At the end of Part Two, I said that an actual spiritual incident I witnessed, which caused me to commit to Christ as Lord and Savior, inspired me to figure out a way to complete the ‘prodigal band’ story (using the Parable of the Prodigal Son as a guide) so as to create a novel trilogy that could spread ‘the message’ of redemption and salvation that anyone could accept freely, of their own free will. This incident certainly helped me to write The Prophesied Band, which ends with the prodigal band Sound Unltd being given ‘mission of God’ by the spiritual forces of Good. But would the prodigal band, having no idea about how to complete these missions, as well as being either atheist or agnostic toward Christianity and religion in general, be able to truly accept the missions and complete them?
In 1998, The Prophesied Band was published and printed (by a different outfit from the one that printed Battle of the Band), but this time I had far fewer copies printed—a wise decision! During that summer I sold roughly one-third of the number of printed copies at local festivals and writer conferences and made enough money to actually cover the cost of printing. By the following summer, I had sold about half of the book copies, and more than half by the fall of 2000. By then I had another Mac desktop and Corel WordPerfect software knowing that likely the next desktop computer would be using a Windows operating system (for one thing, a new Mac computer is almost double the cost of a Windows computer, and hubby and my kids wanted me to get one with Windows, likely with Windows 98).
In 1999 and 2000, into 2001, I worked on what would become the third novel in the trilogy which back then I would name ‘Band of Glory.’ (Note: Inside the final page of The Prophesied Band I had a page stating the final novel would be called ‘Band of Glory’ and said it would come out ‘soon.’). I got to the part where the band met with former roadie, Bobby, at Bobby’s wooden house near the High Sierras in northern California. Bobby, who had turned Christian after years of new age and Swami Negran belief due to his loyalty to Sound Unltd, had written a song for the band hoping they’d accept the song, called ‘He is the Way’ (the song referring to Christ), so the band found out about it and visited him, only to wind up non-committed to the song. Why? Because while they’d accepted the ‘missions of God’ they couldn’t quite accept the idea of becoming ‘Christian’ themselves! The small snippet below from Chapter Ten of The Prodigal Band, features singer Erik, having just been called a ‘hypocrite’ by his wife Ger’s personal assistant Morwenna (formerly a spirit being allied with angels called The Tooters), pondering his role in ‘the mission’:
He stood there, looking up with eyes of cold sweat. “You know, I want to do this mission, but hell, man, I can’t do a mission on me. I just can’t— become a—” he whined to the air above him and waved his arms— “a Christian. You know I don’t have anything against— Jesus—” and then he whined again, as, truly, all six of them in their own ways had whined—“but do I have to? You know I didn’t even do Swami’s religion— much, anyway. I wasn’t serious about it. I just can’t see myself doing religion. You know, going to church. Imagine me, in church?” Laughed. “I bet you’d get a jolly good one outta that.”
About to take a step, he snorted and looked up again, grinning. “Well, I tell you what, man, I’ll leave it up to you, eh?”
In other words, they all had to do ‘missions on themselves’ before they could carry out their given missions! And it was these considerations as to how they would do their missions, on themselves and anyone else, that caused me to ponder how to complete the novel. All at the same time I was bringing up two children and home schooling them as hubby continued to work at his own job with local emergency medical services.
And then an event happened in 2001 that caused me to pause finishing the novel as well as providing somewhat of a distraction—9-11, of course! In other words, while I was trying to write fiction, reality hit home, and family and schooling became paramount—and were ‘the prophetic end times’ coming? So that while I did work on the novel piece by piece, I really couldn’t put it together yet. I had to wait until 2010, when both children were either entering college or graduating from it, to get serious about the novel. Further, I took a part time job as the POA office manager in October 2010 because I needed the income and time added in order to collect social security later (you have to work 40 quarters or ten years in order to collect social security benefits; I had only worked about 36 quarters until then).
When I retired in 2015, I set to finally completing the novel, getting earnest in 2016 on a Windows 7 laptop using WordPerfect, since it could automatically convert to a PDF file; in 2018, I formatted the novel into a Word 2016 file, which would also convert to PDF. Why PDF? Because I intended to put it up on a website I would create so that anyone could download it for FREE and, I hoped, at least consider accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. As of today, August 24, 2021, there have been at least 670 downloads from July 2019 until now (downloads were not recorded until July 2019 for this site, which was created in April, 2018. My free blog was created earlier, but I wanted a site from where I could sell my novels, a ‘bookstore’ so to speak). The Prodigal Band was finally published in 2018 shortly after this site was created.
Since this is the era of e-books and since Amazon’s Kindle (and, to a lessor extent, Barnes and Nobel’s Nook device) was taking off huge, the notion came to me that I should also make it easier for a reader to be able to read all three novels if one so chose to do so. Thus, an e-book formatting mindset was developed; yet, since Amazon’s Kindle Create program would only let one sell their e-book on Amazon, I wanted to get with a platform that would distribute all three trilogy novels-as-one to other platforms (B&N, Smashwords, GooglePlay, iBook, Kobo and others) and, further, I did not have the patience to format any of the novels in the various formats (EPub, Mobi, etc). That platform turned out to be Lulu Publishing. Some consider Lulu’s GlobalReach program ‘vanity publishing’ since one has to buy into the program, but unlike most vanity publishers, Lulu gave me a great deal financially, so I went with it anyway. They would do the various formatting. They would distribute both print and e-book versions to Amazon and the rest of the top platforms mentioned earlier with a decent royalty payout. Throughout most of 2018, I had to re-type both Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band (since my laptop could not and would not read twenty-year-old floppy disks; there was no floppy drive on the laptop!), and shorten The Prodigal Band so that the novel would have a page count less than 740. The page count is between 650 and 700 pages in the print version. And I did want a print as well as e-book version; us older folks tend to want to read paperback books since we are more used to it. In March, 2019, it was ready to go and was published officially that summer. So far, most of the sales have been e-books with Amazon, with a few printed orders from Lulu and Amazon and a couple from Barnes and Nobel. I have also continued to sell original copies of Battle and Prophesied at local events up until last year.
And that finishes up the posts about how I wrote The Prodigal Band Trilogy. Next week I may begin posting random snippets and deleted scenes, or other topics.
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The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.