Did I Write That?

I’ve been reading a book I wrote circa 1988 and published in 1990–and what I wrote has shocked me.

Mind Stealer was the last of four horror novels I wrote for Zebra Books during the 1980s horror boom. At the time, I didn’t know it would be the last.

I was never terribly proud of it because they changed editors on me and the new editor made a mess of the book. I had to work like crazy to restore some semblance of readability.

Mind Stealer is the story of a special, hush-hush management training program run by Japanese consultants somewhere in the North Carolina wilderness. Back then, America’s business community worshiped everything Japanese–especially their insanely fanatical devotion to their employers.

So I wrote about that. And I wrote savagely. I wrote raw. I read it now and wonder, “Why was I so angry? What was in my heart, to make me write like this?” I’ve found in it no glimmer of redemption, and I don’t remember writing any such thing into it.

If that was who I was then, and God has heard my prayers and changed me so that I can hardly recognize my own writing from that age of my life, then I give Him thanks and rejoice. If I had stayed the man whom I discern in the pages of Mind Stealer, I’d have burned out like a highway flare. The fire would have consumed me.

I would write that story very differently today, if I had to write it at all. But I’m sure I don’t have time for it.

3 comments on “Did I Write That?

  1. As, of course. I don’t know what you wrote, I may not respond correctly but, if I understand what “mind-stealers” might have meant,
    it would seem a very appropriate subject for us today. The down-grading of education, the misuse of our language, and the lack of understanding concerning absolutes makes mind-stealing very real. and easy.
    It is the basis for all that the original authors of the destruction of the USA taking place on folks from the cradle to the grave today, hoped to accomplish.
    Your fiction is a step in the right direction to restore the abilities humans are supposed to have as given by the Holy Spirit. Just keep writing, Lee. You may become a greatly appreciated writer someday. (I almost put an exclamation mark there.)

    1. Much of Mind Stealer was to explore the question, “What can they get people to do? How far can they make people go?” I reckoned that some people would do just about anything–nothing would be too much of a taboo for them to violate. The answer to that question turned into a rather vicious book.

      Dorothy, your encouragement means a lot to me. Even so, I’m not at all sure why God let me write that book and have it published.

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