February is BFF month! My team of BFFs (Biblical Fiction Fans) opens its arms to include new members, which means it’s time to start talking about my fall 2017 release, Isaiah’s Daughter! Should you choose to fill out an application to join our team, CLICK HERE!
A few weeks ago, I asked y’all on my Facebook page to ask some questions about Isaiah’s Daughter, and you responded with some great ones! This month’s blog posts will answer those questions.
The Unromantic Truth
Lots of folks wonder how I decide which characters to write, and I have to say it’s a group decision with input from my agent and publishing house. I know what characters the Lord has laid on my heart, but the publishing professionals must consider which characters our readers will more readily pick off a bookstore shelf.
I know…it’s not so romantic-sounding is it? But Christian publishing is a business, and we must make wise decisions so they can continue giving you quality books! Once I accepted the unromantic reality of writing with publishing partners, it made their “suggestions” much easier to accept.
But that doesn’t mean my subject matter isn’t led by the Lord. Nichole Ridner asked the following question:
What Bible verses provided a jumpstart for your research?
I can say that every book I’ve written has started with curiosity stoked by a particular Scripture passage.
- In Love Amid the Ashes, I wanted to know the name of Job’s wife who was memorialized by only one line in his 42-chapter book: “Curse God and die.” This poor woman didn’t even get her name in there. Just a record of her nagging!
- In Love in a Broken Vessel, I wanted to know who “Diblaim” was—the man listed as Gomer’s father. I felt a father/daughter relationship was important in developing a woman’s healthy sexual self, and Gomer obviously had some issues with that!
So, to answer Nichole’s question for Isaiah’s Daughter, there were a few Scriptures that sparked my curiosity about Isaiah’s family. I was terrified to write about a prophet—I mean, who in the world is crazy enough to try and explain an Old Testament book of prophecy, right? *shrug* But I was fascinated that God included members of Isaiah’s family in the prophet business:
“Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear–Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field.” Isaiah 7:3 (emphasis added)
“Then I made love to the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said to me, ‘Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.’” Isaiah 8:3 (emphasis added)
Who Was Isaiah?
I begin to dig into the rest of Isaiah’s life—his birth, his death, his family tree, and references about him in other historical records. This initiated the creation of an Excel sheet containing all the kings of Judah recorded in Isaiah 1:1…
“The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”
I then included other characters, both biblical and fictional, that would have rounded out his life. The Talmud said he was a cousin to King Uzziah, which made him royalty and a descendant of David. We learn from Scripture that he would have been well-educated and able to write:
“The other events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.” 2 Chronicles 26:22
Uzziah is the first of four kings Isaiah serves over his sixty-three years of prophetic ministry. Are you starting to get a picture of the real Isaiah? Are you a little bit curious about why he wrote what he wrote and why God chose him?
The Best Surprise
Next week I’ll tell you the third question someone asked on my Facebook page. I’ll also reveal the biggest and best surprise of all my Isaiah research. God’s Word is filled with fascinating stories of real people’s lives, loves, and lessons. I hope you’ll join me again next week for more about Isaiah’s Daughter!
- Today’s question: What Bible verses provided a jumpstart for ISAIAH’S DAUGHTER research?
- God’s Word is full of fascinating stories of real people’s lives, loves, and lessons.
- Are you a little bit curious about why Isaiah wrote what he wrote and why God chose him?
- Did you learn something about Isaiah today that you didn’t know before? Something else you’d like to know?