Having hope in something is very valuable to a person. Something to look forward too, something to live for. A reason to get out of bed each day. I’ve got to honest, I’ve had my hopeless days, but often I had others who still had hope and did their best to help me find mine again. My wife can attest that I’ve battled hopelessness more than once in my life.
The main purpose of my book, Custom Scars, isn’t to inform people about Marfan syndrome. It’s not about sharing some of my life’s story and the medical struggles. The main purpose of Custom Scars is for the reader to find hope. We do live in a world that seems so void of hope, but I want to clearly state that we can have hope. Hope in life is available and free. My book concludes with addressing the hope that we can have in life through faith. It’s where my hope is found and my faith has held me and my family together through many perceivably hopeless times.
The first inkling of writing Custom Scars was in the winter of 2010. One of the three leaflets of my aortic valve tore while shoveling snow. After an artificial valve was put in, I was able to come home less than two weeks after the incident. During my home recovery, I vividly remember sitting on the couch by the window in the living room and the words Custom Scars being impressed on my heart. Those two words were to become the title of a book that hadn’t even been started.
I looked at my body, I looked at the scars. I knew the emotional, psychological, and even spiritual scars that I had, let alone the scars of my wife and children. Then it was as if God spoke to my heart and told me that everyone has Custom Scars but that He still loves each of us with our unique scars. That no one is a mistake and that all are loved.
That was the start. That cold winter day during recovery is when I knew that I had some work ahead of me. Not long after I was back to more functions at the church, I informed the church board of what I would be doing. They were all very supportive and gave me great reassurance to complete this calling.
I had never written a book before, but God placed the chapter titles on my heart and the words came fairly easy, yet the chapter flow seemed weak. I was then encouraged by a writing professional named Jim who gave me invaluable advice. I attended a writers conference and gained so much from that as well.
After a year or two of struggle, I finally broke through with the theme of hope. That Custom Scars isn’t about me, but it’s all about hope. I knew what the last chapter was going to be regarding hope through my faith in Christ, but I now knew that hope needed to be threaded throughout the entire book. Although you may be reading my story, every reader will be challenged regarding their story and battles. Their battles of hopelessness.
I thought that my book was ready for publication three years ago, yet I couldn’t secure a publisher. I felt defeated and pretty much gave up. Then in May 2016 I had my aortic dissection and was in the hospital and rehab for nearly ten weeks. Talk about hopeless, I just wanted to die, but the hope and prayer of others sustained me while I was in a deep valley.
In the Spring of 2017 I figured I should read my manuscript again, maybe I should keep plugging away. After I read it, I knew why I didn’t publish before, I had one more chapter to write. The chapter would be about my dissection, but since I didn’t remember much at all about those two plus months, that chapter is my wife’s, Amanda, Facebook updates. It shows the struggle of our loved one’s when someone so dear to them is hurting or possibly dying.
I knew that going down the roads of traditional publishing was going to be hard since I’m kind of a no name, so I jumped head first into self-publishing. At two different points I had my manuscript professionally proofread, and then there were four other individuals who proofread it before I self-published. I created the front and back covers, as well as the entire format for the interior. Those were definitely not my strengths but my proofreaders gave terrific advice for many format issue’s. (I found so much online to help me too)
The reason for the 1948 Ford Sedan on the front cover is because that is my father’s custom car. At the end of many chapters I run a parallel story of how my father wanted this 1948 Ford to be custom, just the way he desired it to be: convertible, different engine, suspension, interior, etc. All of those customizations didn’t make the car devalue, it was special to my dad because he made it that way.
I see that as the same as God that He loves us now matter how many Custom Scars we have in our life. We have value and for me that provides great hope.
I honestly didn’t mean to self-publish on November 1, but I hit the wrong button. All I was waiting on was one more clearance to use a picture for the back cover. Thankfully it came in all good and no harm done. As of right now twenty copies have been sold and my prayer for each of those books is that the reader will find hope. Not hope through me, but a hope that is far greater then any hope that I could ever pass onto anyone.
I’m also working to be able to sell them personally, but I am still working on the sales tax end of that, so Amazon.com is the best place to get your copy of Custom Scars. Thank you for buying and reading Custom Scars. I trust that you will use your scars to help bring hope to others.