If you are new around here or haven't heard, Two Bullets is a contemporary action novel that I wrote back in 2016. It's also book #1 in my series called 'The Barrier Ridge Series" which currently contains three novels. (And we're not done yet!) I tend to do better explaining my books when I can sit down and write it out, so that's what I'm going to try to do in this blog. If you're looking for the story behind book #2 Gathering Stones, click here. For what inspired book #3 Battle Wounds, click here.
Two Bullets started as a story I initially called Losing Hope. It was about a young female chaplain who moved to a small mountain town in Washington state. The first page opened up on a scene at a hospital during a lockdown with a shooter on the loose. In the beginning, it was just another story idea that I started writing for the fun of it. I figured it would just join the rest of the ten or eleven page stories that I never got around to finishing. But for some reason, unlike the other stories I had started and stopped, this one got a hook in me and I kept at it.
I don't know proper procedure from writing novels, and honestly I don't worry about it too much. I write stories because I want to, not so that I'll become famous. For example, I don't outline or plot out the book beginning to end. I also edit and rewrite as I go -(I hear that is a big no-no)- so things are constantly changing and being worked over. I don't technically have a first draft; I just have a book in process.
One of the most important changes that happened in the early stages of Losing Hope was when God woke me up about six o'clock in the morning and suggested I change the love interest. He told me that my main character Elizabeth Locksley needed to end up with Bass Jones, not Jimmie Reeves. Half asleep, I argued with God. "You know that means I'm going to have to rewrite everything, right?" But He was pretty persistent, so I got up and started the rewrite. And it was from that point on that Losing Hope slowly became Two Bullets. The character of Elizabeth "Lock" Locksley changed from being a chaplain to a police officer, and the reason for her moving to the small mountain town changed as well. The initial opening chapter shifted from an exciting scene to a more introspective narration. It became a completely different book!
Attempts two and three for getting a picture to use as the book cover :)
Writing stories has always been a form of therapy for me. It's a narrative I can control when nothing else in my life is controllable. This also means that my personal issues bleed into the fictional situations. I was dealing with depression and hopelessness during the creation of Two Bullets, and it helped me cope by making Lock deal with the same issues. Although I've never been a cop or been shot like her, the betrayal and depression were very real to me. And as I got better and found hope, so did she.
I wanted friends to come along side me and build me up, so I wrote that for Lock.
I wanted to find love in the midst of chaos, and so I wrote that for Lock.
I wanted to break out of depression, so I wrote that for Lock.
Since I don't plot or plan, I didn't know for a long time what the "point" of this story would be, other than dealing with betrayal. I just wrote about things that interested me, like white supremacy, healing, God, truth, and romance. Please don't misunderstand me; I am not a white supremacist, but I have known individuals who were and their ideology fascinated me from a research stand point. So, when I was coming up with the villains for this story, I naturally gravitated toward what I was familiar with and put my own spin on it. Then somewhere along the way, I found a way to link this to Lock's past, and my favorite plot twist in the world was created!
I also wanted to throw in things that interested me like intriguing characters, the supernatural (Is Slade an angel or isn't he?), as well as dive into adventurous scenarios with Godly people who don't just run and hide when trouble comes around. (Why is every Christian movie soooooo cheesy??) I grew up on children's ministry TV shows like The Gospel Bill Show, Bill Gunter, Commander Kellie and the Superkids, as well as the radio drama series "Adventures in Odyssey." As an adult, all of these inspired me to write about Christians dealing with exciting situations like kidnappings and hostage situations. Since I have always wanted to be in law enforcement, things of that nature are the heartbeat of every story I write. I honestly can't help it. And I can't help but write about God and the love of Jesus, because that is also a part of who I am.
My pain inspired this book, but it was the redemption of Christ that gave it a purpose. Lock has to figure out how to be a cop again after being betrayed by her partner. She has to learn how to move on. But it's the people that she meets along the way that really bring depth and meaning to her life, and in the process, to this series. Two Bullets is just the beginning. The following novels in the series spotlight a different member of the sheriff's department. Their stories intertwine with each other and keep the narrative fluid.Where Two Bullets ends, Gathering Stones begins, and the adventure continues.
If you would like the check out this exciting novel about betrayal and redemption, follow the link and get started with Lock's story. (Click here) Happy Reading!