Hey everyone. After months of writing, editing, banging my head into my desk, rewriting, editing, banging my head into the wall (after the desk broke), more editing, rinsing and repeating, etc., I’m thrilled to FINALLY announce the imminent publication of my first novel, REORIENTED. I just signed the contract with TouchPoint Press, an up-and-coming traditional publisher of various genres based in Mississippi, this week.

The book, which is currently going through TouchPoint’s editing process, is scheduled to be released in digital form in the coming weeks, with the print version being made available early next year, but I’ll announcing firmer dates once I know more.

Here’s what the book’s about:

“Does the Bible really say it’s a sin to be gay?” REORIENTED tells the story of three Christian college students who each answer that question very differently.

Worldviews collide when the spirited D.J. Martinez, the only openly gay student at his (fictional) conservative college, sets out to start an on-campus support group for LGBT individuals. Joined in his quest by the kind and sensitive Ally Holman, D.J. repeatedly clashes with John Brock, the brilliant moralist at the head of student government — which alone has the power to approve or deny the proposed club. As the pivotal vote draws near, the three will find their deepest assumptions challenged and every aspect of their faith tested, as they learn new ways to live in a complicated world and discover what — if anything — is truly worth fighting for.

Partially inspired by actual events and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s immortal classic “The Brothers Karamazov,” REORIENTED delves deeply and respectfully into the Bible as it explores the complex and controversial questions underpinning the Christian church’s seemingly inevitable clash with the LGBT community. However, the book’s ultimate goal is not to convince anyone to change how they think, merely to spark dialogue by presenting each perspective in a fair and even-handed way. In the end, whether any reader’s views on the matter are “reoriented” will be up to them.

So that’s the premise. What else can I tell you? Its length is extremely readable (that’s marketing-ese for “short”) — only about 55,000 words — and because its main characters are college kids, it’s being classified in the “new adult” genre. The book’s target audience is Christian millennials and those who are part of or otherwise invested in the LGBT community.

I was inspired to write this book because I really fear that the gospel message — the core of the Christian faith that I believe is the most important truth in the world — is being overshadowed by a deeply divisive debate over political and secondary issues. I think there are pressing conversations that need to be had within the church, and larger society, that will begin only when people stop seeing “the other side” as their enemies. That’s what I hope to be part of with REORIENTED — not telling people how they should think about these issues — but simply helping to spark some of that very important dialogue.

Finally, you can help! TouchPoint is extremely supportive of this project, but the fact remains that we don’t exactly have the resources of HarperCollins. Bottom line: We need any and all the assistance we can find in getting the word out about this book. If you like what you’ve read here, and if you agree that this is an important and much-needed dialogue, then please, share this post with your friends, join our pages on Facebook and Twitter, follow this blog (where I’ll be posting all the latest updates about the release), call your favorite aunt or uncle who just happens to be an editor for the New York Times book review section…you know, whatever!

Also, feel free to email me if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your continued support.

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5 thoughts on “My first novel: A discussion on faith, scripture and sexual identity

  1. I CAN NOT wait for your message to get out and this very important book to be released. I have told friends about it and they are all waiting for the read. Love you dearly and I’m very proud of you and your work!!

  2. Thanks for checking out my page also! Ironic that, at one time or another in my Faith walk, I could have been probably any one of the three “students” in your story. While I choose to live celibately now, and believe it is ultimately God’s best and most perfect will for all singles of all orientations and inclinations, I am very aware that there are real and intellectually honest Christians on all sides of this tough, tough issue. It is time to stop judging and starting hearing each other. Thanks again and looking forward to your book.

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