Friday, 4 February 2011
The Hardest Thing To do
Oh, wow! I am so excited about this! My favourite thing is writing fiction, and it is also fiendishly difficult, demanding and I am never really, really sure how good a job I have done. Creating a novel asks of me all that I have and then some.
The trilogy I wrote that is now sold in one volume under the title of its first novel, The Hawk & the Dove, has been in print and selling steadily for 20 years. I feel quite pleased about this. So much so that I wrote to my publisher, Crossway, and asked them what they thought about adding another novel to the series, and they seemed keen, so I set to work. Well, the tale grew in the telling, and I ended up with three more novels for them. The first of the three new ones - therefore the fourth book in the Hawk & the Dove series - is called The Hardest Thing To Do, and it's just gone up on Amazon for pre-order, though it won't be out until July (don't you worry, I'll remind you!!).
Bringing these new books to birth has been a biiig deal. I have relied on continual prayer support as I wrote them. In crafting them I dug deep in my spirit and wrote about the life lessons and insights that the Lord has been teaching me over the last decade. As I wrote them, I felt encouraged that I had tuned in to a depth of Holy Spirit, because every time I settled down to write, there was mayhem - big disruptions and family chaos and stuff I could not ignore and had to respond to. But with the support of praying friends I kept going anyway, so that these things I really wanted to share could get written and you could read them and go on that journey with me.
The Hardest Thing To Do looks at human relationships, and explores the territory of forgiveness and trying to see things from the other person's point of view.
While I was writing it, in the evenings sometimes I read chunks to my family. They all know the Hawk & the Dove series well. My Badger, my husband now, was the original editor and publisher for that series, 20 years ago when we our lives were very different and we had no thought or expectation that one day we would be married. And my daughters grew up reading the trilogy until it felt like the monks in it were part of our family (the tales are all set in a 14th century monastery). They knew every character and every story in those original books.
And so it came about that when I started reading to them the new book, The Hardest Thing To Do, I had this wonderful reaction from them. It got to a certain point in the story and they began to shriek: "Oh no! It's not... is it?... it's... oh, no! It's him !!!" Heh heh heh. How satisfying. Him? He's in the second book of the first trilogy, The Wounds of God, in the chapter called Who's The Fool Now?. Yes, it's him, and he's back causing trouble.
The story takes us through Lent one year about a quarter of the way into the 14th century, at a Benedictine monastery on the North York Moors. It's written like a journal or log, with an entry for every day of Lent from Ash Wednesday through to Easter Sunday, and it charts the gradual healing miracle of the compassion of Jesus shining through human frailty and human kindness. I do hope you enjoy it when you get to read it in the summer :0)
Writing this book has been a wonderful journey. I am so excited to see it coming to fruition at last.