Choices make or break us.
What voices are influencing our choices?
Why do we take one path over another at the fork in the road?
Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.
Laughter and Humility, G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936)
In my opinion, there’s no better way to appreciate history than reading authentic historical fiction. They say that experience is the best teacher, but it doesn’t have to be your own. Human nature hasn’t changed since Adam and Eve. History does repeat itself and offers much we can learn and benefit from, whether from our own experience or while perusing the lives of those who lived it—both real and imagined.
History often resembles myth, because they are both ultimately of the same stuff.
On Fairy-stories, J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
I’ve always relished digesting history in a feast of delectable fiction. Exceedingly scrumptious are the thick tomes of James Michener, Herman Wouk, Leon Uris, Michael Phillips, Edward Rutherfurd, and, of course, Tolkien.
The Lord of the Rings was not historical, you say? Oh, but it was, just not of our world—exactly.
Michael Phillips dedicated his 1999/2000 Caledonia series to the memory of Michener. In his Introduction, Phillips quoted the master of the historical novel from his autobiography, The World Is My Home:
When people tire of the forty-eight-minute television novel, they will yearn for a substantial book within whose covers they can live imaginatively for weeks. The eighteenth-century, discursive-type novel will enjoy a vigorous rebirth, because readers demand it.
James A. Michener (1907–1997)
Michener thought this true in the 1950s and gambled his professional life on it. The rest is history. Beginning with Book One of THE CHOICE series, I’m banking on the pendulum effect and a resurgence of the fluent and expansive-type novel again. I hope you enjoy the journey.
Caledonia touched my Scottish soul. My Irish heart grieved at Ireland’s melancholy history in Uris’s Trinity and Rutherfurd’s The Dublin Saga (Dublin is my family surname). Michener’s Texas functioned as my tutor when I migrated from Los Angeles to Amarillo in 1991. Wouk’s World War II novels brought that era alive.
I especially owe so much to J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, whose lives and works have influenced my life and writing. Through them, God illuminated the way of this “hobbit in Narnia.”
To construct plausible and moving ‘other worlds’ you must draw on the only real ‘other world’ we know, that of the Spirit.
Of Other Worlds, C. S. Lewis
Frank E. Peretti and Randy Alcorn introduced me to the angelic beings who accompany us in this life, influencing our choices—toward the light or the darkness. Ted Dekker is today’s prophet with his fantastical, speculative, otherworldly novels. They helped me recognize those competing voices that whisper in the ears of our hearts and minds—the voices. And, I wonder dear reader, who has your ear?
Join me at www.nanrinella.org for ongoing discussions of the relevancy of those voices in our lives today as they influence our choices.
This volume is a work of fiction. Characters and incidents are a product of my imagination. Historical characters and events are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Except for certain beloved dogs and cats who have granted their permission.