My 93-year-old grandmother constantly asks when I'm going to write a "good Christian novel." I can't lie to her, so I tell her it's probably not going to happen. It would be forced and inauthentic, and that's just not me. However, I have written a good Christian novel. Well, looking back, it's not that good, and is basically a rip-off of Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. But hey, it was high school, and I was digging for a story that satisfied my obsession with the supernatural while simultaneously fitting nice and cozy into my belief system.
The Battle is 236 hand-written pages comprising two spiral-bound notebooks. While I never finished it, I did leave myself a list of what needs to happen before I can end the story. Oh, and there's a note scribbled in the back of one of the notebooks—The sequel: Revival. I had plans for this thing, but like so many pieces that I started back then, it didn't hold my interest long enough to make it to The End.
Now, when I start writing a book, I'm confident that I'm going to finish it. But that didn't happen overnight. I spent years and years and years starting books that would never go anywhere. I didn't care about being a novelist, I just wanted to write. I doubt I'd be where I am today without all that practice.
Excerpt from "The Battle"
By Michelle (Reeves) Bredeson
1996, Age 17 (I think)
Darian woke up at six on Friday morning, uneager to attend school.
After Christian had asked for her phone number the previous evening, she hadn't expected him to call that night, but he had.
They talked for an hour about their youth group, and before he'd hung up, he'd assured her that he would be in church on Sunday. Darian had been beaming at the thought.
Darian laid in bed until six-thirty, and then reluctantly decided to get up (even though she wasn't normally up until seven). She had a Chemistry test that day, and some extra time to study wouldn't hurt her a bit.
At seven o'clock the phone rang, and with curiosity rising, she answered it.
"Hello?" she asked, hoping it was Christian yet knowing it wasn't.
"Darian?" Cora's voice boomed over the phone. "Oh Darian, you wouldn't believe it!"
"What?" Darian asked soothingly, hoping to calm her friend down.
"It wasn't even there!" Cora exclaimed, her words hurried. "The stupid rock wasn't there when I fell! It wasn't!"
"Cora, what happened?" Darian demanded, barely getting her question in.
"I broke my arm," Cora finally told her, sounding somewhat calmer. "I woke up at six, and remembered something in my car, so I went out to get it. The rock wasn't there when I went out, but when I was walking back up the driveway it was. I didn't expect it because it wasn't there before! I tripped right over it and came crashing down on my right arm. And now I'm stuck in this dumb hospital with a really cute doctor and I look horrible!"
"The hospital!" Darian exclaimed, barely believing it herself.
"Yes, the hospital," Cora assured her, the tone in her voice sounding more normal. "I don't know... Anyhow, I'm not going to school today. I'd appreciate if you'd tell everyone what happened."
"Yeah, sure," Darian replied, still curious about the rock. "Cora, you said there was a rock in the driveway when you went in, but it wasn't there when you went out?"
"Exactly," Cora told her, then letting out a heavy sigh. "Well, I have to go now. They're going to set my cast."
"Have fun," Darian told her before hanging up. Thoughts of the rock ran through her mind as she finished getting ready for school.