"Everything Douglas Bond writes...is a fascinating read."
          
Joel Belz, WORLD Magazine


LUTHER IN LOVE

“…Luther through the exhilarating mind of one of America’s most impressive Christian storytellers... Christian historical fiction at its mesmerizing best!”

DARREN J. N. MIDDLETON, Professor of Literature and Theology, Texas Christian University

LUTHER IN LOVE
, biographical novel on Martin & Katharina Luther

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"Douglas Bond does a great job of integrating reality with fiction so the reader will hardly know when one begins and the other ends."  Tim Challies

Synopsis:

Luther in Love opens on a frigid night at the Augustinian cloister in Wittenberg, Katharina von Bora Luther bent over her candle writing something, trying to keep it from her husband's eyes. The story unfolds memoir-esque from Katie's perspective, but breaks into clusters of chapters in third person, then back to Katie from time to time throughout the biographical novel.

How does an apostate nun live with an apostate monk, and such a monk? There is a giant in the land, and the giant is Luther: bold, bombastic, fearless, vitriolic to his opponents, given to dark bouts of depression and self-doubt, unwashed, unkempt, plagued by a painful and reoccurring bowel disorder, and nothing short of brilliant. How does a young woman (Katie was 26 when she married 42 year-old Luther) who had not been around men since she was 5 years old, how does she live with such a man?

LUTHER IN LOVE explores these questions in the context of the dynamic unfolding story of Luther and the Reformation in Germany, and focuses particular attention on the sanctifying influence of Christian marriage. I am developing a study guide for pastors to use in premarital counseling with young couples about to wed.

ENDORSEMENTS

“With the skill of a scholar and the sparkle of a bard, Douglas Bond weaves together a thrilling and engaging story of Luther’s marriage to Katharina von Bora and the home-life that they shared together. …a fitting tribute to one of the most fascinating power-couples of the ages!” ERIC LANDRY, Executive Editor, Modern Reformation

 

“I loved reading Luther in Love! I laughed, I wept—so much wisdom about biblical marriage!  …a tender and insightful look into how the Father of the Reformation, and his beloved Katie, applied the theology of the Reformation to their marriage.” SUSAN HUNT, author of many books, including The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood; Director, Women’s Ministry (PCA)


“Master historical novelist Douglas Bond has done it again. The fruit of extensive research, this book brings to life the story of Martin Luther’s legacy and his marriage to Katharina von Bora. Bond blends theological and biblical insight from Luther in a compelling book for all readers.” MARVIN PADGETT, Executive Director/CEO, Great Commission Publications

 

“Douglas Bond has a gift for capturing the living and authentic nature of historical figures and their times.  In Luther in Love he has seamlessly woven together known historical fact into an engaging and enduring love story of mutual comfort and support between a declared heretic and an apostate nun. An excellent read!” MYRA BAUGHMAN, Professor Emeritus, Pacific Lutheran University

 

“…a lovely book and a pleasure to read. Hope it is read widely! What a creative and astute project Douglas Bond has accomplished in telling the story of Martin Luther through the perspective of his adoring yet equally quick-witted wife in the genre of a historical narrative! This man dares to tell a story about another man through the eyes of woman. The result is a page-turner that is faithful to Luther’s voice as a Reformer, a preacher, a theologian, a son, a friend, a husband, and a father."

AIMEE BYRD, author of Housewife Theologian, Theological Fitness, and No Little Women


"Historical fiction often serves as an instructive as well as imaginative point of entry into a particular period. Luther in Love is all this and more. Written in adroit prose and moving at a rapid, appealing pace, Douglas Bond’s latest novel uses the ingenious device of a private memoir, penned by Martin Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora, as a way to engage and provoke our theological sensibilities Beyond dates, Diets, and papal Bulls. This is Luther through the exhilarating mind of one of America’s most impressive Christian storytellers – and especially in 2017, when we mark the five-hundreth anniversary of the year Luther made his ninety-five theses known to the world, this tale repays our close attention. Luther in Love is Christian historical fiction at its mesmerizing best!”

