I’m working on my next book. I’m on my second draft of “The God Whistle.” It’s turning out better than I initially thought it would.
My wife is my first round editor/proof reader. She read the first chapter and had to put it down because of the main character, Mary, made her so angry. I thought, “Yes! That’s exactly how you should feel about her.” When she finished the next three chapters, she said: “No wonder you’ve been so moody.” I didn’t think I had been moody but looking back on it now I can see I probably was. I can’t help but live vicariously through my characters and when you do that it’s bound to influence how you feel.
The story itself deals with some painful things: Infidelity, Divorce, and Guilt. It’s hard to write something like that and not be immersed in the story, feeling all the pain and guilt that your characters feel. You have to think about things you normally wouldn’t think about, such as how would you deal with the situations I put my characters through.
Throughout the story, Mary has to deal with letting go of her control and letting God “fix it.” She also has to ask herself, “What does God want me to do?” and she has to examine another question: Does God change his mind when he asks you to do something?
Because of the genre I write in, it’s no secret as to how the story might end, and I won’t disappoint. Through it all there is growth and restoration. By the time you get to the end of the story, you’ll see how all the pieces fall into place. I’m expecting that you’ll be relieved when entire puzzle falls into place. At least that’s my hope.
I’m shooting for a September 2017 release so keep your eye out for “The God Whistle”. I haven’t had the cover designed yet here but follow me here on Amazon, and they will let you know when the book is released.
Ralph Nelson Willett, Sheriff Dan Abbott and Melanie Hooker of the Domestic Violence Coalition announce book signing.
Ralph Nelson Willett, Sheriff Dan Abbott, and Melanie Hooker announce a book signing for the benefit the of the Domestic Violence Coalition (DVC) of Van Buren County.
I am pleased to announce that I will be joining Sheriff Dan Abbott and Melanie Hooker of the Domestic Violence Coalition (DVC) for a book signing event. The event will take place Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at the Living Room Cafe in downtown South Haven, Michigan. All proceeds will benefit the DVC.
My latest book deals with domestic violence. While doing research for the book I connected with the DVC. In discussions with Melanie and others, I learned a lot about the issues facing domestic violence victims. The DVC attempts to aid victims with services such as temporary housing, filing for personal protection orders and education to try and break the cycle of abuse that victims often go through.
As part of my research, I found that my county does not have a shelter for domestic violence victims and must shuttle them to facilities in surrounding counties. I also learned that for Western Michigan, my county is second only to Kalamazoo County in the number of domestic violence crimes reported. The DVC’s long-term goal is to create a safe place that victims can go to to leave of dangerous situations.
For a donation of just $10 you will receive a signed paperback copy of my book The Release: Escape From Torment. Sheriff Dan Abbott and Melanie Hooker will be there to answer any questions you may have on how you can help to protect members of our community. If you can’t make it, I am also donating all royalties from all of my books sold from Amazon from May 27 through May 29. Click Here For the Amazon Link
When: Saturday, May 27, 2017, 9 AM to 4 PM (Memorial Day Weekend)
Where: The Living Room Cafe, 520 Phoenix St., South Haven, MI 49090
“The Release – Escape From Torment” tells the story of a young woman under a generational curse. Women in her family have been severely abused for as long as anyone can remember. Now a Chicago gang wants her silenced. Can she escape the curse that has been passed down to her, a curse she has suffered from her entire life?
I finally finished my latest project “The Release – Escape From Torment.” (On Amazon, Paperback and Kindle) I have to say that completing it is a bittersweet moment. On the one hand it’s good to be finished with it and have it published, but on the other hand, I had grown to love the book. Taking the main character, Carrie, from giving up hope and resigning herself to dying to having the hope of everlasting life through Jesus Christ gave me a sense of fulfillment you don’t often have when writing. (I created a video trailer for the book here)
The book itself seemed to have taken a life of its own. I’ve read the final book a couple of times even after all the edits, and I find that I’m amazed that it was me that wrote those words. I still find myself tearing up in several places. It truely is some of my best work.
Before the final book went to press I had Denise Moore, Board Secretary of the Van Buren Domestic Violence Coalition read a prerelease copy of the book. Here’s what she wrote about it:
“This story is captivating from beginning to end. The author presents a realistic case of a woman trying to escape the man that abused her, something we see happen all too often. At one point I was so caught up in the story I had tears in my eyes for Carrie, and a few times I had to remind myself that this was fiction! The story goes on to show us how big our God is and how big His mercy and grace are.
I can hardly recommend this book enough.”
That is quite the recommendation and one I’m most proud of.
Domestic violence is one of those things that are difficult for people like me to think about. Writing about a victim of domestic abuse forced me to think about things I’d rather not. The pain, the grief, the loss. And as an example, why do women stay in an abusive relationship? There are many answers to that question, one of which is that they have nowhere else to go. When I spoke with Denise Moore, I discovered that there are no shelters in my county for abused women to go. In the book, I wrote that there was, but the truth is there isn’t. So where is a woman to go? Denise told me that their vision is to create a place that can shelter women and their children right here in the city where I live. But all that takes more resources than is available at the moment. So women and children suffer. It’s a hard thing to think about, but it’s also something that must be addressed.
