Every once in a while I get to chat with someone who has just finished Death on Disappointment Mountain. The feedback has been universally positive. Once in a while someone has a suggestion, or a criticism, but that's fantastic. It tells me they're really engaged with the material. Here are couple of the comments I've gotten back that I really treasure. (Didn't write them down immediately, so there's a bit of paraphrasing involved.)
I couldn't put it down. I read it really fast, because I wanted to see what happened next. But I want to go back and reread it slower, because there were a lot of profound things in the book that made me want to stop and think.
At one point I thought, if the plot continues this way, I'm going to be so disappointed. Then the plot took a hard left turn and really grabbed me. I loved the way you handled that plot twist.
This book was so true to the experience of going to the Boundary Waters.
I love that you used real places to tell this story. I've been some of those same places, and it makes the story come alive to read about them.
I want more stories about these people.
As a writer, it's so helpful to get feedback from people. It encourages me to keep writing and it makes me a better writer.
One of the challenges for me as a writer is that I'm working in at least three different genres right now. Disappointment Mountain is literary fiction (and maybe what they're calling "cozy mystery" these days). Altered Vows is fantasy. (That one's still being edited, by the way.) And New Wineskins and From Slavery To Freedom are non-fiction books of biblical interpretation.
Lisa made a comment last night that was really helpful. We were driving home from a gathering with a wonderful group of friends, and I talked about some of the challenges of writing across genres. She simply said, "I think you just have to be who you are, and write it." We talked for a few miles about that idea, and it really comes down to the challenge of finding my voice. I love to tell stories about this world and people who live in it. I love to help people dig into the Bible. I love to create imaginary worlds that shed light on this one. Who knows? I might discover other things to write about as well.
My next book, Wait for the Lightning, is another non-fiction work. The subtitle is "a fresh look at Genesis 1-12." The cover designs are in, and I'm really excited about the way it looks. We just ordered some proof copies so we can make sure it's all ready for production. We are planning to run a Kickstarter campaign to launch this book, probably in early March. You'll hear more about that here in the coming weeks.