So much goes into creating a novel that when it is released there is a corresponding release of stress, emotion, and even some angst. A week ago, Leaving Darkness was released by WestBow Press. While I have experienced (and am still experiencing) all of those emotions, I also feel a sense of having completed an assignment.
Westbow is a self-publishing service that transcends others because of its mission, succinctly stated on their main landing page as “Publishing Christian authors’ stories to bring Him glory.” I began my assignment in January of 2017 in response to a calling to create a story that communicates the effectiveness of sharing struggles in a Christian small group environment. Specifically, I drew on my experiences with Restore Small Groups, a Christian ministry with humble beginnings nearly 20 years ago as a local support group that has grown to help people around the world today live the lives God meant for them. I know, as I’m one of those.
I wanted to share this process of growing in faith as the foundational support of positive change by writing a story about just that. But what story? Not mine. My story, honestly, is boring. No, it had to be fiction. But that is what I had positioned myself to do, having written and self-published two novels. That experience taught me much about writing and gave me the confidence to tackle this project.
The concept of the darkness did come from my personal experience. Without going into details, many years ago I found myself in a place where the happy Greg had vanished, replaced by one who dreaded the mornings. I don’t think I was seriously depressed, certainly not where Lowell ended up (the main character in Leaving Darkness), but I was not myself and therefore could not fulfill God’s plan for me. Much like Lowell, I found a flier that led me to a support group, which subsequently led me out of my darkness, because of His grace.
Thus, Leaving Darkness is to bring Him glory and bring those lost to contemplate a path to light. For me, it represents a response to a calling. I hope the tale helps others as I was helped. But for me, I am finished. Well, writing it, that is. Now the marketing begins.
Leaving Darkness available now from Amazon.