Earlier this week, I became very excited when I received notification that one of my novels, The Character was just 26 copies away from selling an amazing 500 copies. Today, it is 23 copies away from its goal.

And, the thing is, I genuinely believe in this book. It comes directly from my heart, and its characters still matter to my life. A lot of very painful and personal memories were woven into the pages of this story. Hope came to its primary character, Anna, the same way it did me. Most importantly, though, it has been the railroad to healing–for me personally and for others. You see, this is the book that sparked the public speaking engagements. I had a complete stranger stop me one day and tell me that it changed her life. Listeners of the speeches were so moved that they wanted to know more, they wanted to talk privately and in person. A pastor asked for a few copies do that he could use them in his ministry with hurting teenagers. Hearts were stirred. And, in the midst of it all, was me. I stand in the vortex of all the commotion, amazed and humbled… and completely overwhelmed with the realization that I truly was never, ever alone. Discussions of this book have lent to others telling me their stories and, amazingly, several have talked about “the little girl” (that was once themselves) they still mourn and miss. My world shifted. For years, I thought there was something wrong with me, because I still desperately missed the little girl logic said I had to have once been. For once, I felt truly understood.

Whenever healing happens, God is present. There have been times when I’ve been talking with someone, or reading an email, when I’ve had to shake my head and consciously remind myself that I did write that book. I feel like that because God has taken it and breathed something beautiful into what is simply a collection of often stark and disturbing scenes of abuse. My heart overflows with admiration and love and gratitude for Him for all the discussion and healing this little book has sparked.

Seeing it this close to a milestone–500 copies–is nothing short of miraculous in my book, considering I do not have the backing of a major publisher and have limited advertising. Seeing it this close to a milestone sets my heart racing. I have other novels, novels that I care deeply about, but The Character is set apart, it is special.

There’s a whole section on this blog dedicated to this book–you can read it’s acclaim, you can read a sneak peak. It is the story of 10 year old Anna and her ongoing struggle with sexual abuse at the hands of her father. It is the story of the hope she receives from a mysterious storyteller who teaches her joy, hope and, most importantly, to believe in herself. It is the sometimes disturbing tale of first hand abuse, from the perspective of a ten year old. It is honest and it is heart-breaking. Most of all, it is hopeful.

I would love for you to help make a dream come true–you can purchase a copy from Amazon for ten dollars. Writing is more than my hobby, or even my profession. Writing gives me rest and peace and joy and hope; characters like Anna and Ash remind me that treasures, priceless lessons, can arise from even the darkest of tunnels. Join me in sparking important discussion, in promoting awareness and, most of all, spreading hope to the most precious of citizens: the abused and neglected children surviving on every street in the world. $3.00 from each copy of “The Character” sold from now until the first of November 2012 will be donated to Childhelp, a non profit organization that seeks to provide help for survivors, awareness for the public, training for educators and ultimately to eliminate child sexual abuse.

We help others, and ourselves, through communication. I would love to hear your thoughts on the book, or anything related to its topic!