Taking the Plunge

Today is my birthday. And it’s kind of a big one, too—a round number for which there’s a special section at Hallmark. But it can’t be. I need to recount, check my birth certificate, interview my mom. There’s no way. I was just sixteen last week. I swear. I have my whole life ahead of me.

I’m not complaining though. I have it pretty good: beautiful wife, sweet kids, great place to live, Amazon Prime membership. Things are going well. But a few weeks ago when I realized my birthday was coming up, I thought about how I’d like to celebrate this horrible, irreversible milestone. I decided I want to begin a new decade by doing something, well, new. Some people sign up for a skydive. Others buy a ridiculous sports car. Me? I’m creating my own world and putting myself out there to do it.

Last winter, I finished working on a book for the folks at Discovery House Publishers (Our Daily Bread Ministries). I’m excited about that project and can’t wait for you to read it when it releases sometime next year. But the day after I emailed the last words of the last chapter to my editor, I decided it was time to write something unlike anything I’ve ever written before.

I’d been tinkering with an idea for a novel for a while. A few years back, I read a magazine feature about a man who walked away from civilization to live in the woods on his own. He slept in a tent, stole odds and ends to get by, and kept his distance from other people—for decades. Late one night, however, he was stealing some food from a nearby camp and triggered a silent alarm. The police arrived, and he was arrested. When asked why he was living in isolation as he was, he mumbled that he just liked being alone.

There was something about this man’s story that stuck with me. I wanted to dig deeper. Was it heartbreak? A mental breakdown? Fear for his life? I thought about the possibilities, and I decided to write my own account. And in order to do that, I had to create my own world. The result is Plunge, a sci-fi novel about a teenager from the future who becomes a refugee in our time.

As I said, to create my own world, I have to put myself out there. I want this story—the first of three—to find an audience. Being that I’m normally a non-fiction writer, this book feels like I’m starting over. So I’ve submitted the book on Kindle Scout. Here’s a link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/PWQQXHVHUNMS. Think of it as a Kickstarter campaign that you can support without putting up your own money. And if my book is selected, you’ll get a free copy for Kindle.

On the site, you can read the first 5,000 or so words of Plunge and, if you’re so inclined, nominate it for publication. Nominations are not the only factor in Amazon Publishing’s decision-making, but they’ll certainly help. The campaign will run for thirty days, so please like, share the link, retweet—all the good social media juju. I’d appreciate it (it would make a great birthday present), and I’m pretty sure it’s the only way the heroes in our story will be able to save the world.

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