Many times I am asked where I get the ideas for my books. Some ideas come from a question like “What if we could see people the way God sees people?” Or a character shows up in my head and his/her story is so intriguing I have to write it. However, Heir of Hope came from a different source. It came from a broken soul. My soul.
Heir of Hope was the hardest and yet most fulfilling book I have written. It encompasses the emotions and thoughts I had a few years ago after my husband was fired from a church. In order to understand how impactful this event was, let me share some of my background.
Unlike most jobs, a pastor’s job is his life and the life of his family. Not only is it a job, it is where we go for fellowship, find support, and it impacts all of us, even our kids. So when my husband came home one day with a letter stating the church would not be renewing his contract and starting immediately he was let go and we were never to return, we were shocked. No reasons were given, no sin was involved. Just let go. Like that.
In one day we lost everything. No small groups, no church we could run to, no brothers and sisters in Christ to help us, except for two friends who—if it had not been for them and God—we would have drowned in the darkness and grief we were experiencing.
It took months to recover, months of asking why, months of where is God and why is there no justice for what happened to us? The pain was so intense I wasn’t sure if I could ever trust another church or Christians again. I sought God on my knees with tears streaming down my face. Had He abandoned us? I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t continue to give myself to people who turned around and crushed me.
This is Rowen’s story in Heir of Hope. Everything I felt, everything I experienced during that time, I poured into Rowen. If you have not read the Follower of the Word series, the story revolves around a few characters, the main one being Rowen Mar, a Truthsayer. She has the ability to see inside people with a touch of her hand and reflect back that person’s true nature.
As she discovers who and what she is, her power puts a barrier between her and the rest of humanity. Many are terrified of what she can do. Some want her power to use for their own means. And a third group realizes that she is the most powerful Eldaran to have walked the Lands in over four hundred years.
Rowen is feared, hated, used, and eventually loses all hope in humanity. In Heir of Hope, she can no longer feel the Word near her and wonders if He has abandoned her as well.
There is a key scene in which Rowen is about to give in to the villains. She is on the edge. If she joins them, she can use her power to protect herself. No more pain, no more giving herself to others only to have them use her.
But in that moment, the Word speaks. He reminds Rowen that she has never been alone. He has always been with her. Because of that, she finds the strength to stay on the narrow path, even though it costs her everything.
That is what I discovered as I emerged from those dark, deeply depressing months. God had never left me. Even when I was on the verge of ending my life, He stayed my hand and showed me life. Others might have hurt me and failed me, but God did not. I still do not know why God allowed that event to happen to us. It cost us almost everything we had.
But out of that pain came a story. A story I could not have written if I had not experienced it myself. Heir of Hope is the culmination of darkness and light, fear and hope, and ultimately my worship of God who gives life and light to all. It is a story about what can happen when we give our entire selves to God, what glory and light He can pour through us.
Morgan L. Busse writes fantasy for the adult market. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, Christy and Carol Award finalist. Morgan lives on the West Coast with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at www.morganlbusse.com, and find her books at Enclave Publishing: http://www.enclavepublishing.com/authors/morgan-busse/