15 Weeks Of Giveaways #11

So I'm giving away another book, this one my first foray into supernatural suspense. To win a copy of Isolation along with an advanced copy of my latest teen novel, go to my Facebook page.

Here are some details related to Isolation:

Publication Date:

September, 2008 (originally planned for release on January, 2007—see below for explanation)

Where the idea came from:

Anybody who follows me knows I’m a big Stephen King fan. I remember the exact moment when the first seed of an idea for Isolation came to mind. I was visiting a missionary family who used to be a part of our small group. They were staying at a house on furlough that had multiple rooms and staircases and the idea popped in my mind: a missionary family staying in a creepy house dealing with spiritual oppression.

One line synopsis:

I just shared it: a missionary family moves to a creepy mountain lodge and end up dealing with spiritual oppression. My other one line synopsis: my version of The Shining.

Journey to publication:

This journey to publication was the most dramatic of all of my books.

The first step was a meeting I had with Moody Publishers to talk about future books. I met with my editor at the time and his boss. One random idea that I tossed out was this one about the missionary family dealing with spiritual warfare. That was the idea that excited them the most, much to my surprise.

The second step was after I wrote it. My editor’s boss left Moody and a new publisher was hired. When he read my completed manuscript for Isolation, he had major problems with it. I won’t get into that, but I tried to accommodate some of his concerns. Yet at the same time, I always made this argument about the situation: “I was asked to build a black mountain lodge and now I’m being asked to make it a blue split-level house.”

The third step was a month before publication. I received a call from my editor saying that Moody was going to cancel plans to publish the book. I’d seen that happen before to other authors but it was still stunning. I was a new father and tried to focus on the important things that mattered.

The fourth step was that the next year, I was fortunate to sell Isolation to FaithWords in a four-book deal. What looked to be maybe one of the worst things in my publishing history ended up becoming one of the best things to happen to me.

The Response:

The response from reviewers and readers was very encouraging. But perhaps the most encouraging response I got early on was from one of Hachette’s sales people. Hachette is the name of the publisher who has FaithWords as an imprint (they used to be called Warner Books). When I visited their offices in New York, a top salesmen stopped me and told me he loved Isolation. This guy also sold authors like James Patterson and Nicholas Sparks. I still remember that vividly.

My Thoughts:

It’s always amazing what doors God opens and closes. That sounds like a cliché, but to me it’s true. Isolation was a very difficult book to write but like all my novels I’m proud of it. I tell people that I think it’s perhaps my most “Christian” novel I’ve had published, so that’s why it’s so ironic it was deemed too dark to be published by one Christian publishing house.

Labels: ,