The Promise Remains (15 Weeks of Giveaways #1)

As I've previously mentioned here, I'm going to be giving away a copy of every one of my titles leading up to August 1. That date is the ten-year anniversary of the publication of my first novel.

To be eligible to win a copy of these books, go to my Facebook page.

So here's a quick overview on The Promise Remains.

Publication Date:

Published by Tyndale House Publishers in August, 2000

Where The Idea Came From:

I lived in North Carolina between 5th to 10th grades. I took the real experience of "falling in love" at a Christian camp and writing letters back and forth with that girl.

One line synopsis:

Guy and girl meet during their teen years but can't be together because of the difference in their faith.

Journey to publication:

I'd written seven novels all the way through when I decided to take a step back. None of the books I'd written fit a box, so I came up with a story idea in a very specific box. Two books were very popular at this time: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks and The Chrismas Box by Richard Paul Evans. They were short and simple inspirational stories. Naively enough, I thought to myself--I can do something like that! I wrote the entire novel and was able to give it to the publisher I worked for at Tyndale.

Some people roll their eyes when I say this, but two things. First, I was honest when I first started Tyndale, saying I wanted to be published. Second, they did me a favor by reading it, not publishing it. Nobody is going to spend all that time and money doing someone a favor. Publishing is a business, remember.

The response:

I remember The Promise Remains was one of the first Tyndale works of fiction reviewed by Publishers Weekly. Here's a quote:

"If the drama sounds hokey, it's because Thrasher employs nearly every plot device known to Christian romantic fiction (the most obvious being the conversion to Christ of a wayward man through a woman's faithful love). But the book is driven by authentic, engaging characters, not its predictable action. Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre, and readers will find themselves moved by the couple's pain and ultimate joy, learning much about themselves and their own 'dreams deferred' through Sara and Ethan's story."

My thoughts:

I agree with PW. The Promise Remains is simplistic and naive with its love and faith. It's not much of a story, to be honest. BUT--it is sweet and tender. There is a tender quality about it that I could never repeat if I tried. I never expected it to be my first published work, but it was. The kid who wrote that story was the same hopeless romantic who lived some of his teen years in those North Carolina hills.

One other thought. I've gotten over the first hurdle. Now it's time to tell all those other stories I'm dying to tell.


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