Brothers of the Light was my
first novel. It was excruciating work all the way, mainly because
when I started it, I didn't know what I was doing. Altogether,
I wrote 300,000 words as I learned to write a novel with a strong
story. Eventually I trashed 215,000 of those words to obtain a
It wasn't until I discovered the principal of narrative unity that things finally became clear. Narrative Unity says, "Nothing goes in the narrative that does not belong and nothing gets left out that belongs in."
The light suddenly dawned on me when I read that. It meant simply that, no matter how much I loved what I was writing, if it neither furthered nor hindered the hero's effort to achieve his goal, it didn't belong in the book.
My first clue to that concept came from Robert Louis Stevenson's essay entitled A Humble Remonstrance. Narrative Unity and Stevenson's essay are covered in detail in Quest for the Golden Quill of Storytelling.
What Stevenson said was, "“Let him [the writer] choose a motive, whether of character or passion; carefully construct his plot so that every incident is an illustration of the motive, and every property employed shall bear to it a near relation of congruity or contrast."
I finally figured out that he was talking about what I now call Narrative Unity. I then applied that test to all 300, 000 words of the novel and the 85,000 leftovers got published.
So far, with no promotion, Brothers of the Light is selling slowly, but steadily, mostly as a result of Amazon and other search engines. However, the book has received some tail-wagger reviews on Amazon and from my published author friends.
Following is what the blurb on the back of the book says.
Abandoned as infants in California, brothers Michael and Daniel
St. James dream of someday learning their true identities. But when
Daniel finally learns the shocking truth in a rural Arkansas town,
that dream quickly becomes a nightmare. Before he can warn Michael
to stay away, he is brutally attacked, left comatose and enshrouded
by a strange blue-violet aura that baffles the doctors. To save his
brother, Michael rushes to Arkansas where he falls in love with
beautiful librarian Jessica Simms, faces a vengeful paranormal
terrorist trying to take over the government, and uncovers a family
secret that changes their lives and the world forever.
Intrigue, deep mystical love, bizarre attempts to murder Michael, plus exciting paranormal fireworks—all makeBrothers of the Light a blistering, fast-paced read.
As a young man I read an article in the now-defunct New Orleans States-Item Newspaper.
It was about a rural, illiterate Mississippi couple, who discovered their 18-month old son playing with the newspapers they used to wrap fish.
The baby acted oddly, they thought, so they called a doctor. The doctor came and watched the baby. He concluded the infant was reading somehow, which seemed impossible, since the parents couldn't read.
The doctor called a couple of professor friends at the university, and they came to investigate.
Somehow that infant had doped out a method of understanding the paper.
That article germinated in my thoughts for years, until Brothers of the Light was born.