my heart. I finished The Unfinished Gift and began looking for representation. To my great delight, my agent from 10 years ago was very interested in the book. Since then Karen had begun her own agency, Spencerhill Associates, Ltd. Within a few months, we were finalizing a contract with Revell. Since it’s release, The Unfinished Gift has done very well, winning two Carol Awards (Book-of-the-year) from ACFW, in the debut author and short historical categories.
I wrote a sequel to The Unfinished Gift, called The Homecoming that released in June 2010. My third novel, The Deepest Waters released in April 2011. And in September 2011, my fourth book, Remembering Christmas, hit the shelves. It became a bestseller on Amazon in 3 categories and made ECPA’s bestseller list. My 5th novel, The Discovery, released in April 2012. This was my first novel reviewed by USA Today. They said: “The Discovery is a sublime delight that shouldn’t be missed.”
Revell signed me to write 2 books a year for them through 2014. This includes a 4-book fiction series I’ll be writing with Gary Smalley, and 3 additional stand-alone novels. The first of those stand-alones is done, and was released in September, called The Reunion. Gary and I have just finished up the first of our 4 books together, which will be called The Dance (releases in April 2013).
When I think back to 11th Grade, my false start 15 years ago, and what’s happening now…I’m aware not many people get to see their lifelong dreams fulfilled. It’s hard to grasp the depths of God’s kindness toward me.