In the early morning of January 1, 1999, I had a dream inspired by a Toby Keith song called “Dream Walkin'”. The song is about a man who had a one-night stand with a woman who he never saw again, but he dreams about her. I don’t know what made me dream about that song, but when I did, I developed an entire story around the song. I woke up at two in the morning and started writing it down. Six weeks later, I had the original version of A Melody for James.
At the time, I’d named it Song of Redemption. It was a secular romance, so the story-line was slightly different. James and Melody met at a party and had a one-night stand — much like the song. In the published (and what I call”redeemed”) version, they meet at an airport during a long layover.
Most of the rest of the story stayed the same, though.
I’d never considered writing before. I was 27-years-old. When I finished writing the book, I thought, “Well, that was weird. That will never happen again.” However, the second I typed, “The End,” my mind was filled with a deluge of book ideas. It actually took me a few years to learn to quiet the constant stream of plots and characters that flow through my mind. Since that dream about a silly country song back in 1999 (with a 10-year break for a whole lot of life happenings), I’ve written 38 books, and published 34 of them.
Many authors won’t ever publish their first book. It takes a lot of time and a LOT of writing to develop rhythm, storytelling, pace, and style. It simply doesn’t exist with the first book. I’d written and published four books before I ever came back to James and Melody’s story. Redeeming it, adding relationships with Christ, fixing motivations to be much less worldly, and tightening my characterization was almost more work that writing it in the first place; however, it remains a fan-favorite and I’m so thankful that I didn’t keep it hidden away — that I put the work into it that it needed to bring it out into the light.
If you haven’t had a chance to read A Melody for James, book 1 in the Song of Suspense Series, it’s free at all ebook retailers! Check out the details below:
A Melody for James
Melody and James lead separate lives of discord until an unexpected meeting brings them to a sinister realization. Unbeknownst to them, dark forces have directed their lives from the shadows, orchestrating movements that keep them in disharmony. Fire, loss, and bloodshed can't shake their faith in God to see them through as they face a percussive climax that will leave lives forever changed.
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