In 1997, the birth of a clone sheep named Dolly was announced by the Roslin Institute in Scotland. Sometime after that, I believe in 1998, I watched a program on the History Channel about the Shroud of Turin. I found it to be fascinating. I thought to myself, “Wow, what if these two events could be linked. Someone should write a novel about this.” I couldn’t get this concept out of my head, so I developed a story line in my mind. A few years later, I relayed my story line to some close friends. They were enthralled and encouraged me to write it. Several months later, Joneen and I were having dinner with some of her friends, one of whom had written several books. Again, I relayed the plot line, and her friend also encouraged me to start writing.
I didn’t take it seriously, but several years later in 2005, I sat down at my computer for many nights over many months and pounded out a story. I made copies and gave them to a half dozen close friends and my poker buddies, and I received a lot of encouragement. I think they were more amazed that I could put together consecutive cohesive sentences than they were of the plot line or my writing skills. The most encouraging event took place when Joneen and I were on a vacation in Florida, and she read the manuscript. I knew I had some skills when she suddenly tossed the manuscript across the sand at me and yelled, “Why did you kill her?” But I set it aside to concentrate on my clients’ mortgage needs as I solidified my retirement and traveled the world with Joneen.
About 6 or 7 years ago, Joneen heard Judith Briles on the radio and urged me to contact her. Over the following years, I attended some of her seminars and classes and read a lot of books on writing. I learned a lot about the business of authoring a book. Judith gave me encouragement, and two years ago, I decided to move forward. So, I polished the manuscript and sent it to her content editor.
It needed a lot of work! Wow, I had so much to learn. It was more than 172,000 words. I was charged with the task of cutting out the life stories of five nasty people and bringing it down to 100,000 words. At the same time, I had to better develop my characters and learn the art of “point of view.” This editing and re-editing process has taken close to two years. Now, we have the final product.
I think it’s pretty good, but I’m anxious to hear your thoughts as the reader.