The idea for
came from a wonderful lady, Lela Satterfield.
She was the worship director of a Methodist church I was
attending at the time. She
was also in charge of all the children’s musical programs.
Lela is a very talented musician, singer and teacher.
Her children’s musical plays are beloved at the churches she
has worked at. Because
we’re both creative people (thus sometimes a little odd) we became
close friends. She’d talk
to me about writing music and her plays; I’d confide to her about
writing novels. It was
probably because of all those long lunches that it occurred to me that a
children’s play at a church would be an interesting setting for one of
my books. Now, the biggest
problem was I didn’t want to harm children in any way.
Though I’ve touched on child abuse in one of my novels, I’ve
tried to be careful about not being graphic.
So I knew I was treading on thin ice.
She started rehearsal on a new play and I observed from the back
pew from first auditions to final production.
I had to tell you, I was on the edge of my seat most of the time!
Picture trying to not only keep track of forty or so kids,
teenage helpers and also teach them music, dialog and keep everyone
happy. She was incredible
and, of course, the musical play “Pilgrim’s Progress,” which she
wrote, came off without (many) hitches!
I also wanted to delve further into Gabe’s background so part
of this story has to do with his long lost cousin.
Lela and I have both no longer attend the Methodist church where
we met, but we’re still close friends and, I hope, always will be!