A story of faith in the early days of the United States of America, Simmons’ “Seth Garner” may receive CrossBook’s Publisher’s Choice publishing deal and see nationwide distribution.
“[CrossBooks was] the first to read Seth Garner in its final form and their judgment was the first objective evaluation of the work I have received,” said Simmons. “It’s very rewarding that someone other than yourself thinks your story is worth reading.”
A significant part of Simmons’ decision to write the novel was a desire to make history real for the reader. Too often, he says, do students of history miss the “big picture.”
“Seth Garner portrays those critical historical moments that have made us who we are today,” said Simmons. “I have used Seth as the ‘human face’ to convey this fascinating narrative about our origins as a nation.”
Simmons has been a member of Lee’s faculty since 1986, teaching a wide variety of courses in the School of Religion.
These have included Romans and Galatians, First and Second Corinthians, Prison Epistles, New Testament Greek, Luke-Acts, and many others. He also teaches graduate-level courses and is currently researching Pauline anthropology and cosmology.
While Seth’s development and growth in faith is central to the book’s story, the novel itself interacts with faith in a way that Simmons believes is unique to literature.
“Believers are, at a fundamental level, literary,” said Simmons. “Christian fiction, especially the kind that can convey powerful aspects of the faith in an interesting and enjoyable way, can add vitality and depth to the Christian journey. I hope that Seth Garner can accomplish this in some measure.”
The winners of the contest will be announced Friday, April 15.