I spoke with someone today who gave me some really great feedback about my new book, Fortify Your Soul, which is only in the pre-release phase at the moment. I wish I could word his thoughts exactly as he did, he said it better than I will as I try to capture the essence of his review.
This man, a family member, laughed and told me how proud he was… and how blown away he was by how much I knew about the Bible. Then started the fun comparisons~! He felt Fortify Your Soul was “Micheneresque”. (Coming from Doylestown, PA, where the author James Michener grew up, that is a high compliment.) Well, I didn’t know what he meant by that. He went on to clarify the statement. Michener, he said, would start with a simple theme (Hawaii, or the Chesapeake) and then put together a work of astounding magnitude and complexity in which the characters add life and depth to the now no-longer-simple theme.
This man went on to say that he had gone to church as a child, pretty much against his will, and was bored while there. He never read the Bible and that was fine with him and everyone else. But, he had what he called a “comic book” knowledge of a few Bible stories. I’m guessing he had a visual image in his imagination, drawn like a children’s book illustration, of Noah and Jonah. Those are the 2 Bible characters he named. I get it. As a kid I could add Daniel to that list, and that just about exhausted my Bible familiarity. He was impressed and entertained as so many Bible stories came to life in Fortify Your Soul. He said he tried to make himself read more slowly, because he wanted to race through the book. He read it in 15 hours over the course of 3 days. I told him he’d have been better off reading a chapter or 2 per day over a longer period of time. He agreed.
But, the most fun part of his review was this. He said it was like watching the Steve Martin movie The Three Amigos... which he set up as the comic equivalent of The Three Musketeers. His point? Something classic and timeless was made very approachable and friendly, reaching a new audience~! And.. several times he commented on how much he enjoyed my brilliant use of slang. (Yup, I write like I talk, ‘n’ all~!) He said it was just so FUN, he is going back in and re-reading stories that he especially enjoyed.
I did it~! I did it~!
I did it…. I made the Bible read in such a way that someone who would not ordinarily read it had a blast getting to know Bible characters and some of the timeless, useful lessons conveyed in the book. Well, I just wanted to share that. Made me feel good.