Descent – An Introduction

When I finished college in 1993 with a degree in Psychology, I quickly got a job as the Helpline Administrator for Sarasota Youth for Christ. I was still struggling with some aspects of the church, but I also felt a great inclination to help people. The organization was starting a new ministry called White Stone, a teen helpline that worked in conjunction with a nationwide television show geared toward teens. My job was to train volunteers on how to counsel with troubled teens and share the Gospel over the phone.
Around the same time, I also started to feel a compulsion to write and dreamed of one day becoming a great novelist. I was devouring books by John Grisham, Michael Crichton, and Frank Peretti, and knew that I had it in me to peck out a real page turner of a book.
I read an interview with John Grisham where he said that the best place to start writing is by writing about what you know. I had just finished working as a Youth Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in North Carolina, moved back to Florida, and was getting loads of stories from wayward teens. So I started there.
Two years and a few drafts later, I finished my first novel, Descent. I sent query letters to dozens of publishers and agents and started keeping a folder of rejection letters as inspiration to keep on trying. The folder turned into a notebook, and I kept sending letters. Getting a first novel published isn’t exactly a walk in the park.
Eventually, my parents introduced me to a guy from their church who told me about the up and coming market for eBooks. You might say this book was ahead of its time… about fourteen years ahead of its time. But now that the Kindle has made the eBook a much more valued commodity, I figured that it was time to let my first book see the light of day again. (Actually, my first book Johnny Jumper and Bumper Machine, was written when I was thirteen, but is has been lost to the ravages of time.)
Obviously, this book was written by a completely different person than the person writing this Introduction. Actually, the world of 1993 was a completely different world. Hopefully, some of you will remember that Chevy Chase had a talk show. I still think it’s a pretty fun read and I’m proud that it capped off the first twenty-five years of my life.


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