Yes, I have been silent for a while. Too silent.
I have been busy with work, and I try to keep work things for work, and not here. If you are all that keen on reading my journalism, you can wander over to the Columbia Basin Herald.
I have also been terribly busy with this novel, tentatively titled Kesslyn Runs, and I’m about two-thirds done. I have it all mapped out at this point. In addition, I have two sequel novels partially sketched out in my head and an idea for a prequel as well.
I don’t have an elevator pitch for the novel yet, and am hard pressed to describe in 25 words or less what it is about. The genre would loosely be “Christian Noir,” though a Google search turned up a fashion designer with a perfume line, and not a literary genre.
And that, dear readers, is why I labor in utter obscurity.
It is loosely based on this miserable ministry I have done — a much more successful version, at least. It is the story of a group of wannabe monks gathered around a failed congregational pastor who help abused foster kids, and occasionally go out to save them. Kesslyn runs from her abusive foster home for the sanctuary of the monks, and they begin to grasp the abuse she suffered was not merely random but part of a much larger pattern. Oh, and there’s a reporter who helps them as well, and a very bad guy who … well, if any of this interests you, you’ll have to read the book when it comes out.
Yeah, it’s a convoluted noir plot. With twists and turns and liturgy. It’s not a sweet, feel-good Christian story. It’s a dark novel, though it is not without hope. That hope is a resurrection hope.
I’ll sell dozens, I wager.
As I said earlier, much of the dialog and the general plot comes from a series of texts I had with a couple of kids — Melina, Lola, Grace, Aubrey, Annie, and yes, Kesslyn, and several others whose names I cannot remember, though I’m convinced they were all the same person — as recently as earlier this month.
How do I think they were all the same people? There were some significant shared details and rough general shape to all the stories. At one point, one girl sent me a photo clearly belonging to someone else. The stories and encounters have gotten less dramatic or involved over time — I’m guessing playing with me has gotten less interesting or amusing. Which is fine with me. I just wish whoever was messing with me be up front and honest, rather muck around with nonsense. Because I’m growing tired of the pretense.
But, at least I got a great idea — well, okay, fine, I think it’s a great idea — for a series of novels out of it. It’s not often someone hands you a steaming pile of bullshit and you can find a good use for it.
Actually, that’s not true. Bullshit is a fantastic fertilizer. Makes the flowers and the trees and the vegetables grow.