In the book, I introduce a character named Chi (pronounced Chai, as in the tea). Chi has a lot of secrets that are hinted at, but one thing for certain is that he’s a stone cold killer trained by the military. He struggles to reconcile that fact with his Christian beliefs. He resists carrying a weapon even though he is specifically requested to by local police. There’s a dark history with Chi that I never fully explain in the book. In the end, he his approached by a representative of a secret government agency. Having recently been married, Chi rejects the attempts to recruit him, but the appeal to his patriotism and the fact that his actions will ultimately save lives is a powerful incentive. In the end, I leave the reader hanging a bit as to what he’s going to do.
I came to love the character, Chi. I wrote a lot of myself into him. When I needed to understand what Chi would do under certain circumstances, I asked myself what I would do. I know that under physical attacks I would do exactly what he did. Perhaps not as badly as he did but still, it would not be pretty. But what about pulling a trigger? I don’t know if I could do that or not. I’m just not ‘that guy.’
Now I have to decide if I’m going to take Chi further. Does a secretive government agency recruit him? Do I take him on adventures that are thrust upon him? Or do I simply let the character go and never tell the rest of his story? I’m still thinking that through. Hopefully, I’ll have some feedback from readers. What would you like me to do with Chi?
The Summer Tourist has been released on Amazon. It’s currently available in paperback and Kindle formats. The audio book should release sometime in January of 2017. I’m pretty happy with how it’s been received so for and have had some very nice reviews.
The Summer Tourist
Tina reflected on how she had been used by the man she loved. The crushing weight of his deception overwhelmed her anger leaving only her pain. She raised her head toward Chicago and whispered, “I am not your summer diversion.” In a final act of letting him go, she held the bracelet over the water, turned her hand slowly and let it fall away. Could she love again? Would a man who loved her once love her again?
I’m working on my next book. I’m through the first draft. I have to admit it’s been painful. Not because of the writing process but because of the subject it deals with – domestic abuse. When you’re writing something you actually have to spend some time thinking about it. I don’t like thinking about abuse in any way, shape or form. I don’t happen to live in that world so I’m isolated from it and it’s easy not to think about it. But as a writer, you have no choice.
When you’re a writer you can’t help but put yourself in the place of your characters. You may even come to view them as friends or even your own children. Seeing them in pain is hurts you. Even though you know your story is fictional, you feel the pain just as deeply as your characters feel. Just as when I wrote my first book, The Rose Stone, where I felt the pain of a daughter dealing with addiction and suicidal thoughts, I’m now feeling the pain of an abused woman. What I find most sad it that I know that my ‘Fiction’ is a very real fact of many women’s lives.
One of the things that nearly frightens me is the question of how do I know what I know about domestic abuse. I’m 56 years old. I’ve been around for a while but I’ve never been involved in the lives of domestic abuse victims. How can I then write about these things and have people tell me “you just wrote my life”? I have to ask myself where did I learn about this? My honest answer is: I don’t know. Tucked somewhere in repressed regions of my mind I’ve not know of what it is but also how it happens. Because I’m a writer/story teller I can see things happen in vivid detail as if I stood and watched it happen. What is it in me that allows me to do that? I don’t like it. It hurts too badly.
When I write about these things, abuse, addiction, etc., I often find myself in tears. I feel the pain my character is going through. Then I want to run out and “fix” it. Sure, I can fix it in the story but the problem is, I know for many many people the hurt is too real. Have you ever felt like that? Where you see someone in pain and you want to do everything you can to “fix it”? But I already know I can’t fix it. That isn’t within my skill set.
However, I’ve come to realize that I can help. My skill are in telling a story. Through my stories perhaps I can raise awareness so that maybe it will be better for someone. When I wrote “The Rose Stone” Celebrate Recovery played a big part in the story. I now have a special place in my heart not only for the group and what it does, but also for the individual people in it. My own eyes have been opened if only because I had to think about things as I wrote the book. I talked to people and asked questions. I became aware. But I’ve found that isn’t just me that my stories touch. Many more people have become aware of Celebrate Recovery simply because I told a story. Making people aware of what can help with their struggles or someone they love is, in a way, a way to “fix it”. My prayer is that even though I don’t like thinking about some things, that God will make some good will come of it. Could I ask for more?
I’m still working on the book about abuse. It’s title will be “The Release”. I expect it to be available sometime in the summer of 2017. The Rose Stone is expected to be release the first week in January however (!) the audiobook is already available. You can listen to it here: The Rose Stone
Here’s something I didn’t know: You can share you Amazon Prime benefits with another member of you family.
Alright, here’s the benefits you can share (Copied directly from Amazon’s website):
The following Prime benefits can be shared in an Amazon Household:
Fast & FREE Prime Shipping benefits
Access to Prime Video (streaming only)
Early access to Amazon Lightning Deals
Prime Photos online storage
Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
20% off diaper and 15% off Baby Registry discounts
Fresh shipping benefits (for Prime Fresh members only)
You can invite any family member or “partner” which means you can invite your boyfriend or girlfriend. Now you can share the cost of membership. To me, just having the video streaming makes Prime worth it but tack on top of that the free two-day shipping and it makes it a no brainer.
Here’s how you invite another member of your family to share your Amazon Prime:
Go to your account
Click on Your Prime Membership
Scroll to bottom and click “Share your Prime benefits”
Click on “Manage my household”
From there you can invite a family member to share your benefits.
I think Amazon Prime is awesome. With being able to share it with one of my family members makes it even more awesomer (if that’s a word).