My Fiction Debut
NOW is Completed!
A five-year labor of love —
46 chapters, 60,000+ words.
Hooray, my fiction debut NOW
finally has been completed!
God puts specific people in our lives for specific purposes. However, the true value of certain relationships often is recognized most clearly in hindsight.
I didn't see it coming — that night in college Bible class during the spring of 2013. Tami had been a classmate of mine for some time. Her two teenage daughters participated in my weekly Youth Ministry group. I'd even gone on a recent missions trip to Nicaragua with her and her husband. Given our established relationship, I wasn't offended that night in class when she offered me a personal critique regarding my writing. "I read your latest book," Tami revealed, as she took a seat next to me at our classroom table. "I enjoyed it," she added. "But you're missing your audience." OUCH!
In short order, Tami began offering me some fascinating publishing insights. Although she seemed to "get" my faith-based perspectives, she commented how most people really didn't care about personal-style Christian non-fiction. "The REAL audience," she stated convincingly, "is in Christian fiction."
I responded immediately with a slew of self-defeating excuses — "I can't." "I couldn't." "I don't know how." "I only write non-fiction."
Calling me out in short order, Tami reached into her huge canvas "mom" bag and retrieved an assortment of related resource materials. She then encouraged me further to take my outrageous show biz stories from the past, mix them up with accounts from my recent ministry experiences, change all the names, and "voila," I'd have a gripping fictional story that would have readers at my future book signings lined up out the door. Challenge accepted.
Of course, the task at hand wouldn't be as simple as Tami may have suggested. However, my writing partner, Bryan Dumas, was "on board" with the project instantly — despite our lack of experience in writing fiction. So, we did our homework — diving into volumes of published work that resided outside of our typical comfort zones.
Our mission seemed simple — to present a bold, yet authentic and potentially life-changing salvation message — one enveloped in an entertaining, realistic story so compelling, it would hook readers at page one, and keep them reeled in through the closing acknowledgments.
Bryan and I both had spent much of our lives experiencing various aspects of the professional entertainment industry. Conversely, we'd also both moved into the ministry field in recent years. Hence, we had a near unlimited pool of personal stories from which to draw — ones that reflected our real life accounts from standing on both sides of the spiritual fence.
Another challenge we faced was combining the tales of both worlds convincingly and effectively. We recognized that with a story this powerful, we risked alienating non-believers while potentially also disrupting the "apple cart" of the Christian publishing status quo. Challenge accepted — again.
A true labor of love, Bryan and I have poured five years into developing our story and crafting our characters. Along the way, we sought the guidance of many well-established literary insiders and talented creative consultants — both believers and non-believers. And now, "it is finished."
In the fast-paced vein of a Showtime ratings champ, SUPERSTAR presents an incredible message of faith and forgiveness triumphing over fame and fortune as chronicled through the meteoric rise, scandalous fall and spiritual redemption of fictional country music sensation, Trent Davis.
As we now apply a final editing gloss to the manuscript this weekend and prepare to begin the process of pitching our proposal to potential agents and prospective publishers, Bryan and I would like to invite you to check out our SUPERSTAR "Sneak Peek" and offer us your personal comments. You can find our concise preview HERE.
Looking back to 2013, I recognize more clearly than ever the value in my relationship with Tami. Regardless of where this project takes us, Bryan and I will be forever grateful to her for offering us what seemed like an impossible challenge.
The latest from author Christopher Long
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