The Crazy Side

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by Staci Stallings

Some people think that following God is boring. I am learning just how wrong they are.

Take my latest series—The Grace Series.  First of all, this did not start off a series.  It started off as one book, “Mirror Mirror.”  It was a really good story, but as I wrote it, the thing just kept growing and growing.

That book ended up being over 250,000 words (the equivalent of 3 normal-sized Love Inspired books). At the end of that one, I was so excited because I was finally going to get to write on some other books that had been sitting on the back burner waiting.

However, at the very end, with only the epilogue to go, God whispered the plot for the next book in the series.  I can’t say I was excited about it. I really had my heart set on doing the others. But that was the book that stuck in my head and wouldn’t let go. So I started writing it.

It too turned into a much longer story than I had expected it to be, but at least when I got it done, I would get to go on to something else, right?

I wish.

At the end of the second book “When I’m Weak,” I was happily writing along, the end in sight. The main character, Derek, sat down for lunch. Now normally something like this is pretty innocuous to write. They sit down maybe have a little discussion. No. Big. Deal.

Except nothing I wrote worked. I had one person come to talk to him. That wasn’t right, so I erased it. Thought and did other things for a couple days.  Tried again.  Still not right.  That went on for THREE WEEKS!

At the end of three weeks I sat down determined to get going on this story. I said, “Who comes to talk with him?”  That’s when Caleb James came, sat down, and book three was born!

Not what I was expecting, I can assure you.

I finished Book Two and started Book Three, “A Love Like This.” Except I didn’t have a title. So one night my kids were sitting around my living room, and off the wall, I said, “So what is the title for my next book?”

They all started guessing. Then one of them said, “Wait. Do you have a title for the new book?” I said, “No. That’s why I’m asking y’all.”  I think it only took about four more suggestions and “A Love Like This” showed up, which was the perfect title for this story.

So I wrote that one. All well and good until I got to the end, and I knew, once again, this wasn’t the end! Great.  I decided to write a fourth book, “Raising Attabury.”  The problem was, I couldn’t start it with the new couple because there was just too much story that the readers would miss between “A Love Like This” and “Raising Attabury.”

What to do?

I finally decided to write a prologue of what happened between the two. I thought it could be say 10 pages and then we would get going on the next story.

Now in the middle of writing the prologue, I got an idea for a completely separate story, one that had nothing to do with this series. I knew I needed to keep writing this one, after all, I’d already published the first one. But the other story wouldn’t let me go. So I wrote it.

In the middle of writing it, God showed me some things through it that helped me really understand Him and what He’s doing in our lives. Trying to capture that understanding, I started a non-fiction book which is amazing in its ability to explain the craziness of the world that we all get sucked into.

Midway through that one, I finished the separate novel (YAY! Finally something FINISHED!), and I went back to the “Raising Attabury” prologue.  I got all the way to page 218, and suddenly found myself in a confusing mess.

The prologue had turned into 218 pages, much, MUCH longer than I had thought it would be. But now that it was finished, I could really start on the “Raising Attabury” story, except the way the prologue was written didn’t fit with how “R A” needed to be written!  NOW WHAT?

In addition to that, I had come to the conclusion that the non-fiction book I wrote from the understanding I got from the separate book would actually be used and read by one of the characters in “Raising Attabury”!  WHAT?!

If you’re confused, don’t feel bad.  So was I.

I couldn’t figure out how to get “R A” separated so it didn’t feel strange going from one type of writing to another in mid-book.  Then God whispered that maybe the prologue wasn’t supposed to be “Raising Attabury” at all. Maybe it was its own separate book!

The more I thought about this, the more it made sense.

So here I am at the end of this year having written four books I did not plan to write, three of which create interlocking circles in my brain and heart that I couldn’t adequately explain if I tried.

Book Four, “A Moment Like This” will come out two weeks after Book Three “A Love Like This.” And now, with all of this behind me, I can finally write “Raising Attabury.”

If you want to join me on this crazy journey, I invite you to start with “Mirror Mirror.”  It’s only 99cents through the month of November, so it’s a great time to try it out.  Come on, walk on the crazy side with me! I dare you…

Copyright 2016, Staci Stallings

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About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

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