Now that The Jewel Trilogy is complete, I’ve started to turn my thoughts to what is next. I currently have seven books completely written. They are not Christian romances — quite the opposite. They’re full of everything you’re not supposed to put into a Christian novel. Like The Jewel Trilogy, I need to go into each one of them and revamp them, adjust the characters, add a faith element, and remove the bad. Sapphire Ice was the first book I did this to, and what happened amazed me — what was already a good book became a GREAT book! I was so excited to get to the other two. One of them had to be completely gutted and reworked (Emerald Fire), but like Sapphire Ice, Topaz Heat just needed minor tweaking.
So, I’ve done it — three times in the last year — and it worked and it worked wonderfully!
At my book signing last weekend, a group of friends and I were talking about what might be next. Like I said, I have seven more books. One cannot be a Christian novel. There’s a paranormal major story plot point that if it went away, the entire story deflates. So, it will forever be shelved. I have another trilogy – this one about three brothers. And, I have three books that are interconnected but not an actual trilogy — they just carry minor characters from one book into major characters into the next book — but really they could all stand alone if need be.
The first one in that group is the first book I ever wrote. The working title is Song of Retribution. I wrote this 100,000 word novel in, no kidding, six weeks. Since then, I’ve never touched it. Which means the writing is BAD. BAD. BAD. It’s full of passive voice, head hopping, very little “thoughts and feelings”, and just general rookie writer mistakes.
Oh, but the story is a GOOD story. GOOD. GOOD. This is the kind of story that a reader would totally devour.
At my book signing, we were all standing around talking about it. I explained that looked at it and looked at it and thought, it’s a good story, it can be cleaned up, but I honestly don’t know that a faith element would add to the book. So, maybe I’ll just make it a “clean” romance and publish it like that.
Everyone encouraged me and said it was a great idea.
That was on a Saturday. On Monday, I got this review on Amazon for Topaz Heat (emphasis by me):
Hallee Bridgeman hit it out of the park with this one! Her other two books in the Jewel Trilogy were great, but this one surpassed my expectations! It was well written, amazing character development and emotions. However, her use of Faith in this book is what really sets it apart! It was enough to renew my faith and question why I am not more like the main character! Best book in the series! Can’t wait to see what this new author puts out next!!!!!
Monday night, a woman approached me while I was volunteering. She said, “I finished chapter 9 in Sapphire Ice and I put the book down and prayed longer and harder than I ever had in my entire life. You’ve changed my relationship with God. I can’t thank you enough.”
Thursday morning, I got this review on Barnes & Noble for Topaz Heat (emphasis by me):
As the last book in this series.. I was amazed to say the least..I loved reading all these, but I think the last may have been the best! I loved the simple truths that are so well written within these books. The old saying I have heard all my life came to mind while reading .. you can’t judge a book by the cover.. of course I am not talking a out the cover of this book, as christians sometimes we only see what others look like on the outside.. we forget that though they may seem very much the same.. that God can change that person completely without you looking close enough you may overlook the true transformation of the heart while focused on the outside of the person.. Again, cannot say enough good things about this series.. I hope to find (if there are any more) and read ALL this author has to offer. I have found another favorite author!
I think I’m capable of taking a hint.
There are a TON of good, well-written, exciting clean romances out there. I’m not sure that’s what God has called me to write. I’m certain that right now, during this part of my journey, what He wants me doing is adding that element of faith: the challenges, the beauty, the wonder, the strength that can come from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If what I’ve already written isn’t going to fit the bill, then I’ll write something new. I know that as long as I’m open in communication with God, and what I write glorifies Him, then what I put out there will be what He wants me to put out there.
I’m good with that.
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