The Novel

UPDATE: The novel is now availablebuy it here!

Right, so I’m currently writing this novel… It’s all very exciting as I dream of becoming an established (and published) writer, but I’ve also found it to be quite challenging.

The biggest challenge, I’ve discovered, is to not keep this too close to my chest. There are certain things that the Lord wants to do through me – He has laid this novel on my heart because He wants to use it to reach other people.

If I hold this too close to my chest; if it ends up “being about me”, then the Lord won’t be able to do what He wants to do through this, because I will be in the way. How deeply depressing is that!!

As I mentioned in one of the updates on the homepage, it’s so easy to “try” and make things work – to put myself in front of the novel and get in the way of what the Lord wants to do with it.

(I know I’m repeating myself verbatim here, but bear with me!)

The question I had to ask myself was: If the Lord never gives me a book deal, what would I do?

As a result I’ve decided – and I’m constantly putting this before the Lord to make sure it is indeed from Him – to start publishing the novel online. The idea of the novel is, after all, that people read it. If the Lord decides to bring a book deal along because He wants to extend its reach, then great. If He doesn’t, then it’s also good because it’s His novel to do with as He sees fit.

Of course, I’ll be honest: I’ll get a massive kick out of it if the novel gets published. But my motivation must be that it’s up to Him. I must become less in this novel, so that He can do more with it.

So now that this is out of the way, here’s a little something about my (first) novel: East of Ashes.

The name:

Right, so the first question you probably want an answer to is “what’s with the weird name?”

Well, it’s a play on themes from these two scriptures:

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12)

“To give them beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3b)

Both of these bits speak of separation from a previous state – and that’s at the heart of this novel’s message: God’s saving grace and transforming power.

The title therefore speaks of a separation (east, where the sun rises) from a previous life (ashes, where destruction reigns).


The novel is set in 1097-1098 A.D. during the First Crusade. It is told from the viewpoint of three characters whose lives are intertwined. One of these characters break away to join up with the Crusaders as they lay siege to the city of Antioch on their way to Jerusalem.

It is in front of the mighty walls of Antioch that he experiences a transformation that will shape his life in ways that he could never have imagined – and ultimately lead him down a path that will bring all their worlds crashing together in a single moment of light.

I hope that’s suitably vague, but you only really need to know this:

  • There is lots of fighting (quite violent too – don’t worry, it’ll make sense in the context of the story);
  • A bit of romance;
  • And you get to learn quite a bit about the First Crusade without even trying.

Sounds good? Then watch this space…