Over the past few months, several people have approached me with the same question, “How in the world did you come up with the idea for your book Changed?” The question has become so popular that I thought I would take a moment to answer it here, just in case you were wondering the same thing but don’t know me to ask.
So, how did it all come about?
I wish I could take credit for having an awe-inspiring imagination, but in truth, I believe this story only became as great as it is because I asked God for His help and direction. I’ll get to that more in a minute.
In the fall of 2010, when I decided to write Changed, I was taking a course at the local community college with the thought that I might transition into the nursing field, since a return to flying was out of my picture. It was during a Major Cellular Biology class that we started discussing stem cells, telomerase, Hayflick limits, gene therapy, cancer cells and the like. I found it fascinating to learn that our body’s stem cells are essentially immortal, and the only other cells that can claim immortal status as well are the cancerous kind.
Later that week, during our small group Bible study, I was speaking with our friend and leader, Pastor Scott (yes, the same from my book). I mentioned how incredible it was to learn that we indeed had immortal cells within us, to which he replied with something that will stick in my memory for the rest of my life. He said,”Isn’t it incredible to know that God left His fingerprint on us, proof of our original immortality, even after we were kicked out of the garden?” Now, even if someone does not believe in the creation story, I think that statement is enough to give even the greatest doubter pause.
Later, as I pondered that thought, I broke it down even further in my head. On the most basic level, we think of stem cells as “good,” and cancerous cells as “bad,” both of which are the only cells to show immortal traits (as far as I know at this point in time). I found that dichotomy intriguing. It was like both good and evil—God and the Devil—waged an internal fight for control of our bodies, as well as an external battle for control of our souls. Wow.
So, I started writing what I thought would be an awesome, international, bad-ass, good-vs-evil, spy-thriller based on this new knowledge of genetics, my experience in the Air Force, and my extensive overseas travels—after all, everyone says to write what you know.
And. It. Sucked.
My first indication of said suck-age was when my dear husband read the first chapter of this “thriller” and chuckled, telling me it was “cute.” Yes, cute I can pull off…unfortunately, I don’t think I can ever pull off bad-ass, lol!
So, then what? What could I possibly do with this knowledge of genetics combined with this feeling of being led to write a novel? I couldn’t just give up—the pull to write something was too strong.
Well, I’ll tell you what I did: I prayed. I prayed for God to help me write a novel for Him. I prayed for Him to guide me in writing something that would bring honor to Him, and you know what? He answered.
More on that coming in Part 2 🙂