Ten years ago, if someone asked me what type of book would I write, I probably would have answered it would be nonfiction. Not that writing fiction was foreign to me. I remember during many college classes, I would write short stories out of boredom. Sorry some lectures were not that interesting. I wanted to look busy taking notes versus being asleep.
As much as I loved to read, I guess it never occurred to me that I could write an entire mystery or suspense novel. So what changed for me? Not to sound crazy, but characters showed up?
After well over a decade of writing devotions, bible studies and articles, I started getting glimpses of characters in various scenes. There were a few that stood out as possible main characters of novels. In fact, when I started writing my first novel, When Rain Falls in 2006, I knew I was at the beginning of a series that would consist of only three books. I had a small bulletin board in my office and I created all these character profiles on colorful index cards for each of my main three characters in the Victory Gospel Series.
I had cards for all my minor characters too. While I studied the pinned cards on the board, I also wrote down possible story lines and how these characters would interact over a three year period. At that time it occurred to me that one of the “minor” characters shows up in all three books. Most of the time she usually had a run-in with the other main characters.
She was my bad girl. You know that one chick who liked to start trouble just because she could. It didn’t help that her profession was being a hard-nosed television reporter. That just made her role as resident bad girl all the more enticing to write because she would ask the hard questions and get to the bottom of secrets and lies.
She also was demanding her own story. Not just her own story, but her own book series. Does this sound crazy or what? This what it’s like inside a writer’s head. At least mine.
After concluding the Victory Gospel Series in the third and final book, When Perfection Fails, there was a sense of excitement for me. You see while I made sure to wrap up the main characters’ storylines, I purposely left this character’s story open-ended.
So later this month on March 31st, Serena Manchester will finally debut her own book series. Hostile Eyewitness is the first book in the Serena Manchester series. Picking up a year after When Perfection Fails, Serena finds herself hiding out in her hometown, a place she despised and ran away from over twenty-five years ago. She has quite a homecoming that’s filled with murder and family dysfunction galore.
Now Serena always had a bit of animosity towards church folks and ministers. This novel gave me an opportunity to show readers why some people are hostile toward Christians and view them as hypocritical. I also get a chance to show how a loving God want us to not so much embrace the religion, but the relationship opportunity with Him.
Speaking of other types of relationships, Serena’s track record with men is pretty dismal. Connecting with her best friend and childhood crush, now a minister, does quite a number on Serena’s emotions.
If you want to know more about Hostile Eyewitness, I invite you to read the synopsis and download a free chapter.