Perhaps a detailed psychoanalysis can explain where the ideas for a writer’s work originate. If so—despite my degree in that area of study—it is unlikely that I would take such a conclusion seriously in any case. Science tends to discount the notion that the mind is a spiritual crossroad, and tends to fall into the trap of human arrogance in assuming all of our thoughts and inspirations are our own.
In The Anvil of the Craftsman, Farrah’s son Gabir and the story’s mysterious military man have a brief conversation regarding Gabir’s father Muhammad. He was a man whose memory resided in reverence, seemingly by everyone who knew him. It was a scene that demanded the fulfillment of the back-story from the moment I wrote the words.
Whether a reader knows my Air Force Special Operator as Matt Kameldorn—his nom de guerre in Anvil—Drew Domenick from The Britteridge Heresy, or Daniel Sean Ritter from Killing Doctor Jon, he is a character whose intrigue draws the reader close. They seemed to want to know more, and so did I. The result was a parallel series to Jon’s Trilogy now beginning: Sean’s File, opening with his first novel Operation Naji.
Heroes, Villains, and ordinary people are made, not born. Each story has a beginning, and middle, and an end. In Naji, we see the beginnings of the man in whom training, talent, and dedication would coalesce to produce a warrior. That, however, is not the whole purpose of the work.
The heart of the novel remains a question in the deep blue water of theology, and that is the basis for salvation. Those of you who have absorbed my work may find my ideas divergent in that regard, though as with everything my opinions result from dedicated consideration. I see our origins in the work of a Craftsman: one who takes the time needed to produce His desired result, and Who is very good at what He does. I believe that skill is applied across cultures and faiths, due to the engineered capacity of the human soul to find its way back home. We humans do that by addressing essential and universal questions—consciously or not—and with a result determined by our individual character, capacity, and determination.
One believes in salvation by grace through faith, or one does not. Personally, I see the accommodation of Christ as an eternal fixture in a perfect plan rather than as a point of legality in a historical timeline. Some overly rigid doctrinalists will doubtless take issue with a Christian writer placing a Muslim as the main narrative character in Naji. Nevertheless, the novel brings across the message given as I wrote, and I have no regrets concerning the result.
Operation Naji is now in the very final stages of editing, and shall—God willing—soon go on to proofing and formatting and thence to its beta readers. Once published, the same faith telling me this endeavor of writing was worthwhile assures me that the novel will achieve its intended influence. Maybe only a few will read it, or perhaps many. It is what it is, and I think it a story that will not be forgotten once absorbed. Sean, of course, deserves that, as does Muhammad … certainly even more.
Choose to Love, -DA