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Maybe the story behind The Black or White Chronicles would read better if it were filled with words about the personal cost of the process, but the converse is closer to the truth. Compared to what most authors have to go through to get their words in print, what has happened to me is nothing short of a miraculous gift. Some of you will understand the last three words in this sentence, some won’t . . . God did this.

The journey of the series, from its inception to the release date of Abiding Darkness, was a twenty-year walk in the park. Initially, it was a two-thousand-word short story I wrote for our children—a thing about the impact of a person's choices. I filed a copy away, and it lay dormant for ten years. I pulled it out sometime in the mid-nineties and "fiddled" with it for five or seven years. In the fall of 2002, I found myself surrounded by a few hundred thousand words and felt a need to become more focused. In the spring of '03, I took three chapters and a synopsis to my first-ever writers' conference and submitted them to my first-ever editor. As it happens, that editor, Gary Terashita, wasn't looking for a fiction project, but his critique sheet is framed and hanging in our home . . . his handwritten note at the bottom says, "We need to talk."

And talk we did. We arranged to meet at the retreat center's coffee shop, and I told Gary I was at the conference trying to trim the odds against my getting published—hopefully down to 10,000 to 1. I'll never forget his response: "Well, right now, you're sitting on about 50-50."

The Black or White Chronicles series was born in that little coffee shop . . . and I thank God everyday for Gary, the man who has become my friend and editor.