Novels: Wrapping The Truth in Fiction

My favorite medium for communicating the truth is fiction.  Truth wrapped in fiction has the power to engage the reader’s mind, heart and spirit.  So it has the power to transform.  For example, I wrote On The Edge over thirty years ago, but current readers say that the book has changed their lives.  Obviously there is more at work than my own writing. From that process have come four novels and an anthology of short stories, including the newest spiritual warfare novel, Nation On The Edgewhich brings forward several key characters from the earlier stories. I hope you enjoy them all.

About My Blog

While working on a novel for months or years, I also like to comment on current events and policies. I’m particularly interested in the intersection where thoughts and theory create real world consequences.  With government policies, economics, science and faith. I like to focus on discerning the truth from the noise and the lies, and in this blog I relate those findings, hopefully with a fresh and unexpected perspective.  I’ve been posting since 2010; I hope you will sample some of the threads, and pass them to others.  Parker’s Blog Archives. Subscribe Here for  New Blog Posts on Substack.

In the five decades since I served as an officer in the Navy, I have been a real estate business professional, husband, entrepreneur, writer, teacher, father, speaker, mentor and grandfather.  From graduate school in London to developing an office building in Moscow, I have formed real world perspectives on how faith should inform character and decisions.

After earning a Masters Degree at the London School of Economics as a Marshall Scholar and serving as the Communications Officer on the USS Wainwright (CG-28), my career has been in commercial real estate, as a broker, advisor, small developer and executive. My final W-2 job ended in 2014, after serving for twelve years as the Director of Dispositions at a large US Office REIT. In all of these endeavors I was blessed to have great people on every side who could make uo for my shortcomings.

As a sometimes successful Type A achiever, it took me to age thirty-seven to surrender my ego and everything else to Christ.  That was in 1984 in Charleston.  It was the best and most significant decision of my life.  A few years later we moved back to my hometown of Atlanta and began attending Church of the Apostles, where we remain immersed in teaching and preaching that emphasizes God’s Word.

So my career has spanned five decades, and I’ve been a follower of Jesus for four of them.  Although I always enjoyed writing, it was usually of a business nature.  Only as I matured as a believer did the passion to write fiction transform my focus.

Much of the summer of 1992, before I wrote On The Edge, was spent in prayer, seeking God’s will for my life.  Several times that summer my wife, Alida, mentioned that I should write a novel.  Her reasoning was that I wrote good letters to the editor. As I prayed that summer, I determined that if I ever did write a novel, it would be about how God had changed me.

In September I was driving alone on I-20 from Atlanta to Charleston to finish a business project when the characters and the basic two-tiered concept for a spiritual warfare novel came to my mind.  To be about a family in which all of the members are making bad decisions, and the consequences to each of them. I returned home the next day, took Alida to dinner at a local restaurant, and told her about the story.  She immediately said, “Yes, you ought to do that.”

So I went home that evening, sat at the computer, prayed, and the first ten pages of the novel came out like a stream.  Every day afterwards I would do the same thing.  I told people at work that I couldn’t wait to get home to find out what was going to happen next!

The first half was written over the next few months, in the midst of holidays, trips to Moscow and Kiev, raising five kids, and working a full time job. It was one of the most amazing and wonderful times of my life.  The first publisher, Thomas Nelson, to whom I sent the manuscript replied that the book was anointed, and that they wanted to publish it! I finished the book in February and began editing with Nelson.  While that was proceeding I began to write The President, because Alida told me that I should write a book about the government.

While I was writing that second novel, Nelson published On The Edge, and readers began telling me that the book had changed their lives!  How incredible that God could use a very imperfect real estate guy, mentored for years by an Egyptian Christian parish priest, to touch the hearts of people all over America and as far away as Russia!

The President is an action thriller about a President who struggles with life’s meaning while confronting terrorists who are bent on destroying the nation. The novel took two years to write because of the extensive research required, from the Founding Fathers’ positions on key subjects to the blast footprint of a nuclear bomb.  Thankfully there are great resources available for the former, and my cousin actually built nuclear bombs for the government, from whom I learned the latter.

