Monday, May 11, 2015

Seven Demons

When the dam bursts, it BURSTS. After nearly four years of pushing myself to write, I finished the last four chapters of Son of Man in just a few weeks, and immediately started on the next Immanu'El novel, Seven Demons

This is one I've been meaning to write since 2008, but the time was never right. Readers have repeatedly asked me when I am going to tell a story from the perspective of one of the women who followed Yeshua (a valid question, since the series description does say "men and women"), and Seven Demons is that story. Inspired by Luke 8:1-3, this novel explores the life of Maryam Migdalit, more commonly known today as Mary Magdalene.

The Migdalit did not live a PG-rated life, however. At some point during the Dark Ages, a rumor got started that she was a prostitute although there is nothing in the Bible to support that rumor. The Biblical truth is much worse, much more shocking--this is a woman from whom Jesus cast out not one but seven demons. Telling her story is a risk, a huge risk. I strongly suspect some readers will feel that I've broken an unwritten agreement with them when they read this book, especially if they throw it away before getting to Part Three (where Yeshua finally shows up and turns her world upside down...or rightside up, depending on how you look at it). 

I don't like unpleasant surprises, and I don't want to spring any on my readers. On the contrary, I want to prepare people for this book release well in advance. I thought I'd have a year or more to do this, but the book is moving along so quickly that I may not have that much time. Here, then, is a first draft of the Author's Note with which I have prefaced Seven Demons:


I long debated whether or not to write this book. Let the reader be forewarned: the material of which this garment is sewn is not suitable for children of any age. Neither, however, are many parts of the Bible itself. God does not gloss over the faults in his children; there are no hidden skeletons in His closet. 

Certain chapters of this book were originally part of Brothers, but the content was so disturbing that it had to be removed. It did not at all fit into the mood crafted in that novel; both Katan and Yisu are possessed of an innocence incompatible with the horrors that Satan delights in inflicting upon the world. Our world is a less innocent one than theirs. In our world, people are entertained by horror. 
I do not want this book to be entertaining. 
On the other hand, I cannot tell Maryam’s story honestly and still remain innocent. There is nothing—nothing—innocent about demonic possession. In a culture that has denied the reality of such things, dismissing them as mere superstition, medicating them or allowing them to live homeless on the corners of our society—in such a culture as ours, demonic possession has become mere entertainment. I, however, believe it to be the reality for many tormented and discarded souls. In this belief, I am in good company: both Jesus and Paul attest to the reality of demons and, while Paul may have been mistaken, it would be the height of arrogance for me to accuse Jesus of credulity. 
For that reason, and many others, I have deviated from the usual format of my storytelling. What happened to Maryam is not the past. It is the present. It is now.

You probably won't see too many blog posts from me for a few months, for this novel is begging to be born. Whether the world will embrace it, leave it to cry on someone's doorstep, or throw it into a dumpster in the middle of the night...this remains to be seen. I am only the midwife.

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Release! Son of Man (Immanu'El Book 4)

The cover photo is one I took in Nazareth in 2014.
Only four years in the making...
Only one year overdue...
Son of Man, sequel to The Carpenter and Brothers, explores the last decade of the "missing years" of Luke's gospel. You can read an excerpt at or order your own paperback copy by clicking the SON OF MAN link at the top of this page. Prefer to read on your electronic device? Visit me at Amazon to download the Kindle version.

And now for the rest of the story...

As my masthead warns, a lack of blogging on my part is usually a good sign. It means I'm writing a novel instead of writing ABOUT a novel. Before I jump right into the next novel, though, a few words about this one.

Son of Man is the hardest thing I've ever written, and in the process of wrestling with it, I also found myself wrestling with God more than once. The AUDACITY of thinking for a moment that I could write an entire novel from the p-o-v of Yeshua... and yet, here it is. You can blame Dr. Bob Tuttle for that, at least in part, since his comments about Brothers encouraged me not to give up on this book when I was on the verge of quitting.

Even so, it might have taken me another four years to finish it if not for the constant nagging frequent reminders from my new friend Susan Pitchford. (Autocorrect is desperate to turn your name into "Pitchfork," Susan -- I find that oddly appropriate!) She became my friend when she contacted me via my website to ask why I hadn't published Son of Man by the promised deadline; I told her if she wanted to read it that badly, she'd have to help me finish it, and she did! (Let it never be said that I don't read my fan mail.) 

When it came down to the last chapter, I had to pause in my writing to lead a Bible study at my home church. This hurt. I was "in the zone" and the words were flowing; the last thing I wanted to do was stop. God honored my faithfulness, however, and the conversation we had at that study provided the focus for the final scene. The kingdom IS wherever the King reigns, and I DO want Him to reign in my heart. Thank you, Led, Patty, Bev, Rob, and Ray for helping me remember that. 

Thanks also to the many friends who have prayed for me and supported me as I've pursued (and completed) my seminary degree, visited the Holy Land, and helped plant a church ... all while writing this novel. What an AMAZING four years it's been, and I couldn't have done it without you! Connie Matejek, Kristen and Chad Grissom, Scooter and Dawn Morrison, Theresa Bailey, Bill and Nancy Hall, the aptly-named Dr. Joy Moore, Dr. Bill Patrick, Dr. Rick Gray, Dr. Brian Russell, and so many more ... You have been a blessing to me, and to whatever extent this novel blesses others, please know that you have blessed them as well!