This was my first published novel, Lifeblood, vintage 1988. Heidi asked how I made the jump from horror to Christian novels.
Well, first off, it took 20 years. There was a horror boom in the 1980s, and I was part of it. When it turned into a horror bust in the 1990s, I was part of that, too. I wrote a lot of books after that, but none ever got published. It really wasn’t looking like I would ever be published again.
I had four horror novels published. I wrote them in hopes of becoming rich and famous, for my own aggrandizement. Serving God never crossed my mind.
In a radio interview a few years ago, Kevin Swanson asked me, “So what woke you up?” And I answered, “Believe it or not, Bill Clinton! Suddenly we had a president doing sex with an intern in the Oval Office, going all Charlie High school smart guy on us by saying ‘It depends on what is is,’ and getting away with it–and all these people saying ‘Oh, it’s only sex, and lying about sex, and everybody does it, no big deal.'” It became obvious that our culture had slipped a few big notches downward while I wasn’t looking. Did I want to live in a country where it really was okay for the president to be doing interns in the Oval Office? I could hardly recognize it as the America that was supposed to be my home.
Fear sent me running back to the Bible, back to prayer. I started writing quasi-journalistic pieces for several Christian, pro-family organizations and eventually caught on with the Chalcedon Foundation (and I’m happy to say I’m still there!).
Chalcedon publishes books on theology; but a few years ago, someone wondered if it might not be a good idea if we published a novel or two. And my editor, Susan, said, “But we already have a novelist!” Meaning me.
And it just so happened that I had only recently had a dream featuring a high mountain with the sound of a bell somewhere in the air. It was a very haunting image, and it became the seed of Bell Mountain.
God keeps giving me these novels to write in His service–twelve of them, so far. As long as He keeps giving them, I’ll keep writing them. This is the work I love best, and may it be fruitful to Christ’s Kingdom.