In writing the Song of Suspense Series, I intentionally played around with different suspense styles of writing. A Melody for James is a political/psychological thriller, as James and Melody try to figure out who is after his company’s intellectual property worth billions of dollars, and determine if they tied to Melody’s stalker. An Aria for Nick is Hallee Bridgeman meets Mission Impossible – a fast-paced action adventure as the protagonists race across the country to stop a nuclear disaster. A Carol for Kent is a serial killer murder mystery, police slash district attorney kind of fare.
In May 2014, I published A Carol for Kent. At that time, I conceived A Harmony for Steve. The idea was that I would have a Christian artist who falls in love with a recovering drug addict hard rocker. Because this is a suspense series, I thought that the next style would be something a little darker – more ominous, with a spiritual warfare undertone.
I began writing it in May 2014. Almost immediately after Carol’s release, I started getting emails from fans asking when Harmony would be released.
The biggest problem was that the farther I got into the story, the darker I felt. The spiritual warfare in the book kind of sucked me into that darkness, and I felt so dragged down writing it. After taking the summer off (as I do when my children get out of school) I made a personal decision to stop writing it and to write all eight books in the Virtues and Valor series instead.
In the time since I published A Carol for Kent, I’ve published all 8 of the Virtues and Valor Series, Christmas Star Sapphire, and On the Ropes. Finally, after writing On the Ropes, my tenth novella in two years, I prayed and thought and prayed and felt ready to tackle the literal demons in my book.
A Harmony for Steve was the hardest book I’ve ever written. It took the most out of me. When I write, I experience what the character experiences – I think, feel, hear, see, smell, taste – I am in the character’s head the whole time I’m writing. Every time I wrote the point of view of the character Railroad or Charles Galton or any of the other evil minor characters in this book, I had to enter the dark world of spiritual possession and true evil.
Once I truly delved into the book itself, I began experiencing spiritual attacks. I can’t go into them here, but the last six months have been some of the hardest, mentally and emotionally, of my life. I even went into a mindset that I would finish A Harmony for Steve, because I’d been promising it for over two years and my fans deserved it, and I would be done. That would be the last book I would ever write. I didn’t think I would be able to create a fictional world filled with fictional characters ever again.
Finishing it took a lot of prayer, on my part and on the part of intercessory prayer from my friends. The end result is what my beta readers are calling “The best book I’ve ever written.”
Thankfully, now that it’s done, I am ready to get back to work on the next project. The idea of never writing again is gone. I’m excited about the next thing (another Jewel Series Christmas novella, I hope) and have a production schedule full of ideas and planned projects.
My prayer as this book publishes Monday is that it touches your life and that God will work and move in your life as you read it. I pray that in some way, God speaks to the hearts of every single person who reads this book. I hope that the readers enjoy the story and desperately desire that they are blessed by the experience.
After you read it, I’d love to hear from you. You can either email me or leave a review wherever you bought it. This is an intense book and an intense read. Two beta readers have left the feedback of “Wow wow wow.”
I hope you have a similar reaction.
You can preorder A Harmony for Steve anywhere you purchase ebooks. If you order it today, when you wake up tomorrow morning, it should be sitting on your ereader, waiting for you to delve into the lives of HARMONY HARPER and STEPHEN SLAYER!
As I read about your experience, I had such a strong feeling of peace and love. You are doing a great work through your books for Him. He will strengthen and sustain you on your journey.