Multnomah first published The President in a hard cover edition in 1995, and then three years later they re-published it in soft cover. Although it was written thirty years ago, most of the story threads read like they are lifted from today’s newspaper.

The genesis for Ten Lies and Ten Truths was the need to explain complex subjects to growing children, as well as to a Sunday School class.  Fiction has the power to involve the whole reader—mind, emotions, spirit—into a story, to open new doors and to connect cause with effect.  I found that fiction can often be more transformational than facts alone.

Teaching in Russia, 1991 and 2010

So I researched each of these important topics and wrote a story about the facts that I discovered. The goal of each story is not to convey all of the truth about a topic in a few pages, but rather to break up the hard crust of the reader’s preconceived notions, so that the seed of truth can take root and grow.

In 2010 I began posting to a new blog, which I call “the intersection of Faith, Economics and Policy.”  Please sample some of the posts—they are all on subjects that I am passionate about—and then subscribe on Substack to receive new posts by email: Parker’s Substack | Parker Hudson | Substack.

And I recently curated 86 of these essays into my first non-fiction book, Seeking Truth At The Intersection of Faith, Economics and Policy. This is not light reading–I recommend one or two essays a day as a way to seek and discern His truths for how we should live and interact with others.

For several years I next worked on a third novel, an international action thriller, intersected by the fateful decisions of a modern Prodigal Daughter.   Enemy In The Room was published in October, 2013. The story threads are woven together with explosive action and crisscrossed relationships.  The characters confront high tech theft, internet spying, lies, jihad, betrayal, and redemption.

Over the years I continued to read, study and pray about spiritual warfare. I read all the Biblical passages on the subject, as well as several excellent books. The best and most relevant books are Conquer by Dr. Michael Youssef (www.ltw.org) and  Sense & Nonsense About Angels & Demons by Ken Boa and Robert Bowman, Jr. (www.kenboa.org). I strongly recommend both books.

Joshua’s Army

My key conclusion is that we are not passive observers of a spiritual battle between demons and angels. Nor are we the passive victims of all-powerful demonic forces. We are the actual combatants—the war is waged by believers against the lies of the demons for the souls of our families and friends.  For their eternities. As believers, it is our incredibly important role to do all we can to ensure that those whom we know and love choose God’s Truth.

So I wanted to revisit a story which included angels and demons visible to the reader, as they were in On The Edge, but with a deeper understanding of the demons’ hate for us, and of their methods for deceiving so many of us. Along with the power of prayer and believers’ witnessing to overcome those lies.

It seemed natural to consider an update to On The Edge, moving Tommy Sullivan and the other characters ahead by twenty or so years, to see where they might have wound up.

The theme for the new story would expand on the last two novels to show, with supercharged demonic intervention, the ever-increasing power of our ever-increasing government to turn us away from the core foundations of our faith and our freedoms.

And so in 2015 I imagined a story in which the government clamps down “temporarily” on our freedoms in order to protect us from attacks. I started doing research on high-tech, large-scale surveillance and security.  But, as always, I needed interesting human story threads to weave around the truths which I hoped to make clear. And I needed characters and a setting to provide the framework for the story itself.

From that early research with several experts in 2015-2016, as I began writing, the stories and characters for conveying the truths took shape over the next couple of years.

But then Covid-19 hit, and I am so thankful that I had not just published this novel, because it would have instantly been out of date. Actions I had imagined earlier which the government might take suddenly became common, and so I had to re-imagine even stricter measures.

Nation On The Edge was published in the summer of 2023, though the spiritual war depicted continues to rage, and the issues which impact us become ever crazier, as some in power regularly hold up an orange and swear to us that it’s an apple. And if we don’t agree that it’s an apple, we must be silenced—cancelled—before we harm others with our “phobic” truths.

So the war is really eternal, and we are right now privileged to speak Truth to those in our generation. Hopefully each of us will answer His call to do so.

I hope that you share a passion for at least some of the areas that are important to me—family, faith, economics, government, science—and I look forward to your feedback, comments and interaction.  All the best.

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