The Making of Behold

BEHOLD Ebook WebPage

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As you know, most people know me for my historical fiction. So why supernatural suspense? Why BEHOLD?

Honestly? The idea came to me and wouldn’t let me go. Besides, it was fun.

BEHOLD is an exhilarating mix of time travel adventure, end times drama, historical fiction, and fantasy!

Where did the idea for BEHOLD originate? Basically from three story ideas I’ve wanted to write about for a long time —

A time travel story. This is probably why I write historical fiction. If I can’t travel back in time physically, I might as well do it in my mind.

A story that emphasizes our spiritual nature. A quote from French Philosopher and Jesuit Priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is exactly what I hope to say in the novel:

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.

An end times novel. Having taught the book of Revelation, having translated it, having studied it, I always wanted to write a story based on at least a portion of it. For this novel, I chose the first four chapters featuring the Seven Candlesticks of Revelation.

The point that I most want to make about end times is that no matter how you interpret the Book of Revelation, no matter what your view is of the end times, no one knows how the future is going to unfold. God has always surprised us. And I believe the end times will contain the biggest surprises of all.

Even if you don’t own a Kindle, you can get a copy and read it on Amazon or by downloading a FREE Amazon Reader for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Order your copy of Behold by clicking here: http://amzn.to/YXdJub

Get your free Amazon Reader for your computer, tablet, or phone by clicking here: http://amzn.to/13At970

AND THIS IS WHERE I ASK IF YOU CAN HELP ME OUT . . . 

Two ways:

  • Help me introduce my stories to people who haven’t read any of my books. If you could pass the word along to five friends – by email, Twitter, Facebook, phone, maybe even in person – I would greatly appreciate it.
  • And if you could do one more favor? Go to Amazon and post a review. It doesn’t have to be much, just a few sentences. As an independent author, these reviews help more than you can imagine.
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The Making of the Adversaries

An American Family Portrait

Video Podcast

SHOW NOTES:

This is the sixth in a series of videos in which I take a look back at the making of my 9-volume novel series, An American Family Portrait, on the 20th Anniversary of the publishing of the first book in the series, The Puritans. This video features Book 4, The Adversaries.

  • Book 4 in the series is set during one of the most popular periods for historical fiction, the Civil War.
  • As strange as it sounds, Chapter 15 is special to me because it is the first chapter I wrote as a professional novelist. At the publisher’s request, for the proposal I submitted to them, I wrote a scene set on the eve of the Battle of Fredericksburg. It is this chapter that got me a four book contract and launched this series and my career as a novelist.
  • After getting the contract, I then had to go back and write The Puritans, The Colonists, The Patriots, and half of The Adversaries before I finally was able to get to this scene in Chapter 15 again.
  • One of the problems of writing a story set during the Civil War is what to do with the “N” word. Harriet Beecher Stowe used it liberally, as did Mark Twain because it reflected the language of the culture.
  • I chose not to use it because it would call attention to itself and break the illusory bubble of the story.
  • Herman Wouk wrote The Caine Mutiny in 1952 and didn’t use cursing even though it was story set aboard a naval ship. He chose not to use cursing for a similar reason, it didn’t add to the story. He is proof you can still tell a great story and not use foul language; The Caine Mutiny won the Pulitzer Prize for literature.
  • Two of the historical people that inspired me while writing The Adversaries were Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
  • Lincoln is regarded as our greatest president, yet he was vilified during his day, not only by the South but by his own people as well.
  • When Lincoln invited Harriet Beecher Stowe to visit the White House, he greeted her by saying, “So this is the little lady that started this great war.”
  • I hope that my stories will inspire readers to live courageous lives and change their corner of the world.

CLICK HERE to start reading the American Family Portrait series in minutes!

Other episodes in this series: 

VIDEO

  1. Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction
  2. The Incredible Power of Historical Fiction
  3. The Making of The Puritans
  4. The Making of The Colonists
  5. The Making of The Patriots

AUDIO

  1. Sports on Sundays: Keeping the Sabbath in the Days of The Puritans
  2. My 13-year Odyssey to Getting Published
  3. John Winthrop: The Forgotten Founding Father
  4. A Middle-Aged Male Author Attempts to Write Poetry From a Teenage Character
  5. 300-year-old Bible stolen
  6. The Incredible Patience Wright

Jack’s Next Post
VIDEO: The Making of The Pioneers

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The Incredible Patience Wright

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In our look back at the American Family Portrait series, we’ve made it to Book 3 in the series, The Patriots. And in this episode, I describe how, while mining historical research about the Revolutionary War, I struck character gold. I discovered Patience Wright, America’s first sculptress of notoriety.

  • In the front of most novels is a disclaimer that the story is a work of fiction and that all names, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination.
  • Still, it’s well-known, that some fictional characters are based on living persons. Tom Sawyer, Aunt Polly, and Becky Thatcher were based on persons Mark Twain knew while growing up.
  • In all of my novels, I have an Afterword in the back of the book where I describe what is fictional and what is historical, providing resources my readers can use to research the history for themselves.
  • In The Patriots, my character, Abigail Matteson was inspired by the historical Patience Wright.
  • As a young girl, Patience molded figures out of clay and bread, coloring them with pigments from herbs, and flowers, and tree sap.
  • Patience moved to Philadelphia, got married, and had five children. And when her husband died, she had to support her family on her own. She turned to her modeling talent.
  • Together with her sister and eldest daughter, Patience exhibited her work in Philadelphia, London, and Paris to great success.
  • Several amusing anecdotes of visitors to her house mistaking wax models for real people were the inspiration behind several of my scenes in The Patriots, including a dramatic escape scene.