DARREN J. N. MIDDLETON, Professor of Literature and Theology, Texas Christian University


“Combining a historian's eye for telling details with a novelist's sense for a good story, Douglas Bond has already brought to life such titans of Christian history as John Calvin, John Knox, and John Wycliffe. Here, the great Reformer Martin Luther bursts from the annals of history in all his ardent searching for peace with God, his gleeful jousting with Rome, and his tender playfulness with his beloved “Kette.” Bond brings Luther down from the pedestal so we can walk beside him and get to know him as the man he really was. I recommend Luther in Love heartily.” 

GREG BAILEY, editor

LUTHER IN LOVE -

43

             BARRELS OF NUNS

               (April 4, 1523)

Pickled Herring! It would be weeks before I, Katharina von Bora, was to sniff the last of them. What made things worse, the next day was Easter. Herring is good in its place, like so very many things. But in one’s hair, and lingering and fermenting upon one’s clothing. But there was no other way, so Leonard Kopp the herring merchant had assured us on Martin Luther’s behalf.

“Escaping a nunnery in Germany,” he had reminded us, “is a capital offense! They execute women for such things.” Kopp was a bit of a showman, and took great delight, eyes goggling, in running an imaginary knife across his throat at his own words. “We must take great pains for your concealment—or else.” For good measure, he repeated the gesture.

But just then as I was jostling inside my barrel, wadded into a most undignified posture, along with eleven other of my sister nuns stuffed in theirs, all of us stowed on Kopp’s wagon, lurching and bumping behind his oxen (I believe he managed to drive into every pothole on the journey)—I wondered about the whole mad scheme.

My barrel had a knot hole near the lid, and I found that if I crammed my head up sideways against the lid, I could just see out of. I did my best to follow our progress from the Cistercian monastery of Marienthron in Nimbschen, near Grimma, my home since I was a little girl, to what we hoped would be our new home, far from the cloister, in Wittenberg, there to meet the man who had inspired, unbeknownst to him, this mad escapade.

Lurching into view through my knothole came my first glimpse of Wittenberg. I suppose in my mind, what with reading the emancipating books of Martin Luther, I expected it to be more grand, domes and spires, splendors glittering from every rooftop, perhaps its streets paved with gold.

Looking back, it was the first of a number of amendments I would be required to make in my thinking. Put bluntly, Wittenberg was wholly unimpressive from a distance; I would find it all the more so moments later when I alighted from my barrel and my feet sank into the street muck.

The twin spires of Wittenberg’s Stadtkirche and the bulky round tower of the Castle Church squatted along the drab sandbank of the River Elbe. Grubby peasant faces flicked past my line of sight, and, at the eye-ball-gouging edge of my knothole, a rickety looking wooden bridge came into view.

Gnawing on the inside of my left cheek, a nasty habit I began as I child, I worried about what would befall us there. Meeting Martin Luther—the Martin Luther—hearing his voice sound from the pulpit, but, perhaps, even hearing him speaking directly to us, to me, it was too much to be believed. His words I had only read on the pages of his books and treatises smuggled into the nunnery and devoured by most of us. Sometimes with giddiness and longing, even blushes and laughter. And now this. I confess, I pinched myself on the back of my hand until it hurt.

My barrel suddenly began jostling and chattering. It must be the cartwheels passing over the river on the timber bridge. Folded nearly double to fit in my barrel, I flexed my arms and knees hard against the inside of the barrel to steady myself against the bone-jarring motion. I heard one of my sister nuns cry out in alarm, and a shriek of fright from another.

“None of that, my Fräulein fishes,” called Herr Kopp from where he drove the wagon. “Not until I’ve delivered you safely inside the walls of Wittenberg. You can make all the racket you want then.”

Moments later, we arrived safely inside those walls. “Good heavens!” retorted Luther upon seeing us disgorging from our barrels. “They won’t give me a wife.”

