By James Gardner author of Silver’s Journey (The Redemption of Aria Book 1)
I suppose I’ll begin with the history of my book. A little over two years ago, I had no intention or vision of my short story becoming a true published book.
In fact, the book was purely for my own enjoyment, and an amusing way to tease my friends over the latest chapter I’d written. Even with no plans to make my work public, I felt God leading me with the direction of the story, the development of the characters as well as the lessons presented. I would often hear some interesting tidbit from my pastor and decide to write it in, demonstrating not only that God’s truths are timeless in consideration of the setting of the story, but also that they can apply to any and all generations.
However, the real meat of the story, as it were, takes place two years later, when I felt God’s call (through my mom) to turn my writing into a book. If I’d known beforehand what a struggle it was going to be, I might not have consented so easily.
So it began! I dedicated myself daily over the summer of 2015 to writing, and I again felt led in the characters I created, forming them to be somewhat allegorical in nature, each representing a different aspect of the world. For example, one of the characters I designed was intended to capture a pure nature of cowardice and acquiescence, which I see a lot of in this world where people are willing to lay down their morals for the sake of progress and modernization.
“Some will change their party for the sake of their principles; some their principles for the sake of their party.” (Abraham Lincoln)
One strong aspect in which I felt led by God in writing this book was my character Silver’s development as a whole. All in all, I feel Silver represents the bundle of questions people have concerning Christianity. At first, he is self-centered, pitying his woeful life and his miserable existence, but the book demonstrates a gradual change through his experiences in the strange world of Aria. First, in his relationship with Dawn, Aspernel and Caliver, and also with ‘the tent,’ which forces him to consider the possibility of a personable and loving God. Even so, I liked keeping it as a gradual change. In the course of the story, Silver often pushes away the idea of God as if it’s something for the weak. But as he begins to ponder the nature of the King (the name for God in the book) he begins to see its plausibility (special thanks to Dawn and Belfin!). Near the end of the book, Silver’s courage and maturity reach a peak where he is able to do brave things that he wouldn’t have even considered possible at the start. A lot of the other characters, I believe, have a certain depth to them that Christians can relate to as well.
Upon reading the book for the first time, my relatives and friends noted the comparisons between some of the characters and their real-life equivalents. My parents insist that the character of Dawn is based on my best friend, an assertion that may or may not have an element of truth. A lot of the characters represent aspects of a Christian life. Caliver, for example, is an image of steadfastness and perseverance. Oakblaze represents wisdom and humility, and the thought of the great warrior kneeling before the King just brings a smile to my face.
I have also seen God’s impact on and through my book in the editing process. If any of the above paragraphs sound like conjecture, then this is the consolidation of my affirmation.
Editing was a pure nightmare.
Let me put it simply: Satan hates this book. Why? I can’t say for certain, but he certainly put some effort into making sure that the book did not get out. Mess up the headers and footers? Check. Randomly misalign the spacing? Check. Jumble up the pages? Check. I’m sure you could probably attribute these mishaps to a bad computer program or poor usage, but I have no doubt that there were forces at work to restrict the influence of the book.
Every day while trying to finalize the book for publishing, there was always something that went wrong. That is the primary reason I know that this book has power. Maybe a lesson in the story will influence someone who needs to hear it. Maybe it’s the mere mention of the King and His clear oneness with God. Whatever it is, it assures me that God not only has plans for it, but also that He has worked and continues to work through my writing as a vessel for His glory.
James Gardner is a 16 year old home-schooler with a passion for writing. In 2013, he created the fictional world of Aria and its host of characters. As his love of words grew, fostered by friends and family, he began to devote himself to completing and publishing a book.
You can find Silver’s Journey (The Redemption of Aria Book 1) here.
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