As I stated in the Afterword and Acknowledgments page of this novel, BROODING was begun in March of 1990 and completed in March of 2010 (… give or take – the wheels of this story were surely turning in my noggin before the former, and the final comma tweaked a bit later than the latter). Regardless, it's been 20 years of blood, sweat, and tears working on this very personal tome.
While some may be impressed by the hard work, determination, and perseverance it took to stay after this project for such a looooong period of time, understand that the past two decades have not been spent writing 24/7. As a book hound and cinema aficionado, I certainly have a proclivity for sloth. The first full draft of BROODING was completed in 1993. In the years since – when I would periodically work on this story – there have been perhaps a dozen or so MAJOR rewrites, and countless edits. Work on this novel has been so personal and emotionally exhausting that it was not something with which I could fiddle fart around. I was either WRITING or NOT WRITING, for months at a time. Each of those aforementioned versions had a small number of print runs which I would self-publish at whatever print shop I was working in at the time. Some were comb-bound, spiral-bound, or perfect-bound, with rather innocuous covers – 200 or so total copies over the years – but for collectors or those interested in this story's evolution, those versions DO exist. In fact, I was just surprised to find someone selling a 1996 version entitled BROODING: A Love Story on Amazon.com for $399.00 – that actually made me smile, more power to 'em.
I also stated in the book's A&A page that while BROODING is not autobiographical, it IS semi-autobiographical. Those who know me have stated repeatedly that I am ALL OVER this book. It's true, I am – good, bad, and ugly.
I realize that in this novel I level some pretty serious charges against the modern-day Christian church by attempting to dramatize the extreme destructiveness of "Churchianity." If you have read the book and wonder if I experienced any of that personally, the answer is, unsurprisingly, YES. Yet I have also managed to hang onto my faith. It hasn't been easy, to put it mildly, and for awhile my bitterness at such threatened to overwhelm this story. Then I realized that by the very presence of characters like Valiant (an angel) and Goodfellow (a demon), who initially didn't show up until the last quarter of the book, the story was already embracing Judeo-Christianity. When I would express to some of my early readers my initial desire to thinly weave this spiritual aspect throughout the book entire, I was encouraged across the board, by Christians and atheists alike, to do so. I am very glad I did. That bought me the right to hold the church accountable for a dark legalistic streak that many refuse to see or acknowledge. For a long time I also worried that this controversial tale was going to be … too worldly for Christians, and too Christian for the world, but … it is what it is.
20 years is a long time to wait for your dreams to come true. And now that this book is published and available to anyone around the globe, how does it feel? Honestly, it's exhilarating, terrifying, and a bit anticlimactic. Two decades of imagining scenarios of how this would come to fruition – all of which were, of course, wrong – have left me in an uncharted territory where I must simply walk by faith. Which is probably exactly how God wants it anyway. Moving on to the promotion stage is a bit daunting, and then of course there is the work I have to do on the sequels. They are coming, I promise.
For someone who hates waiting and rejection, I'm still not sure why I wanted to be a writer. For someone who for many years lived a nearly hermit-like existence while healing emotional wounds and working on this book, trying NOT to draw attention to myself, well, it is obviously a bit odd to be plugging myself into this global web and trying to draw massive amounts of attention. And yet, something tells me it will be all right. I'll be just fine.
Thanks for wanting to know more. Stay tuned to this site for periodic updates.
I hope God uses this book to speak to your heart the way He used it to speak to mine.
June 18th, 2010