My Hardest Book to Write
Some say it's not really work if you love what you do. What do you think?
I have always loved the satisfaction of a job well done. My parents instilled in me the idea I should do my work as unto the Lord, whether I was splitting wood, washing dishes, or doing a college paper. For me, work has never been something to avoid or grit my teeth through, but a way of serving and finding fulfillment.
In 2008, though, I dragged my feet as I faced the challenge of writing my 8th book.
Why was this one so hard?
It had a weak setting, and as they say in real estate: location, location, location.
I was supposed to take a Kendrick Brothers screenplay and turn it into a full-length novel. This one was dear to their hearts, being the first feature film they had ever shot. It was also low-budget, all set in a trailer on a smalltown used-car lot.
Having lived in Europe and Asia as a kid and having traveled in over 40 countries, the setting for this story sounded mind-numbingly boring. The thought of dredging up a full-length novel from this thin script sounded, well, like work.
But I had a deadline, so I got to it.
Everything as unto the Lord, right?
Instead of giving a physical location center stage, I allowed an antique car and its war-veteran mechanic to step up as major players in the story. Soon, this story of a dishonest salesman coming to terms with his faith, his community, and his son was making me laugh, warming my heart, even bringing me to tears.
I finished on schedule. The Kendricks were happy. Flywheel was a perfect read for my Light readers, and a good reprieve before I dove into writing more Dark stories, specifically the concluding books of my Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy.
I had learned a valuable lesson: My own attitude can create a location, whether parched and arid or rich and fruitful, for the words which pour from my mind and through my fingers.
At that point, Flywheel was as satisfying as any of the previous seven books I had completed.
That sweet little book will always be precious to me.