Novella Set for June Launch

I’m proud to announce that my new novella, “The Man Who Ran from God,” will launch June 22 in the Amazon Kindle store.

As we approach the launch date, I will be sharing more details about the novella. I’ll post the book cover art, selections from the piece itself and selections from earlier drafts. But today, I just want to share the basics. I will answer these in FAQ style.

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When will the novella be released?
June 22.

Where will it launch?
Only on the Amazon Kindle store. I wanted to take advantage of their free giveaways via their KDP program. After 3 months on Kindle, I’ll reassess.

How much will it cost?
99 cents in U.S. dollars, like the rest of my works.

Will there be any giveaways?
Yes. I’m planning a BIG giveaway for the first weekend, June 22 and 23.

What is it about?
It is a retelling, in historical fiction style, of the story of Jonah from the Bible. My teaser for the book sums it up:

In a dream, the voice of God commands Jonah to go to Nineveh. Instead, he books passage to the other end of the world. A storm and a hungry whale are the least of his worries as Jonah has to confront deluded fishermen, befuddled peasants and crooked priests. At the end of it all, Jonah must face the hardest decision of his life: stand and preach to the fervently pagan crowds in Nineveh’s main square or flee back to his home in Judea.

Is this a religious work? The result of some sort of religious experience?
No. My attempt here was not to write a religious work, but an accurate piece of historical fiction. I didn’t want to write something that aligned with any organized religion, but that sought to unravel the historical Jonah from the figure presented in the Bible.

What inspired you to write this?
I had been toying with the idea of writing something about Jonah for a long time. The Old Testament prophets are intriguing to me because they are revered in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Jewish Joseph, Moses and Abraham somehow remain unifying figures despite the differences between these faiths and all three are mentioned in both the Christian New Testament and the Muslim Koran.

But for me, there was always something special about the “minor” prophet Jonah. The whale segment of the story is famously known and, not surprisingly, surfaces in American literature in Moby Dick where one old whaler doubts the story. I wanted to learn more about the source of the story and one day read the Biblical account. When I did, I realized that the whale is actually a small part of the story. The real driving question is whether Jonah will do God’s will or not.

Jonah is very cantankerous. When God asks him to go to Nineveh, he heads for Tarshish at the opposite end of the Mediterranean. And Jonah’s always getting angry (the word “angry” is used at least twice in the Biblical story). The best instance is in the Biblical account at Jonah 4:9.

But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’

‘It is,’ he said. ‘And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.’

I loved that.

After I finished the story, I realized that most people had no idea who Jonah was and that the real story was quite different from the one I had been told as a kid. I started playing with the idea of writing something. I read the Book of Kings (where Jonah also appears) for background. And then I saw a video on YouTube and it all came together.

 

Eminem goes through a rough patch.

That was it. To me, Eminem was a sort of modern day Jonah (wow, did I just write that?). He was talking about the same thing Jonah talked about, but using a vernacular he understood. At some point, Jonah (like Eminem) came to a realization that he needed to change, he reached a point where the right thing to do became clear. He just had to have the guts to do it, to follow his inner voice. And Jonah, just like Eminem, was angry…pissed off at an unjust world.

After I saw that video, I sat down and just started writing. Eventually, it became a novella of 20,000 words.

Can I get an advance copy of the novella for review on my blog?
Yes. If you have a blog where you regularly review books, I will review your site and if I feel we are a fit, I will gladly send along a copy of the manuscript (in Word format) for review. See “Contact” above for my email.


In a continuing sub-series, I’m mentioning each time viewers from a new country visit the blog. This week, the blog had its first visitors from:

– Lebanon.
– Malaysia.
– The Bahamas.

Welcome to the blog, Everyone!

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