 CLICK HERE to start reading the American Family Portrait series in minutes!

 Other episodes in this series: 

VIDEO

  1. Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction
  2. The Incredible Power of Historical Fiction
  3. The Making of The Puritans
  4. The Making of The Colonists
  5. The Making of The Patriots

AUDIO

  1. Sports on Sundays: Keeping the Sabbath in the Days of The Puritans
  2. My 13-year Odyssey to Getting Published
  3. John Winthrop: The Forgotten Founding Father
  4. A Middle-Aged Male Author Attempts to Write Poetry From a Teenage Character
  5. The Stolen 300-year-old Bible

Jack’s Next Post
VIDEO: The Making of The Adversaries

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The Making of The Patriots

An American Family Portrait

Video Podcast

SHOW NOTES:

This is the fifth in a series of videos in which I take a look back at the making of my 9-volume novel series, An American Family Portrait, on the 20th Anniversary of the publishing of the first book in the series, The Puritans. This video features Book 3, The Patriots.

  • With Book 3 in the series, we enter more familiar American history, the Revolutionary War.
  • While we are proud as Christians of the role our faith played in the founding of our country, the decision to take up arms was not an easy one for Christians in 1776.
  • A key question had to be addressed: At what point does a Christian take up arms against his own government?
  • The colonists were, for the most part, believers who attended church regularly and read their Bibles. They were familiar with New Testament scriptures that taught respect for authority, such as:
    • 1 Timothy 2:1-2: I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful, quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
    • 1 Peter 2:13-17: Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right . . . . Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
  • The colonists were familiar with the examples of Jesus, the apostles and early Christians, and the Puritans who suffered hardship, imprisonment and death, yet who never advocated the overthrow of an oppressive government.
  • I attempt to portray the tension and conflict of the colonial uprising with twin brothers, Jacob and Esau; both patriots, one to the colonies, one to England.
  • There are four story lines: Jarod accompanies Benjamin Franklin in a diplomatic mission to France; Jacob follows Gen. George Washington; Esau follows Gen. Benedict Arnold, and Anne and Mercy portray life on the home front.
  • Several humorous episodes balance the tension and suspense, including: Abigail Matteson, a character inspired by Patience Wright, a wax sculptress; and Mercy Morgan who dispels the tension of a dinner argument by quoting etiquette lessons learned by every colonial schoolboy.
  • Jack shares one incident of a reader who got so caught up with the emotions of the story, he threw the novel across the room.
  • CORRECTIONS: John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. And readers can’t throw ebooks across the room, but they can toss ereaders. (Well, duh. What was Jack thinking?)

CLICK HERE to start reading the American Family Portrait series in minutes!

Other episodes in this series: 

VIDEO

  1. Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction
  2. The Incredible Power of Historical Fiction
  3. The Making of The Puritans
  4. The Making of The Colonists

AUDIO

  1. Sports on Sundays: Keeping the Sabbath in the Days of The Puritans
  2. My 13-year Odyssey to Getting Published
  3. John Winthrop: The Forgotten Founding Father
  4. A Middle-Aged Male Author Attempts to Write Poetry From a Teenage Character
  5. 300-year-old Bible stolen

Jack’s Next Post
AUDIO: The Incredible Lives of Patience Wright and John Andre

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300-Year-Old Bible Stolen

heroes in history

An American Family Portrait

Audio Podcast

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SHOW NOTES:

In this series of podcast episodes, I take a look at historical figures of the past and how the past, at times, intersects the present. Today’s episode: A 300-year-old Bible is stolen.

  • While I have imagined what it would be like to lose a precious family heirloom Bible in The Colonists and The Guardians, Tim Shier of Marysville, OH experienced it. Entrusted to him for safekeeping, the family Bible was stolen from his house.
  • The Shier’s family Bible was printed in Germany in 1706 and contained the hand-written record of family births and deaths for seven generations.
  • The thieves were caught, but had disposed of the Bible in a bin.
  • Eventually, the Bible turned up. It had been purchased on Ebay, but the buyers didn’t want to part with it unless they were compensated for it.
  • Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 171 raised $405.00 to buy the Bible.
  • In a ceremony at Marysville High School, the Lodge returned the Bible to a tearful Tim Shier.
  • In Book 2, The Colonists, Philip Morgan recovers the Morgan family Bible and his life is changed by the experience.
  • In Book 9, The Guardians, the Morgan family Bible is stolen. Is it recovered? Interesting question since it’s the last book in the series . . . .

CLICK HERE to start reading the American Family Portrait series in minutes!

Other episodes in this series: 

VIDEO

  1. Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction
  2. The Incredible Power of Historical Fiction
  3. The Making of The Puritans
  4. The Making of The Colonists

AUDIO

  1. Sports on Sundays: Keeping the Sabbath in the Days of The Puritans
  2. My 13-year Odyssey to Getting Published
  3. John Winthrop: The Forgotten Founding Father
  4. A Middle-Aged Male Author Attempts to Write Poetry From a Teenage Character

Jack’s Next Post
VIDEO: The Making of The Patriots

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