For the last year, I have thought about what I would say to you today. It’s the day before my debut novel releases to the world — the day before the biggest dream I’ve ever imagined is realized. And so now…I want to have a heart-to-heart with you.
For the past few months, I’ve received more encouragement and support than I could have ever imagined. You’ve helped me live this dream so far…I cannot thank you enough. From the likes and comments on my posts to the heart-felt reviews I’ve received from the few who have already read A New Requiem, I have felt incredibly loved. One moment really sticks out in my mind: Judy Collier, president of the Northampton County Chamber of Commerce in my hometown of Jackson, called me maybe two months ago and wanted to schedule a book signing. It was the first I had scheduled on the calendar…we hammered down the date and I distinctly remember saying, “Well, let’s figure out a way to raise some money for the Chamber that night” in which she replied, “No, this night is about you and we want to do this for you.”
I have felt that kind of support since the first day I announced I had written a novel…from every one of you. I cannot thank all of you enough.
When I Truly Realized How Special A New Requiem Could Be
I remember writing Chapter 8 of the book late last summer. It is, perhaps, the most gut-wrenching, disturbing part of the entire book. I can recall two times I cried while writing this novel: once at the end of writing, just for the sheer joy of being done…but the other time was at the end of this chapter when we learn about the death of the 17-year old boy named Braxton Jones whose murder lies essentially at the center of the largest themes of the novel. I finished typing, stood up, and walked around the room you see in the picture below; the room where I wrote most of the book. It hurt me to write it, and it still hurts to read that chapter — every time. I cried for several reasons: one, that it was as disturbing as it was, but most notably because I realized that I wasn’t just putting down words to complete a dream anymore — it was more than that. This chapter was something that was supposed to hit the reader hard, something that was supposed to make us all really rethink our preconceived ideas in life and the consequences of possessing harsh, hateful beliefs and feelings toward others. Something that meant something…that’s when I realized that this book wasn’t just a suspenseful crime thriller anymore (even though it has all the elements of that, too). It was a story that could mean something, a story that was pertinent, and something that could very well stand the test of time.
No matter if you agree with the message behind the book, I sincerely hope all of you enjoy the story. In my opinion, it’s an enjoyable one, at times humorous and feel-good, and other times dark, ugly, and concerning. But it touches so many different readers; if you like romance, crime, thrillers, literary fiction, lots of drama, classical music, or something else…it’s a good chance there’s a hint of all of it in A New Requiem. No matter what, I hope you enjoy the story.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I was speaking with a publicist I’m considering hiring the other day, and she asked me a question I’ve been asked so many times: “What do you really want to achieve in your career as a writer, Lance? What do you really want to do?”
I’ve answered that question several times in the last few months, but I think I was most honest with her (and myself) when I answered her on the phone a couple days ago: “I really just want to keep writing.”
I love everything I do, but one of my greatest passions is writing and story-telling. If you are a fisherman, you like to fish in your free time. If you are a hunter, you like to hunt. If you’re a golfer, you like to play golf (Lord knows I’ve tried but it just is not for me). Well…I love to write and create stories. And I want to do it for the rest of my life.
I told her on the phone that making the New York Times bestseller list one day would be amazing, or making millions writing books would certainly be nice, too…but what I really wanted was to continue to write, to feel it is sustainable and to think that people want to read the stories I create. To continue writing and to feel a call to do it…that is what I want.
The single best thing you can do to help me in my writing career is to leave a review on Amazon after you’ve read A New Requiem. I hope you love the book, but I’m not asking anyone to leave me a good or positive review. I obviously hope you do! But what I really want is for you to be honest…whatever that may be. I hope you’ll love this story and be moved by it, and if you’d be willing to leave a review on Amazon, it would be incredibly helpful to me as I continue my career as an author.
And so you know, I have already started working on a second novel, tentatively titled Queen of a Gentleman’s Game. I cannot wait to share it with you in 2020…until then, I hope you enjoy my debut novel, A New Requiem, and are willing to leave me a review on Amazon and other online book retailers.
To be as frank as I can be, I need you. My career as a writer cannot take off without you. Thank you so much for your encouragement so far, and I hope you’ll be willing to continue to read my books, blog, and interact with my social media posts. You are the fuel I need to keep writing. And I can’t thank you enough for your already generous support.
Last thing! If you haven’t yet, you can purchase A New Requiem on Amazon by clicking on the link here: https://www.amazon.com/New-Requiem-B-Lance-Jenkins/dp/1925939723
It’s now available to ship immediately, so you should get your copy quickly after ordering it!
If you’d like to go in-store and you’re in the Raleigh-Durham area, support your local bookstore and grab a copy of A New Requiem at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh’s community bookstore. This is a great bookstore in the North Hills area; they have so many great events, love featuring local writers, and really feature a unique book-buying experience. Visit them online at quailridgebooks.com or follow them on social media @quailridgebooks!