Here’s the cover for the next book in the “Mended Lives” series (joining “Psalm 88″* and “So Many Books”).
It’s not exactly a re-telling of “the woman caught in adultery” from John 8, but it is about that story. Alexander “Opie” Gates meets a woman with a horrible past. He’s excited when she starts to be interested in his faith, but then he begins to fall for her. It was easy to be as forgiving as Jesus when he didn’t have a personal interest in her; but now that he does, he’s not sure if he can forgive her past.
OK, so now both of you who actually read this blog are wondering: is he coming out with a western, a murder mystery, or a Christian romance novel?!? The answer is: Yes! All three of these books have come to fruition at about the same time, so my plan (these things change on an almost daily basis!) is to release “The Woman Caught” in May ’11, then “the Return of the Nice Guy” in June and “Overstreet” in July.
See, if I were John Grisham, we’d have a six month lead-in with television appearances and ads in magazines, et. al. And three books would take three years to release. But I’m not. I’m a writer and cartoonist trying to make a name for myself so I’ll release books when I finish them and publish 5 comic strips a week (in three papers!!) and hope that something, somewhere, catches on.
I used to wish that the “pulps” were still around. Back around the turn of the 19th/20th century–and on into the ’30s and 40′s–there were pulp magazines all over America (so-called because they were printed on the cheapest paper available: that old “Big Chief” type of paper where you had to write around the actual wood chips floating in the paper). Hundreds of those magazines were released every week, some with a variety of stories and others with a focus on westerns or sports or sci-fi. The literary gentry often looked down on the pulps–and the people who wrote for pulps–but we look back now and see that the pulps launched such luminaries as Louis L’Amour, Dashiell Hammett, Jack London and Bret Harte. Sure, there was a lot of shlock & dross**, but there were some nuggets of gold to be mined in those mags.
Then, I was IM’ing a friend and realized the pulps have come back: it’s the 99 cent books on Kindle and Nook! I’m guessing that people who read my books are grabbing a “snack read” for 99 cents. They’re not necessarily looking to have their worldview changed, just be entertained and escape for a while. That doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off on my writing efforts–I still want to write the best I can–but it occurs to me that my best chance may be to get as many books out there as possible in the hope/prayer that one of them will catch the fancy of readers.
[Incidentally, so far that seems to be "First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch - Book 1", which is still my bestseller, though this month "All the Time in Our World" is running a very close second!]
So, it’s not that these books are being rushed to “print” … or e-ink, or whatever. In fact–as I mention in an earlier blog–I’ve been writing “Overstreet” for thirty years (and “The Woman Caught” for 7). I just managed to get them all to where I’m ready to release them this spring, so I don’t see any sense in waiting. In the spirit of full disclosure, though, I have to admit that I have put a lot of work into finishing these up (designing covers, etc.) partly because I keep getting stuck on the new Garison Fitch book and needed a distraction. But don’t worry, it won’t take me thirty years to write the new Garison Fitch.
* If you’re a Nook reader, you’ll find it under the title, “Hating God, a love story”
** Wouldn’t shlock & dross be a great name for a band?