I believe God gives us a unique talent and it is our job to decide if we are going to use that talent for God or ourselves.
Years ago, when I was nine, my father brought home from work a reel-to-reel Sony black and white video camera system. It changed my life. It made me want to become a storyteller. Fast forward to college, I sat in a dark movie theater for film class and watched Hitchcock’s Rear Window. It changed my direction. I knew what types of stories I wanted to tell. Fast forward to 15 years ago, when someone at work asked me a basic question about Catholicism I couldn’t answer. It changed my focus and I’ve learned as much as I can about my deep faith.
Put all of those things together… My need for telling stories. My love of thrillers. My passion for my faith.
What do you get?
A young adult novel series call the Gabby Wells Thrillers.
My wife and I homeschooled our children and when they were in their early teens I asked them and their friends what sort of entertainment was missing for them? They said there were no stories intended for their age range. The movies were either made for little kids or married adults.
This concerned me. Why is no one creating entertainment for teens during the time in their lives when they are inundated by temptations that pull them away from their faith?
I started working to fill this gap immediately. I started a film company, Sonlight Pictures, which inspired this blog. Our first project was a teen short film series called Nikki & Babs: Dos and Doubts. It included five stories, 10-15 minutes each, that showed two cousins facing and overcoming temptations teens face, like being judgmental, vanity, envy, and so on.
When the economy died, it took our film company with it, but I kept the blog going because of the tremendous amount of positive feedback and participation. But the drive to fill that young adult faith gap still gnawed at me.
It’s what led me to write the Gabby Wells series, about a dark Nancy Drew-type character living in a Hitchcockian universe. Gabby is a teen sleuth who faces tremendous challenges, including the high expectations of her faith. Gabby has been broken from a hard life and tries to overcome her doubts and life’s harsh indifference to reach heaven while saving lives and kicking butt.
Kneel & Prey is the first novel in the series. Here’s the story synopsis:
In the small, quiet town of Safety Harbor, a disturbed mind was planning the unthinkable and Gabby Wells had to stop him. Rumors were swirling that one of her classmates was planning to commit mass murder during the Fourth of July celebration and she had only hours to find him before he turned the crowded streets into a river of blood.
Whether the killer was driven by revenge or anger didn’t matter to her. She had dealt with enough loss in her life already and the idea of watching her friends and family die at his hands shook her to the core.
Time was running out and he could be hiding in any one of the thousands of shadows every city tries to ignore. She was willing to risk everything, even her own life, to keep the ones she loved safe. If she failed, more than just bloodshed was at stake. Gabby could very well lose her soul in the process and end up in hell… right next to her murderer
Writing this series is the way God has called me to use the gifts he has given me to praise him by showing the hard journey one endures when taking the narrow road to heaven. The response from teens has been tremendous, sharing the struggles of their own faith journey. I can’t wait to finish the rest of the series so the full arc of Gabby’s journey can be shown.
You can buy the book on Amazon here.
What gift has God given you? How are you using it for him?