I was a full-time writer before I ever tried writing a novel. In fact, getting into fiction at all was sort of an accident. (Well, it seemed that way to me. It is likely that it didn’t take God by surprise.)
I had only dabbled in fiction, and I mean dabbled. When I was in third grade, I handwrote a thirteen-page story about meeting Amy Grant. I’m sure my teacher was thrilled. But since grade school, I had probably written only about a dozen short stories, only one of which was ever published. Then one day I had an idea for a short story, and it sort of got a little wordy. It was a long short story.
This story sat abandoned and forgotten on my laptop for a long time.
Enter financial crisis. We were in a tough spot, and I thought, you know what? I’m going to throw this up on Kindle, and if it makes a few bucks, then that is a few more dollars than I had before.
(Since then, I’ve taken this book down from Kindle, and the eBook is now available only from my website.)
So this first novella sold a lot of copies. I mean, it didn’t make the New York Times list or anything, but for me, it was a lot. I couldn’t believe it. So, with no idea what I was doing, I tried to write an actual novel.
Now, I live in the boonies of Maine. Yet, within twenty miles of me in three different directions, there were three different churches operating as homeless shelters. I just found that so inspiring. And at the time, my parents were both volunteering at one, so I had lots of inside info.
Hence, I decided to write my first Christian romance with the setting of a homeless shelter. Since then, I’ve been told that’s pretty weird, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.Shelter took off. I am so, so grateful to God that he gave me this source of income that allowed me to meet my family’s needs. There have been so, so many books since Shelter, and I’m grateful for every one of them.
I tell you all of this because I have just set the eBook edition of Shelter to free for the first time in a very long time. You can find it at any bookstore, and if you can’t find it where you want it, please let me know. And the audiobook for Shelter is currently exclusive to YouTube, where, of course, it is free!
I would be honored if you would give Shelter a read, and I would love to hear what you think of it. It’s the story that made me, and these characters have become my good friends. (Which is probably why they keep showing up in other books.)
Shelter is not a Christmas story, but it is a winter story, and Christmas does happen during the story, so it seems like a fitting time for me to tell you: Go read Shelter. 😉