How hard is it for a couple to keep their love alive when money runs low? Is it easier, because they bond together and focus on what really matters? Or is harder, because they have less time together and increased stress?
My wife and I faced many financial woes--no health insurance, no savings, a bankruptcy--as I wrote my first 6 books. My next 4 books led to some much easier financial moments, including an Alaska cruise and a trip to Israel to scatter my mom's ashes. We were also able to pay off debts.
By book 11, though, money was getting tight again as the repercussions of the 2008 nationwide financial crisis spread ever wider. Some predicted capitalism would die out completely. Many lost their homes, fortunes, even families. Banks got bailed out by the government--and, not surprisingly, many of those banks never paid back those loans. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Many suffered.
I thought of the biblical story of Job, where Satan receives permission to destroy everything Job holds dear as a test of Job's devotion to God.
What if this script was flipped?
What if Satan was given permission to bless a family who was suffering?
Would sudden riches solve all their problems, or simply magnify their growing rifts and moral compromises?
Thus, One Step Away was written. It is one of my favorite stories, because it takes an age-old tale, gives it a modern spin, and feels eerily familiar to my wife, daughters, and me.
We have been through these highs and lows. We know all too well that both have their challenges.
Plus, One Step Away is set in Nashville--and I could personally show you every location in the book on a citywide tour. Note: the Cancun sidetrip would cost extra.
I still get nervous everytime I see a black Dodge Charger.
I still think Magnus Maggart is a fantastic, if not over-the-top name for a villain.
When it comes down to it, I'll take love over money every time. My wife makes even the rough days seem liveable.
And--insert sigh here--our hearts are always just One Step Away.