“For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:2)
Okay, friends, this is big. Huge, to be exact! This afternoon – October 1 – I took the big step of moving from being exclusively a non-fiction writer to the exciting world of storytelling.
That’s right, I just published my first novel. I am now a novelist. I’m really excited for a number of reasons:
- First, the process was piles of fun. At this moment I’m almost grieving letting the project go, stamping “DONE” on the file, and believing my new book is actually ready to go out and meet the public.
- I’m also excited because this novel is my gateway into something really deep, and serious, and far-reaching. I now know that I can actually write a novel. Believe me, completing a 250-page, 63,000-word volume is no small task.
- Then, there’s the story itself. There are a lot of World War Two tales being told at the moment, but I believe mine is unique because faith comes into the story without spoiling it with unbelievable narrative, stilted dialogue, pushing an evangelical worldview, or caving in to Christian Bookseller Association (CBA) standards that effectively suck the life out of characters and force them into sanitized, one-dimensional, unrealistic, Sunday-school picnic lives.
- This could be a great entry point for me into schools, libraries, book clubs, talk shows, and more.
Suddenly the Light Was Gone:
Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:
The time is 1940: the place is war-torn England; the immediate crisis is Dunkirk; the looming threat is invasion. Living on the south coast and squarely in the sights of Nazi guns, 15-year-old Henry Bradley becomes one of literally millions of school-aged children loaded onto trains and sent away from home to apparent safety, one school at a time. The government called the initiative “Operation Pied-Piper,” Henry called it a set up: “My dad’s golden opportunity to get me out of his hair.”
Regardless, it is the largest mass relocation in history. Neither Henry nor his friends want to go, but when Winston Churchill said, “We shall fight on the beaches,” the Prime Minister wasn’t using rhetoric so much as referencing a real and immediate probability. Henry learns a great deal about war, family, loyalty, Spitfire pilots, farming, pain, grief, relationships, and – ultimately – himself. In 1990, Henry returns from America to talk with writer Elizabeth Crenshaw, and she is quickly captivated by his story. An instant classic, “Suddenly the Light Was Gone” is best-selling inspirational author Derek Maul’s first novel.
I’d love for you to read the story, to share the link, and to let me know what you think. This is a huge step for me. If enough blog readers purchase copies for themselves, post reviews, and help get the ball rolling, who knows what might happen next!
Suddenly the Light Was Gone has the potential to make a significant contribution to the important conversation about World War Two. You can help make this happen! Let’s spread the word!
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.