There is always more to a story than what is read upon the pages of a book. It is when you understand the experiences and motives of an author that you can truly see the message delivered within the novel.
As you read, ask yourself:
Why did the author choose to write this particular story?
What message is the author attempting to convey?
When you know the answer, a depth of revelation strikes you, a secret insight that you alone share with the writer.
So what led me to write THE STONE OF EBENEZER?
On September 11, 2001, my father was killed by terrorist. The aftermath of this tragedy threw me into a struggle with doubt, grief, and trauma. I sought relief by reading, especially works of Tolkien. His experiences and insight into the subject of death and loss helped me to come to terms with my own journey.
Through this experience, I began to feel a story growing inside of me.
THE STONE OF EBENEZER—the stone of help—became an outlet for the lessons learned upon this road I was forced to travel.
Yet why this particular story?
I wanted to write about King Saul. The epic struggle between this tyrant king and his man, David, spoke to me. As I was developing the novel, I felt strongly that I needed to build up to the story of Saul, bringing to light the relationship between God and His people so that there would be an understanding of why it was wrong for the Israelites to ask for an earthly king like all the other nations.
The story came, but this nagging image of another character kept taking my attention. I added scenes to the beginning of my book in an attempt to quell the voice of this one leaning heavily against my mind. Then it came to me, as so often thoughts do, in the dark as I lay in my bed: make it its own story.
There was a message that needed to be told, a tale of importance, if not for the reader, for me. For you see, Nagad’s story is my story. His hurts, his thoughts, his struggles: they are all mine. To read this story is to learn who I am. It is the journey I have taken.
THE STONE OF EBENEZER is a metaphor of life, my life.
It may very well be of yours. Whether the struggle is physical, or metaphysical, the battles we face are brutal. Yet, even as we face the trials in our life, there is One who can help us—our Stone of Help.
We have a choice: lean on God, or do it our way.
THE STONE OF EBENEZER is such a tale. As the characters face the struggles in their lives, they also have a choice.
But will they choose well?
There is but one way to find out--
THE STONE OF EBENZER, Book 1: Trilogy of Kings Saga
May the Light of God shine upon your path.
Susan Van Volkenburgh