It is a good thing Agatha Christie was so prolific; summer is for detective stories. Every year, at just about the same time, the air gets hot, the trees turn green, the college town I live in grows quiet, and Arthur Conan Doyle comes through. Dorothy Sayers as well. And, thanks to the productive industriousness of one Agatha Christie, Poirot and Miss Marple for many summers to come.
For me, reading is intensely seasonal.Read More ›
For those who aren’t familiar with Corrie ten Boom and her story, she and her family were watchmakers outside of Amsterdam. When Nazi Germany invaded, they spent two years hiding Jewish refugees in their home (saving some 800 people) until they were caught in 1944 and sent to various prisons and some, ultimately, to Ravensbrück concentration camp. After the war, Corrie would go on to travel the world and testify about her experience for the rest of her life.Read More ›
Our first stop in Germany was to visit my brother- and sister-in-law in the small, industrial town of Hagen. We drove, we got lost, we got found, we ate, we visited, and then the next day we went to Cologne to see the famous cathedral there.
The black facade of the church is the largest in the world, and the building took a staggering eight hundred years to complete. This means that for nearly a millennium, architects and engineers and masons and laborers spent their lives in service of a final work they knew they would not live to see.Read More ›
I remember the first time I read The Princess Bride. I was a senior in high school and my sister was home from college for Christmas break, brandishing a thick paperback with the familiar title. Of course, I had seen the movie a handful of times, and I always assumed there was a book to go along, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.Read More ›
When Jake Speck called me about this time last year and asked if I’d be interested in adapting Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place for the stage, my response was “Heck yes! But hang on. Before I agree, let me go read the book and see if I like it.”
The truth was I had only the faintest idea of who Corrie was and honestly didn’t know if hers was the kind of story that would suit my abilities as a writer. I ordered the book and ate it up in a couple of days. World War II. Nazis. The Resistance. Smuggling of Jews. The Holocaust. Faith in the face of nigh-unquenchable darkness. I called Jake back and told him I was in, but I had little idea what I was getting into.Read More ›
One of the realities of writing a book is that you almost never understand your first chapter until you’ve written your last one. And invariably your first chapter ends up being the one you work on the most and the one that changes the most. That was certainly the case with The Fiddler’s Gun.Read More ›
A year ago my family and I played a concert in Sheffield, England. After it was over we stood in a circle with four British friends and prayed. They were fans and supporters of the Rabbit Room, and we talked about the crazy idea of trying to pull off a Hutchmoot in the U.K. someday. The gist of the prayer was, “Lord, we’d love to do this. If it’s your will, please help us make it happen.”Read More ›
In 1905, a young Hilda Edwards entered onto the scene in Christmas Cove, Maine, likely weary from her trip from England. She was only fifteen years old and had come over from her home in Bristol to live with her uncle, a professor at Smith College.Read More ›
As of today, The Fiddler’s Gun, Part I: Foundations is now available (that’s chapters 1-12). Over the next few weeks, I’ve got a couple of bonus episodes lined up, one featuring some deleted material, and one featuring a conversation with Shigé Clark in which we dive into a behind-the-scenes (behind-the-page?) discussion.Read More ›
Over the last few years, I’ve found myself in several situations where someone’s asked me a question about The Fiddler’s Gun or Fiddler’s Green and I legitimately couldn’t remember the story well enough to answer. If that sounds ridiculous to you, you’re not wrong—it sounds even more ridiculous to me.Read More ›
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?Read More ›