Our debut novel, Brother Dust: The Resurgence, is releasing in just a few short weeks. I’m very excited about this. From the time it was started to the time it releases about 10 months will have gone by, which for me, feels like a lifetime. Prior to this book, I’ve written eight novels, most of which I self-published. I wrote them at a feverish pace, had them edited a single time for grammar, and then put them out. This usually took about three months from the time a book was started to when it was available for purchase.
I still like some of those books I wrote, but I don’t really love them. One of the main reasons is that I never put in that extra time and effort to take them beyond good and make them great. Something I’ve learned in our many (MANY) rounds of edits on Brother Dust (which included removing an entire 25,000 word section of the book) is that in order to make something great, you have to make an extra effort. You can achieve victory, but man, you’re gonna have to bleed for it.
Writing a novel is tough. I’m not saying that it was easy to finish those old novels of mine. But over the last ten months, I’ve learned that finishing a first draft is the first step of a much longer journey, especially if your intention is to put out a high quality, professional level novel. I promise you, during the multiple re-writes, the frustrating conversations regarding plot points that didn’t work, during the removal of a huge enjoyable but pointless sub-plot at the heart of the book, I wasn’t always smiling. It wasn’t always fun, but then again, hard work sometimes isn’t.
While it might not have been fun, our willingness to push and continue to improve upon each draft of BDTR produced a book that is vastly superior to that first draft we had done back in August/September of 2016. We bled for it, and while that was painful, it was so worthwhile, and it shows on every page of the book.
One thing I love about writing is it often translates to life. I think the concept of being willing to bleed for greatness translates to just about everything we do. I don’t want to just be a mild mannered Christian, I want to be a champion for my God. I don’t want to just be a decent friend, I want to be an unshakable ally who will always go above and beyond for those he loves. These are achievable goals, but I can attest, you’re gonna shed a little blood to reach them.
Art is in an interesting pursuit. It’s tough for me to say as the co-author just how good Brother Dust: The Resurgence is. Personally, I think it’s fantastic, but then again, I may be a little biased. However, even if this book is hated (it won’t be, you’ll love it, I promise), it won’t be because Steve and I were lazy, and it won’t be because we didn’t do everything we could to make it great.