I first wrote a book over 30 years ago. Called All God’s Work it reflected on the nature of work being not just paid employment but also tasks done in voluntary, community and domestic roles. It also explored the experiences of being unemployed. After numerous rejections it was finally accepted. Twice. But it was never published. In one case the publisher apologised for mistakes made at their end and with the other, sadly, the owner of the business died and thus the book did too.
So I turned my writing fingers to articles for newspapers and magazines, interviewing a wide range of people including Terry Waite, John Major, Nick Park and some of the first women to be ordained. Other writing emerged: press releases, Bible study notes and materials produced in the course of my work. Then, in 2019, two books appeared: Life with St Benedict published by BRF and A Story to Tell … published by me.
The first came out of the experience of being drawn more deeply into Benedictine spirituality and the realisation that an ancient piece of writing, the Rule of St Benedict, had so much to say about 21st Century living. The second, which also has its own website as well as being a book, came out of my increasing awareness that we can learn so much from people who met Jesus. So often we focus solely on what we learn from Christ himself that we miss out on other insights: after all, each of us learns a lot from other people too.
And now this week, I am honoured to see not one but two more books come to fruition. Both written over the last couple of years and, as with Life with St Benedict, both experiencing rejection – and then acceptance by independent, traditional publishers.
Taking the biblical miracle of the calming of the storm as its focus, Finding Stability in Times of Change considers how the storm symbolises periods of change, transition and difficulty and how the calming of it signifies stability. One only has to think back over the last couple of years to see how we have all endured tremendous change and how unsettling it’s been. The book includes insights and personal stories from others along with practical and achievable suggestions for readers to consider in their own life.
With a Foreword by Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark, Finding Stability in Times of Change has been described by Morwenna Ludlow, a Canon at Exeter Cathedral, as ‘perceptive and wise – a valuable guide on life’s journey.’ And fellow, well-known author, David Runcorn, describes it as ‘a timely and helpful book… it feels like a conversation in the midst of the winds and the storms – with ourselves, with each other, with scripture and the hard won resources of Christian faith – and with God.’ (Click here to buy, read more, including the first chapter, and watch a video interview.)
This week also sees the publication of my debut novel, Looking to Move On. This was a ‘lockdown surprise’. Like others who developed new interests in those very strange times of change, mine came in the form of reading more fiction and writing it too. Looking to Move On came together from a couple of short stories – and then took on a life of its own. Such is the freedom of fiction, one can make the characters do whatever one wants them to do – and sometimes they do it by themselves!
It’s a contemporary story of loss and love, grief and joy, conflict and resolution, tears and laughter. It’s not overtly ‘religious’ and the title reflects the message of the book which is one of hope over adversity and that moving on, rebuilding life, is always possible. I’ve had the privilege of meeting many people who experience difficulties and their stories have inspired much of this one. (Click here to buy, read more, including the first chapter, and watch a video interview.)
In some respects, both books explore how we cope with and move on from difficult situations. In many ways, they are both about stories and how we all benefit in the telling and the listening and the reading. I hope you will find them helpful too.
More details about all the books mentioned in this post can be found at richardfrostauthor.com
Looking to Move On is published by the award-winning, Chronos Publishing and available to buy through Waterstones. Finding Stability in Times of Change is the very first book from a new publisher, Endulini Publishing and available on Amazon. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact me to buy copies direct.
If you are in Devon, you are very welcome to come to special Double Book Launch events:
- Fri 21 Oct at 7.15-8.15pm at St Stephen’s Church, High St, Exeter
- Sat 22 Oct at 12-1pm at St Michael’s Church, Teignmouth, Devon