Often we creatives get visits from the muse. Sometimes it brings with it ideas so powerful they completely floor you. I remember one afternoon I was in the shower and a pivotal part of Evie's story entered into my mind. I saw the scene taking place as if I were watching a film. And the harsh reality of the story point shocked me to my core. I remember shutting off the water and repeatedly saying to myself "Holy crap!" I was in such shock at the power of the details I almost couldn't think straight. I grabbed my phone and began writing in the Evernote app. I did my best to describe and capture what I had seen.
This wasn't the first time I had gotten ideas for this story. I had been nurturing it for a while now. The first idea I ever had for The Book of Evie was while I was in Peru on a missionary trip in the late 2000's. We were in the middle of a conference and my ADHD mind began to wander. I saw in my mind a scene from near the end of the book. It was so strong and emotional for me, I struggled to contain my tears while sitting in the crowd. I tried to play it off and hide my emotions from everyone else. I don't think anyone noticed me or cared for that matter; but I was seeing for the first time a scene from The Book of Evie, and I knew then that this book would be important in some way. That it was a story that many should hear and that lives could be impacted and maybe changed somehow by hearing it.
So like always, I wrote down my ideas and saved them until the time was right.
(It's difficult to share these testimonies without going into detail of what I saw. If I do, I run the risk of spoiling the book for those who've yet to read it)
When I had that "Holy crap" moment in the shower, I was about halfway through writing That's Prayer. All that was within me wanted to jump straight into writing The Book of Evie instead. But I knew I needed to wait. In my past I had always been one to get inspired and jump from project to project. In the end, I'd always find myself with nothing accomplished and a bunch of unfinished works. I knew that I was meant to write That's Prayer first. That was my commitment and dedication to God. The Book of Evie could wait. So I disciplined myself and whenever the muse hit me with Evie ideas, I wrote them down so I wouldn't lose them. But I worked hard on finishing That's Prayer and putting it out into the world first.
After the first edition of That's Prayer was released, I dove in head first into writing Evie and man, was I excited!
I managed to write The Book of Evie fairly quickly. In just a few months, the first draft was done. It wasn't too difficult to do, since I had so many ideas written down. I remember one day letting my mother read the book. She said, "I don't know why but I feel like I'm going to need this," and she grabbed her box of tissues. When she finished reading several chapters, she came out of my office wiping her eyes and said, "I knew I was going to need those."
I saw that my story was impacting her just like it was impacting me.
The Book of Evie is a really personal story. I found myself gripped emotionally as I wrote. I found myself laughing, crying, feeling dread and fear... I guess this is something that many authors experience as they write. We pour ourselves into our books and love our characters deeply and feel their pain. It becomes a living world to us and we hope that as others read, they can feel what we feel.
As I hear people's impressions about The Book of Evie, it moves me to know that my story is touching others.