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So I did a thing…

In 2010 I began working on something that I called Thine Is the Kingdom. It was a historical novel based on the book of 1st Samuel in the Bible. I wrote it from the viewpoint of a number of characters, some named in the Bible, some mentioned but not named, and some fictional. The fictional characters actually took center stage.

It languished for years because I never felt it was ready (because it wasn’t), but I continued to feel like it was a great story so, when I started to get some traction at film festivals with my screenplays, I decided to write it as a script for the screen. It was too big a story for a feature film, so I decided to create it as a TV series. I wrote a pilot script which has done well at several festivals.

But writing it as a script transformed the story making it much more engaging and gave the characters more depth. Then something unexpected happened: I was asked to return to the Branson International Film Festival where I had won “Best Script” a couple of years ago as a “special guest,” but not as a screenwriter; as an author.

That made me feel inadequate because I only have the two Backlash novels published. So I decided I had time to actually make the book a reality, but it needed to take a different form than I had originally planned.

And it needed a different name. It became the Age of the Kingdom series when I was working on the TV series, because I had talked to a couple agents who felt the Thine Is the Kingdom name was too “King-Jamesy.” The reason I didn’t let go of the name immediately was because I had planned two more novels titled The Power and the Glory and Forever and Ever. Each novel would have been against the background of the reign of King Saul, King David and King Solomon, respectively.

But not only were they “King-Jamesy,” they were from the New Testament, so that was a problem, too.

When I started working on the novel again, I discovered that, when it was formated, it would be about 600 pages! I knew I couldn’t do a 600-page novel, so I decided to split it into two. The first one is titled Quest for a King and covers the first several chapters of 1st Samuel when Israel’s quest for a king gives them King Saul and then when he fails, Samuel is directed to anoint David. The other half of the original novel will be called Exile of the King because it traces the biblical narrative during the time Saul was intent on killing David, so he was on the run.

Quest for a King Cover Image

I’m really excited about this new direction. I asked three trusted friends to read the book while it was still full of typos and continuity problems, but here’s a sampling of what they said:

“In Quest for a King, Gary Ivey brings the Bible to life through vivid and intricately-crafted characters with whom the reader can’t help but bond… I read it cover to cover in one sitting… it is impossible to put down. I wish I had had this growing up. I would have understood biblical history so much better!” Brett Goldberg, author of “A Psalm in Jenin” and entreprenuer.

“Deeply researched, the book evokes with remarkable specificity these ordinary and extraordinary people living in ancient Israel, as their lives are swept up and overturned by the move of God and the forces of history.” Terry R. Freeman, BA, MBA, CG, Genealogist, Historian, Author.

“Gary Ivey has created a work of fiction that’s both educational and extremely engaging, like an Old Testament The Chosen.” Bill Barley, Pastor, Living Stones Church.

I’ve written several posts about my research, like a couple on the historicity of the Bible stories, and the challenges of writing historical fiction.

I’ll have more information about where Quest for a King will be available soon.

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