I live in Prescott, Ontario, with my beautiful wife Rachel, my rambunctious seven-year-old Alexander (Xander for short), and our two fun-loving but very lazy pugs, Pandora and Portia. Without my family I’d be lost. With them I am the richest man alive.
As long as I can remember I’ve loved historical fiction. Whether it was the dramatized account of the battle of Salamis in the Children’s World Book Encyclopedia, or the gripping accounts of victory in Stories of Great Battles, I would listen with rapt attention as my parents read to me. Later, I’d stay up late at night with my flashlight reading under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep.
When I was in my mid-teens I took the plunge and entered a short story in a writing contest for a Sunday School curriculum handout. In it, a young man who was raised Christian and then lost his faith was sent into the catacombs to ferret out the Christians, but ended up fighting to defend them instead. I never heard back from the contest, but that seed of a story began to germinate.
Years later, as I went through Carleton University taking a double major in Journalism and History, I met a man named Xenn Seah and ghost-wrote his biography/testimony of how God delivered him from drug addiction in the gangs and prisons of Singapore. By the time Cross Over was completed and published in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin the writing bug had bitten deep. What I really wanted to write was historical fiction.
Over the next 4 years I worked on my first manuscript, which I titled A War Within. The story of Antonius’s fall away from God after family tragedy and his eventual march back to faith grew out of that first seed planted years before. Word Aflame Press picked up the book, choosing to publish it in two books, “A War Within: The Gladiator,” and “A War Within: The Legionnaire.” By the time I published The Legionnaire, Antonius and his friend Theudas let me know that their story wasn’t done yet. Antonius needed to recover from the horrors of war and build a life for himself and the woman he loved, and Theudas needed to find the mother he was torn away when he was sold to become a gladiator. And so “The Praetorian” and “The Healer” were born. There Antonius and Theudas’s stories have found resolution.
So what’s next? Writing is in my blood, so I’m not about to stop. The trip my wife and I recently took to Rome only added fuel to the fire. While writing the War Within series, another seed of a story was growing based on Acts 28:16: “And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.” My research into the Apostle Paul’s arrest, imprisonment, and eventual martyrdom as seen through the eyes of the soldier who spent two years chained to him has led me to write “The Keeper’s Crown.” I’m in the editing process now, and I’ll be seeking an agent and a traditional publishing contract for this one. I’ll keep you posted!
Besides writing over the winter months, I also run my own landscaping business. And I’m priviledged year-round to pastor the salt-of-the-earth saints of Maynard United Pentecostal Church. I like to say I pastor to touch souls, write to touch hearts, and landscape to keep food on the table. 🙂