The month of October is a blur to me. My third book, Sentenced to Life, was due on October 19 and arrived two weeks early: on October 5. Like any parent of a premature baby, I wasn’t quite prepared. I’ve been playing at catch-up ever since, without catching up exactly (and without much sleep). Maybe in a couple years . . .
Meanwhile, my newborn is already taking his first wobbly steps. Kind of a prodigy, I think, but I guess all new parents are biased.
He’s put in appearances at book launch events, featuring both authors in our respective states: me and Curtis Roberts. A friend put together a homemade book trailer that I used at mine, with a chance for people to see Curtis’s face and hear his heart. Curtis has done radio interviews and I’ve had some newspaper articles come out. Soon, I hope to turn over the reins of promotion entirely to my co-author. “I write. You speak,” I told him. This is my goal.
To carry this baby analogy further, I do liken publishing to childbirth and my books to children. (I realize this makes some of you want to scream and throw things at me.) But if One Degree of Freedom is now a two-year-old toddler, the two upcoming sequels will be her little sisters. We Wait You is her much older sister. These books have always been girls to me because, well, so am I.
But Sentenced to Life falls into a different category. I think of it as a boy. And a half-brother to my other two books and books-yet-to-be-born. This one is different from the rest, so disconnected that you may even wonder if they’re really family.
My two oldest share Eastern Europe, with one of those being fiction written for teenagers and the other a nonfiction missionary story. And now a prisoner’s story? How can they possibly be related?
First, I will only write about something that grabs my heart. Writing is an endeavor I can’t do half-heartedly. I give it my all, it takes a lot out of me, and I won’t do that with just anything. (I’ve practiced saying this to the dozen or so people who’ve already asked me to write their life story. Nope. Sorry. Not gonna happen.) Eastern Europe is my passion; prisoners are my husband’s–not mine. But I guess after 21+ years of marriage, Steve has rubbed off on me.
But the biggest thread my writings share is that I tell redemptive stories, both true and made up, about oppressed people seeking freedom. A teenage girl during the Cold War whose life is dictated against her wishes. A people living under the thumb of a dictator and a missionary who tries to make a difference in their lives. And now a prisoner serving life for stealing $116, with no hope of being released.
My stories can help transport you to another world, one you may be unlikely to experience for yourself. As this website claims, I tell stories to help you soar.
This latest, Sentenced to Life, is no different. People are already posting reviews, claiming the story was captivating, gripping, amazing, hope-filled, an emotional journey, relatable, poignant, and a powerful redemptive story. I think it’s a story you won’t want to miss.