I remember years ago, a certain show planted the seed in me to crave well-written thrillers with a twisted ending. It was an Alfred Hitchcock Presents half-hour show that centered around a female inmate that was desperate to get out of prison. She befriended a priest who eventually agreed to help her on her quest. The plan involved her sneaking into a casket at the next funeral, being buried, and then the priest would come dig her up and free her. For five minutes we watched the woman laugh and gloat inside the tight dark box. But as time elapsed, her smile faded, and you watched her grow nervous and concerned. Eventually she lit a match, and discovered the priest next to her. Her only savior, dead. It ended by the sound of her screaming.
It left my jaw hanging wide open. The same happened in high school when I watched the Sixth Sense for the first time. “I see dead people.” That line should have given away the ending, and I felt stupid at the end for not seeing it coming. I remember the shock as I watched the wedding ring roll around on the floor and Dr. Malcolm Crowe stare at his bare wedding finger. When the realization hit me that he was dead, all I could think was, “I should have known!” I loved it!
My hunger for good thrillers was burning inside of me. But there was still something missing. Then I read the book Thr3e by Ted Dekker. The same jaw-dropping moment occurred, but this time I was left with more than just a ‘Wow.’ I remember the novel because of the incredible story, but now when I think back on it, I also am reminded that there is a constant battle between my flesh and my new nature as a Christian. This story did more for me because it not only left me flabbergasted but taught me a very valuable spiritual lesson.
So fueled my passion. To write stories that leave people stunned and yet give them more than just a thrill. To give them something that lasts. Something eternal.