The content of this section of the website will be appreciated more by readers AFTER they have read the novel. This section contains background information, thought-provoking ideas and concepts, and an extended analysis of the story. Reading this information before reading the novel will take much of the fun out of the journey, but it will add value to your reading experience after you’re finished.
Zinovy’s Journey began with the typical writer’s question, “What if…?” I was thinking about the day Jesus would return to set up his earthly kingdom, and I wondered, “What if there were people away from the planet when he came back?”
That was over thirty-five years ago. I scribbled a few ideas in a notebook, including thoughts on three of the characters, and put the book under my bed so I could pull it out and add to it on nights when I couldn’t sleep.
I was a mother of two toddlers, and I slept well.
I slept well for nearly fifteen years until, one day, I read a book called, Life After God, by Douglas Coupland. It was the last page of Douglas Coupland’s book that captured my attention. There he says:
Now, here is my secret: I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words.
My secret is that I need God–that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love.
That simple, honest confession brought me to tears. I cried for a long time. Then I got up, took the manuscript notes out of my filing cabinet, and began writing. I kept at it until I had the full rough draft finished.
Douglas Coupland is the writer credited with coining the term, “Generation X.” We’ve passed through several other “generations” since he began writing. His latest book is called, Generation A. It appears he’s starting over in the alphabet, so we must have gone through “Y” and “Z” somewhere along the way. But my heart still aches for the Gen-Xers. Zinovy’s Journey was written for people who have grown up in a secular age, and are hungry for a relationship with the God who was dismissed as non-existent or irrelevant by the pundits of our post-modern society.
My heart was so drawn to people like Douglas Coupland that I spent fifteen years perfecting my fiction writing skills, and working to perfect the manuscript. I went to writers’ conferences, read books on writing, connected with other writers, asked for reader critiques.
When I felt the manuscript was far enough along, I presented the idea to agents and editors, hoping to capture the attention of a traditional publisher. But no one wanted the story. It just didn’t fit into any of the genre categories traditional publishers were interested in. That’s when I decided to self-publish.
I created my own company, and, with the help of Jeff Gerke, Marcher Lord Press publisher and amazing editorial consultant, I went through the process of professional editing, cover design, typesetting, printing and marketing the book.
It’s been the experience of a lifetime. Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve actually accomplished it. Like many authors, I believe the writing of the book was inspired by God. I sensed his gentle nudging, his words of encouragement, and his specific direction throughout the process. I’ve encountered so many “coincidental” signposts and roadside assistance experiences along this journey that it would be irrational to believe they all happened by accident.
In the book, Elan tells Zinovy that there are no accidents in life. I believe he’s right. Somehow, in a way we can’t yet comprehend, God works in and around the choices we make, and the passions we feel, to bring about His story, in our lives and in the world. I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to work with Him in the writing of this story. My prayer is that the book will accomplish whatever purpose he had in mind when he inspired me to create it.