Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bill's Books Part Five: "A Coming Storm"

Bill Says:  As a big fan of many of our great science-fiction writers, I've always wanted to write a Christian sci-fi and finally made my attempt with "A Coming Storm".  This is an apocalyptic tale set in the near future. When I first wrote this manuscript, it came to more than 1600 pages- kind of like Stephen King's first attempt at "the Stand". He reduced it for publication and some years later, the original novel was published.

I then got the idea to turn this tale into a trilogy, but after some thought on the matter, I realized no one was going to publish a trilogy from an unknown author. So I went to work shortening the story to 551-pages and 21-chapters and once I was finished, killing off so many characters along the way in the editing, I locked it away. Then this last winter, not too happy with the flow of the shortened storyline, I pulled it back out and edited it a third or 14th time and transformed this story into, (what I truly believe is a good story), 850-pages, double-spaced and 23-chapters. I finally liked the flow of this tale, as many of the relationships grew along the way and the characters came to life.

I made up query letters for 14 agents and 14 publishers and mailed them out this month. Had to get a new printer. So far, I've received a total of 8 rejections. Though one was a nice letter from an agent who said he liked the story somewhat, but it was too long for a new writer. I am waiting for other responses before any changes will be made in the story, if any.

For those of you who might wonder and haven't already been told this, I have had three agents in the past. The first one died, second one retired due to ill-health and the 3rd agent- he was a crook. Though I wrote Christian fiction, he refused to send me to Christian publishers and only wanted my contract money. This was office expenses for six months at a time or $450.00. I learned later, while conducting searches over the internet, this agent was regarded as a crook in the business- though he had produced winning authors in the past and apparently got greedy.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of writers out there, so few agents and even fewer Christian publishers. The market for male readers has dwindled to almost nothing, but I refuse to write romantic history style books. It is a grueling chore to find someone who values your work and one who desires to see it published. But all in all, it gives me something to do in the winter and I love telling a good story. The writing side of the story has been the real chore; making it flow evenly and entertainingly, and use the right tools of the English language in the proper way.For a man who flunked English twice, because it interfered with sports,this has been a learning experience.

Now, before I get into the synopsis for this story, I want to give you some background and please do not least not loud enough that I might hear you.

As most if not all of you know by now, I and my lovely wife are Christians. We have raised our children in the church. We are also believers in spiritual warfare, as quoted many times in the Word of God. Prior to writing this story, we lived in North Pole, along Badger Road. Back then, prior to 9-11, we usually drove through Fort Wainwright to get back and forth from Fairbanks. I enjoyed driving through the post, often recalling my nearly 10-years in the military and my time of crewing on board a Huey helicopter in Viet Nam. Boy, I was truly a young man back then! During such drives, I'd be playing my 60's music, (this drove my wife crazy at times), or I'd be just talking with God. I often had my conversations with God when I was alone in the car. Some might not call it praying, but to me these times were simply a conversation with the Big Man upstairs. Mona and I were either the youth leaders or cell church leaders during this time and I took a lot of my concerns to God over these matters. Anyway, as to why I am saying this- I began to have these strange visions while driving through the post- yes, I was coherent. I'd be seeing these dream-like paratroopers dropping around the post and they were Oriental. I began to believe they were Chinese troops. They were dropping in mass and then nothing. I had these visions for quite  awhile and I finally began writing this stuff down and began tot think about the novel I wanted to write.

I was working on a sequel to my Viet Nam novel at the time, In Search of Honor,  and the Chinese had nothing to do with it. Then once finished with that story, (that manuscript was lost when our basement here in Moose Pass was flooded and I had only a very early edition as back up and in my son's hands), I began thinking about the story I would later call "A Coming Storm". Can't remember when the title came to me, but it fits.

I made some notes, but couldn't figure out how to begin the manuscript. Then months later, ( I was working on two stories at a time and was now putting together my Badge and the Cross tale), I was on the computer messing around and suddenly the CNN science page appeared on my screen and the main story was about an asteroid headed for earth with a possible expectant impact in 2017. I was stunned! Not only wasn't I the type of person who would look up the CNN science page, but I had heard nothing on this. Strangely enough, I didn't bother to print this page out, but told Mona about it. I then tried to find the page again and CNN had nothing to say about the previous day's lead story. I couldn't find anything on it at all. So, I figured God had simply given me the idea for a lead in story, but I changed it to a comet- too many asteroid stories.

Now, in my Christian walk of some 30-years, the Lord has taken my wife and I through many a strange ordeal. We've seen many spiritual and physical miracles take place in our lives and that of others. More than a half-dozen times I've had angels save my hide and can go into details if asked. We have done warfare against the dark side, combating a witches convent and a few demons along the way. Strange how people believe in angels, but can't imagine demons torturing us- though it is in the Word of God. I say all this because I strongly believe in spiritual warfare and this has come out in an earlier manuscript and in this one.

I begin "A Coming Storm" with prelude listing of a six-year listing of significant worldwide events, following the sudden sighting of this mysterious comet and how it appeared in known space without any previous sightings. Once it is learned the comet will impact with the earth in the near future, striking in Northern Thailand- everything begins to fall apart. NATO and the United Nations dissolve. China brings together fellow Oriental countries to form the Oriental Alliance Pact. The OAP launches a surprise missile attack, from submarines hidden in the Gulf of Mexico, against the USA on Christmas morning. Around the globe, other countries follow suit and the world is shaken by nuclear, biological and chemical explosions. The Earth reacts, setting of great quakes around the planet, sending out massive tsunamis. A third of world's populations is also killed by the sudden outbreak of a new Class Four flu with 99% killing rate and no cure. Money is no good and the world returns to bartering and trade.Commodities become more valuable than gold or silver.

People begin fleeing the orient, fearful of the comet and the growing OAP army. The USA is all but destroyed and civil War breaks out in Canada between pro-French factions and Western Canada. The Unified World Church Alliance rises; first thought to be Christian but then its leaders turn against both Christian and Jewish believers. Western Russia attacks Europe and England, a young French officer takes command of the forces of Paris and miraclously drives the Russian forces back. Through events to follow, this young officer rises to Emperor of the New European Empire and the Anti-Christ is known. Israel is surrounded and facing overwhelming odds as the Emperor and OAP armies attack this little country on all fronts.

Meanwhile, the main part of my story concerns three key groups as the OAP attacks Alaska in its desire to conquer North America: A Fairbanks police sergeant, his family and an unsaved police officer he works with- facing Martial Law, starvation and rioting, enforcing food rationing and soon joining the new Alaska Defense Force.

There are the members of the Fight First Division stationed at Wales , Alaska, ready to stand tall against impending invasion and their eventful retreat across Alaska as their force rapidly dwindles in size.

The third group is a congregation of believers from Phoenix, Arizona, who following their pastor's visions, proceed across the US and Canada to reach Alaska in time for the final battle. Their story covers acts of faith, many an ordeal and their various relationships.

In this story there are dozens and dozens of relationships; new friendships formed and old friends killed, as the world falls apart in the Last Days. The Last Battle for the Alaskans, supported now by Canadian troops and the congregation from Arizona, is fought at Fort Greeley, in central Alaska. As the camp is being overrun by OAP forces, the proverbial Trumpet blows and the Heavenly Hosts descends upon the earth. The story ends with a mass rejoicing across the globe.

In writing this tale, it was my attempt to show what might occur in other parts of the globe. So many stories have been written about Israel, I wanted something different. Now it is done and I am very happy with its flow, character development and hopefully some day it may be in print.

May the Lord continue to bless you in every way.

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