Epic. That was the word that called to me like a whisper on the wind. The universal tale of good versus evil, the saga of an enduring struggle, the far reaching realm of consequences and ramifications. I wanted to create something that stood the test of time.
That has been my desire since I entered the entertainment business back in 1995. It began as a passion to be an actor in a truly great film. I pictured myself in a film like The Godfather. The draw of the character and reach of the experience would capture the imagination of a new generation.
Then I discovered directing. The thrill I felt when tackling an exceptional character was even greater when taking the reins of a film as director. The lure of the epic became even greater. The magic that seemed to emanate thoughts of saga called me further into the industry.
As the film projects became few and far between, I needed to do something about it. I started writing my own projects. Here was my chance to make that great work. I wrote several scripts, some good, most really bad. But those scripts were necessary to hone my skills in writing.
Then one day, the thought occurred to me. I could write a novel. The idea of cross promotion was not new to me at that time. I had wanted to take one of my scripts and convert it to a novel and try to sell both. But it wasn’t until then that I conceived of writing the novel first.
This was my chance. This was the moment. The epic had come. I could write a novel without the constraints of writing a script. I didn’t have to worry about location costs, production costs, graphics needs, cast issues. I could write freely without restraint. I don’t know why I didn’t think about writing a novel before.
The epic I wanted to write about was dear to my heart. I knew from the beginning what I was going to write about. I intended to write an epic allegory about my Christian experiences. I wanted to write about the ultimate good versus evil story. By using an allegory, I could make characters representing pure good and pure evil with personality. The angels would have character defects and the demons could act with mercy and peace.
The actual story itself seemed to be set right in front of me over a three day period. The concept of immortals in ancient Rome was crystal clear. The trigger event also immediately fleshed itself out. But that doesn’t happen until the end of book two (so I can’t tell you about it now, sorry). The rest of the story flowed freely from there. In fact, the story was initially designed to be a stand-alone novel. But the flow of the story made the idea of one volume too impractical, especially for a nobody author without a track record.
From the first idea and decision to write to the completed first draft was just shy of two years. That included about eighteen months of story development. I mapped out all the books with all the elements needed. The final structure works out to be a trilogy of trilogies, nine books.
Again, the story is close to my heart. I wanted to share the experiences of my Christian life in a way that wasn’t preachy. I’ve seen overtly Christian works of fiction that are great. But I wanted to reach an audience that didn’t want to read “Christian” literature. For Gods and For Men is the result.