Final Thoughts Before The Swords of Faith Release July 2, 2010Posted by rwf1954 in historical fiction.
Tags: historical fiction, Richard the Lionheart, Richard Warren Field, Saladin, Third Crusade
The Swords of Faith, my novel about Richard the Lionheart, Saladin and the “Third Crusade,” comes out in two days. For me, this is the culmination of a huge amount of work, exhilarating work—reading over forty books, consulting countless web articles and reference materials, processing all of this into a coherent narrative and then writing, rewriting, rewriting again, submitting to agents and publishers, writing, rewriting, then submitting again. I am so grateful to Michael Katz with Strider Nolan Media for taking on The Swords of Faith for publication, for seeing the potential in my telling of this story.
So I’ll address one more pre-publication comment—answers to the questions “Why do you write?” and “Is it worth the time and effort?”
Creative people understand—we write because we have something to say, something we want to share. For me at this point, I like to tell entertaining stories that offer insights with the potential to improve small pieces of the world. This is admittedly dangerous territory, because hints that a writer is preaching will turn off a majority of potential readers. And in The Swords of Faith, the story comes first—accurate history and story come ahead of any agenda (see my previous post about influences on The Swords of Faith). But yes, I like to provoke thought, to deliver “ah-ha” information. There is no doubt that the pure entertainment writers—Danielle Steele, the late Sidney Sheldon, Nora Roberts, Steven King—they avoid this dangerous territory. But don’t try to tell me that John Grisham isn’t trying to make statements about big corporations, big government and capital punishment in his various novels, and that Dan Brown isn’t trying to make a point about Christianity. Agendas and entertainment can co-exist. So, I write because I have something to say. And I want to entertain, to enthrall, to captivate, to transport my readers.
Is it worth the time and effort? Creative people are shrugging. Only a non-creative person would pose this question. For me, there is no issue. Simple—I can’t not-do it. Sorry about the double negative, but it’s more accurate than saying I must do it. I can’t not-be creative. It’s wired into me. I recall having lists of stories to tell when I was seven. And if I’m fortunate enough to live to a hundred and seven, it’ll still be wired in. There is no retirement. There is no vacation. What others call “retirement” and “vacation” will simply be new opportunities to create.
So, I offer you The Swords of Faith. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it. I look forward to your comments.
(By the way, Happy Birthday, Mom. I dedicated the book to you. This is the first time in my life that your birthday has come, and we do not have you here to celebrate it with us. You would have been 84 today. We all miss you. We are still stunned that your earthly existence ended so suddenly. But I believe you are here in spirit, and are quite proud that The Swords of Faith is dedicated to you! Love, Rick)