A Thorn in the Heart

My first novel, published in 1992, has been out of print for ages. (Thanks to Amazon, you can buy a used copy for a penny, plus postage.) Now I’ve published it as a Kindle book, both paperback and ebook, so it will be preserved for the ages. That’s assuming that Amazon is for the ages, which at the moment seems as good a bet as any.

A Thorn in the Heart never got much of a chance in the marketplace. I used the word “penis” and that was too raw for some of the more refined gatekeepers in the Christian book industry. Zondervan, the publisher, was soon eager for the book to be forgotten. They got their wish.

It’s a mystery thriller set in a Sierra mountain town, and if I do say so myself has some terrific descriptions of backpacking. There’s also a lot of family drama, based on the disappearance of four developmentally delayed boys in a snowstorm. I don’t think anybody today will find it terribly titillating. I believe I’ve become a much better novelist since I wrote it, but I retain a fond spot in my heart for A Thorn in the Heart and hope others will enjoy it.

When I graduated from college, all I really hoped to do was to write fiction. Journalism came in the way, and I’ve always been grateful. Working for magazines I paid the bills, learned my craft, and had unimaginable fun. But I’ve never completely given up on fiction, and slowly but surely I’ve been able to build a decent list. (See my Fiction page for the details.) I’m currently hard at work on my sixth and seventh novels. I’m very grateful to have the chance to keep at it! And I still hope that one day I’ll write something that will stun everybody because it’s so good.


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