An image and a message
There are two things that have impacted my writing career: the book cover image for my first novel, What’s in a Name, and, recently, a message by Bishop T.D. Jakes titled “Don’t Leave Like You Came!” You’ll find out more about the former under the section The Catalyst for Writing the Novel.
A former colleague and dear friend of mine sent me a text with an expressed urgency to watch the above-mentioned message on YouTube. We both share an appreciation for what we believe the Bishop does best: teaching and exhorting in a spiritual, educational way that elevates his topics into the realm of the transcendental.
Personally, I admire this great orator for his luminous topics, such as “Your breaking point is your breakthrough.” But I found his “Don’t Leave Like You Came!” message so intellectually imaginative that it not just inspired but also moved me into a creative zone.
While I would encourage you to read through each section of this press kit chronologically, you may now go directly to the book trailer if you wish. For I will now say without further delay that after watching “Don’t Leave Like You Came!” I saw the very work that I had created from a new and interesting perspective.
I have always recognized that What’s in a Name is a story about taking action against the odds (the word that I use for that concept is sisu). And the novel also talks about healing and learning to live with the past, not living in the past. Indeed, Bishop Jakes’s message speaks to the folly of that last idea.
But from the perspective of the function of the narrative itself and that of my own journey through writing the novel, they both reinforce the key takeaway from his message. Needless to say, it was his exhortation to “stop living with the dead” because “[c]emeteries are to be visited” and “[a]in’t no hotels in the cemetery” that both inspired and mobilized me to reconceptualize the audience of the novel.
This audience could benefit from that exhortation, I believe.