|The Wounded Trilogy by Lynn Dove|
I have always loved the children’s book, “The Little Engine That Could”. I loved the pluck and spunk of that little engine with the “I think I can, I think I can” attitude. I love underdog stories! I love the idea that despite all odds and being the smallest and definitely not the strongest, this little engine succeeded when all the other bigger engines failed because he believed in his heart he could do it!
What’s that got to do with me, you say? Well, in 2009, I published my first book, "Shoot the Wounded", a young adult contemporary Christian fiction that has spawned two other books, "Heal the Wounded" and "Love the Wounded" (The Wounded Trilogy). The books delve deep into the real world of teenagers trying to live out their faith in the midst of upset and struggle. The books have garnered much praise and attention for their sensitivity towards social issues such as teen pregnancy, gossip, bullying and cancer and the books continue to fair well on some of Amazon's best-selling lists. They have won awards and 5 star reviews, and teenagers and parents alike are buying and reading the books in numbers I never imagined.
But the books were almost never written…
I wrote Shoot the Wounded over twenty years ago. It started out as a short story, something I just plucked away at for a weekend writing, but one hundred pages later I realized it was not a “short” story any more. I would add a bit more to the manuscript every now and then, but I really had no real intention of going any further with it.
Then life happened...
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and it was a two year battle where everything I was doing before my diagnosis basically went “on hold” until I was healthy again. I was just starting to grow back all my hair that I had lost after chemo, when God called me to seminary and also to be the Minister to Children at my home church in Cochrane. My oldest daughter got married. Life was full and busy. I graduated from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary with my Master of Religious Education degree in 2007 and one day as I was cleaning out all the “old” files on my computer I came across the untitled Shoot the Wounded manuscript. It was just collecting computer “dust” and I almost hit the delete button…
My husband, Charles stopped me. “Why don’t you finish that story and do something with it?” he said.
That led me on the writing and publishing journey that culminated in Love the Wounded, the third book in the young adult series.
There were many ups and downs, with seemingly endless hills to climb on that particular writing journey. There were many times I felt just like the Little Engine that Could…but with the help of God and MANY mentors, and supporters, I puffed my way up those hills with an “I think I can” attitude. On those days when my thoughts were: “I DON’T think I can anymore”, and I felt weak and worn out from the effort, all those encouragers God had placed in my path helped push me up and over those mountains!
I am so grateful that God continues to use the message in my books to encourage students who are victims of bullying. My books, written from a Christian world-view perspective, are reaching out to teens and adults who need to know that they are not alone; God is always there for them. My writing has become a ministry and I am humbled God would use me and my books to spread His message of Hope to so many.
While promoting my books, I began writing my blog, "Journey Thoughts" which has gone on to win a Canadian Christian Writing Award in 2011 and has to date over 11 million hits! I would never have even thought to write that blog had it not been for publishing my first book.
I don’t know where this “track” I’m on will continue to take me but with God and all my encouragers helping me along, I’m pretty sure it will be a great ride!
*(adapted from a previous article entitled "The Little Engine That Could" I wrote in 2013).