Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter know that I spoke out a month ago on pulling the plug on the whole series. And yet here I am, posting again. The books are both still for sale, the website is still up, so what is really going on? There is a complicated and involved answer to that question.
The truth is I had a radical encounter with God in the summer of 2017 when I almost died in a drive-by shooting. I was an innocent bystander, not expecting that sort of situation to unfold and it affected me deeply. Since then, I have been going through a number of big changes in my personal life. I left my wife, I started wrestling with my own addiction to alcohol and recently pot, I also started going to a local charismatic church.
During that time my plan was to write a third book to finish off my series. Over the summer this year I felt called to go to school and join the ministry. Now the issue is becoming clearer, I hope.
I found it more and more challenging to stay with the tone that I had established in my previous books while also remaining true to my transforming self. I found myself having to choose one path or another, so in a rather dramatic fashion I chose to burn the past, walk away from my series, and pull the books from print (or at least request my publisher to pull the books because I don’t have that kind of access).
After a few weeks I came to my senses and to terms with the fact that it is far too late for me to cover my trail. Even if the books were pulled from print there would always be used copies floating around. I’m in too far to back out now. I just have to push all the way through.
Writing both of those books was a cathartic experience for me in a number of ways. In many ways the biggest metaphor of the zombie I’ve used in both books was one that I knew all too well: addiction. I didn’t intend to write my way to sobriety, but it kind of happened anyway and I’m grateful that it did. I’m not in the same place that I was when I wrote the first two, and so I originally concluded that I couldn’t write the final act.
Now, I’m not so sure.
I’m still uncertain about whether moving forward will manifest as a nonfiction book about my crazy real-life adventures with God and addiction, or if it will come out in the form of a revised take on the third book of this series, or both.
On a personal level, I’d really like to finish the series because in my view the story is still being told. For now, I am happy to keep the two published books available for sale at least. If there is a growing audience for the series then I will be more inclined to finish it, but that is out of my hands for now.
It is really up to you, the person reading this right now. You have to get involved. If you like what you read, then share it. If you want the third book to come out, ask for it. Review the books you’ve read. Spread the word.
I’ve taken down the email list with the free book giveaway. Those of you who did sign up, thanks. Leave a review as a way to thank me. I’m most likely not going to be very active on this blog. I have poured in a tremendous amount of time and energy into trying to build an audience over the years, and feel just as far away from the dream of being a successful author as I’ve ever been.
Ironically enough, I was given a second interview two months ago that touches on “success” and how that is a sliding scale. Technically, my first book was a number 1 bestseller on Amazon Kindle on April 1st 2017, but just like any April Fools joke, there was a catch: it reached that place during a free giveaway. Just take a moment to imagine the bittersweet reality of that.
I am up to my eyeballs in debt, and yet I’m a bestselling author. This isn’t exactly what I imagined when I wrote the first chapter back in the spring of 2016. Life is funny like that. It doesn’t usually give you what you expect of it, but it is strangely beautiful anyway.
Check out the interview: my American Dream in action.