Actually, I did write a sequel. The problem was that it stank, and the harder I tried to make it work, the more I wondered how good Battleground Earth was. Family and friends were supportive, but the book didn’t really catch on beyond my circle of acquaintances. I realize now that isn’t unusual for a first book from a new author, but it was enough to cause doubt. I was 28 when Battleground Earth was published, and that book was about taking the faith I had grown with into young adulthood. I had dreams of returning to graduate school and to pursue a goal of working as a therapist. Then, as the people I license used to say, life happened. My dreams of a career in mental health changed as I opened my eyes to reality. I discovered that I was perfectly happy and achieving my life goals in administrative work, and that my truest desire wasn’t to work in mental health, but to bring people joy and inspiration through writing.
When I realized that these things didn’t require advanced degrees but rather, persistent work with a dedication to be my best through learning and experience, graduate school was no longer a goal. I switched to writing fiction, and life went on as it always does. There were triumphs and tragedies, successes and failures, changing and adjusting to the ever shifting nature of life. Miraculously (or not), my faith grew as I came to understand what it meant to meet each day head on, whether it brought joy and success, or pain and challenge. Which brings me here, twelve years later in middle age and wondering what to do with my maiden efforts as a published author. I’m clearly not the same person I was after having life Kung-fu me around through my 30’s, but it seems foolish to let those efforts slip away. Maybe there’s some merit in Battleground Earth. And maybe the detours, triumphs and tragedies of my life lend better to a sequel now. One thing’s certain: I definitely enough life experience to say I applied those methods, and I’ve gained wisdom from the hard knocks of reality (I hope).
One question that came while I was doing Christian/inspirational writing was what I call the “credential question.” People have strong defensive mechanisms, and when you offer advice to others then the natural reaction is for people to ask why they should listen to you. It seems that common sense and life experience will only get you so far if you don’t have an alphabet of credential letters behind your name. Really, who do I think I am telling people how faith applies to everyday life? A normal person that lives each day just like they do – what inspiration could I possibly offer? I escaped this by switching to fiction, where talent and good writing matter more than anything else, but it’s a question sure to come up again if I decide to pursue a sequel.
I’m not going to waste time worrying about this. I’m primarily a fiction writer, and I’ve published enough books to know that if the Spirit prompts me to write it, then a way will open for it to be published and find readers. If I do decide to move forward with a sequel to Battleground Earth, then people will treat it the same way they treat everything else I’ve published: take it, or leave it. Everybody isn’t going to like everything you do. If I enjoy writing it and learn something from it, then a purpose has been achieved. I’d like for it to reach others and help them, but that’s in the Lord’s hands – as it is with everything I write.
For now, I’ve given America Star Books the ok to put Battleground Earth in ebook format, and it should be available in a few weeks. It will be $3.99, and I’ll let you know when it’s available for sale. As for the sequel, I’ll continue to contemplate it as I continue work on The Earthside Trilogy. The thought of following up Battleground Earth with something based on my experiences and how applying positive thinking has helped me makes me happy. We’ll see what becomes of this. An idea is the catalyst for everything, so who knows? I thought I’d write a mystery next, but I may surprise myself and return to Christian/inspirational again after all. It’s looking better now than it has in a long time.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great week.