This week marks the one year anniversary of the release of my book, The Haunting of Pastor Butch Gregory and other Short Stories. While I haven’t sold as many as I’d hoped (by the way, you can buy a copy by clicking on the image to the right—in paperback or Kindle), I can’t say that I’ve been disappointed. A couple of times I’ve been in the top 100 in Kindle sales in my sub-sub-sub-sub category. It’s pretty neat to see my book between books written by very famous people. More than that though, most people who’ve read it have liked it and have told me so. I suppose some haven’t liked it and have told me nothing; which is what I would prefer. If you didn’t like it, just don’t tell me.
What I was trying to do with Butch Gregory was create a fictional pastor who struggles with many of the same things I and other pastors do, but make it so that he was not me. Butch Gregory is not really my alter ego or avatar. He is kinder and much more introspective than I am. In many ways Butch Gregory is the kind of pastor I want to be; or at least I think I want to be.
The book also contains other short stories and a few poems. Two of my short stories deserve a little mention. Convocation is an award winning tale staring the pantheon of pagan gods. Much of that story was born in my own imagination of what it would be like if Zeus were to meet Allah, or how would Baal get along with Thor? It is possible some could accuse that story of being insensitive to our multicultural pluralistic world. However, I believe that the epitome of a pluralistic world is the right to advocate for your faith. I personally believe Jesus is Lord and all the rest are merely projections of human sin or fantasy and therefore false. There is only One True God.
The other short story that needs some attention is Legacy. I personally had more fun writing Legacy than any of the other stories. There were several drafts of the story which had alternate endings and major character changes. Legacy is a parody which could have the subtitle “Baptists in Space.” All but one major character is named for a famous Baptist or influencer of Baptists. Some of the nouns in the story were changed to reflect a futuristic nomenclature. My favorite was “NFLday” as the future name for “Sunday.” Essentially Legacy is about Baptist history and our future as well as the changes which have occurred in evangelical life in general.
I have big plans for Butch Gregory. I wish to feature him in a full length novel. Originally I intended to have it ready by this summer, but my life has become bogged down with the real world. Church has been a very difficult struggle this year and has required more attention than usual. Hopefully by next year that novel will be ready. I am also working on two other books with my friend David Caddell. Our Romans study is almost through the editing phase as well as another project—too top secret to mention—which is in the development stage.
Since as early as I can remember I wanted to write a book. Now that my appetite has been whet with my first one, I want to be the guy who writes 45 books by the time he’s 70. I’d better get busy. But don’t worry. I’ll keep blogging away too.