Just like a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich, there are times with two things fit together to create something wonderful. That’s what happened with By the Light of the Silvery Moon.
Both things things happened around the same time, 1997. First, the movie Titanic came out–and like much of America–the movie captured my attention. Yes, there was a love story, but the ship of dreams fascinated me even more. I checked out many books at the library and bought others on the Titanic. I didn’t think of writing a novel about it. At the time the only thing I was getting published was parenting articles. Still, I carried a love inside for that amazing ship and its passengers.
Around the same time I came up with an idea for a different novel. It was a contemporary telling of the Prodigal Son story. The prologue captured my attention. I saw this young boy whose carelessness caused his mother’s death and brought division between him and his brother. The prologue came clearly, but the rest of the novel was a muddle in my mind. The prologue even captured the attention of editors at Mt. Hermon writer’s conference, but what good is a prologue without a complete novel to go with it? When I got the idea for what came to be my first novel From Dust and Ashes the prodigal son story got put on the shelf. Every now again I’d take that idea out and turned it over in my mind a few times, but I felt God’s whisper, “Not yet.”
Fast-forward to 2011. I was approached about coming up with an idea for the Titanic. April 15, 2012 was the 100th Anniversay–would I like to submit a novel idea for consideration? Of course! I was excited about the idea, but there were so many possibilities. I wanted an idea that was fresh, unique, and faith-filled…where to start???
One morning I was laying in bed praying about an “Titanic idea” when the prodigal son story popped into my mind. Was it possible that the seed of the idea I had thirteen years prior fit on the Titanic? I dug back through my old computer files and I found the original prologue. Then, in my mind’s eye, the story of a younger son, an older son, a woman who cared for them both and a loving father played out in my mind. That’s it! I copied and pasted that old prologue into a new document and then Chapter 1 started with the story of these new characters and their life-changing journey on the Titanic.
The proposal came together, and in a few weeks I learned that Barbour wanted to publish my idea! When I hold By the Light of the Silvery Moon in my mind I’m still amazed that I was given the honor of writing this novel. It goes to show that some God-given ideas bloom overnight, while others take years until they see the light of day. It’s impossible to know which is which, that’s why it’s so important to cling to God, and to listen to Him. We all need to trust He’s set a true course for our lives–a future that’s held in His hand. One that’s unsinkable.