These were the first words I heard from the lips of Martin Luther. With a pry bar, Herr Kopp had tediously released us one-by-one from imprisonment in our herring barrels, and we stretched and groaned as we were deposited onto the streets of Wittenberg. I pondered Luther’s words. Were they spoken with envy, even longing? Or wariness and bachelor certainty? Or were they a mere jest? It was my primal lesson—there would be so many more tutorials—in the nuanced complexity of the man.  

Word of our arrival had gotten out. Grinning faces eyed us from everywhere we looked. By the wide-eyed looks, the whispers behind the backs of hands, we must have been a frightful sight: two days hidden away in herring barrels, no food, grimy with filth, and smelling profusely of fish. From a clump of young men near Luther, all robed in black scholar’s gowns, I overheard snatches of their comments.

“A wagon load of vestal virgins has just come to town,” said one, laughing as if it was a great jest.

“More eager for marriage than for life, I shouldn’t wonder,” observed another. “After a good bath.”

“God grant them husbands lest worse befall,” quipped a third.

Ja, and may he grant them a good wash first.”

When later I caught a glimpse of myself in the glass, I did not blame them overmuch for their remarks.

In my first hours in Wittenberg, I learned that Martin Luther, whatever other failings he might have had, was a man who got things done. While his friend Kopp masterminded our escape, the great reformer had not been idle. The parents of four of the youngest nuns were there to collect their daughters, while he had already secured husbands for five of us. Betrothals followed hard on the heels of our arrival. Though I rejoiced for my sisters, I was not one of the five.

The eldest of my sister nuns, I had four and twenty years when first I arrived in Wittenberg and was apparently considered too elderly for marriage by some. Hence, I was put to service with the Cranach family; my yet-unwed sisters were placed in other households.

Frau Cranach treated me, if not as a daughter, as a large plaything, a doll to dress and fret over. “This lovely yellow cotte,” she cooed, “my dear Fräulein, will enhance every contour.” Robing me, my mistress fussed over every pleat of my new costume. She pulled the cotte over my head and, as it fell down over my body, I admired the split sleeves of the shift, how they burst with color and shimmered in their velvety texture. As she laced my bodice, I gazed in some astonishment at myself in the looking glass, the yellow cotte blousing alluringly over my kirtle.

Frau Cranach stepped back, inspecting every fold and crease of my costume. “Lovely. If I do say so, lovely, indeed!” she pronounced. “Turn and spin, now.”

I felt a thrill at setting aside forever my blockish nun’s habit. Heat rising on my cheeks, I gazed at the figure staring wide-eyed back at me in the looking glass, its lips parted in wonder and its cheeks flushing the color of ripe strawberries in summertime. It smoothed its hands over where the blousy shift fell around its curvaceous hips.

“And now for your hair,” said Frau Cranach, “such a lovely shade, the color of beech leaves in October. Be a shame to stuff it all under a hood.” She rummaged in the dressing cabinet. “A headband and lovely net snood, that’s the thing, your autumn locks glistering through all.”

As she fussed with my braids, I felt mildly troubled that Luther in his prudent zeal had already arranged things as he had. How had he foreseen that there might be unmarriageable nuns in his herring harem? He yet had three runaway nuns on his hands, though Frau Cranach seemed intent on doing her part to find one of them a husband, if clothing and adornment alone could do the deed.

As the months passed, I came to believe that Wittenberg was the most rampant rumor mill in all Germany. Spalatin the duke’s secretary made a private jest to Luther that in a matter of hours spread throughout the town to great hilarity. “Martin, you could solve this in a trice. Marry all three.” Spalatin was not the only one who thought it a humorous remark. Though it failed to spark amusement in me.

Though Herr Cranach was a trifle odd—I had heard rumors about something called the artist’s temperament—his wife was, on the whole, delightfully normal, and doted on me, as I did on their children. As months turned into a year, and more months followed hard on the heels, I began to resign myself. Perhaps I, like Martin Luther, was not meant for marriage. “They won’t give me a husband,” I mused to baby Ursula as I changed her diaper. Grabbing at my nose and lips with her chubby fingers, she giggled at me.

Since any communication from Martin Luther to me came through an intermediary, it was not unusual when one day his friend and colleague Philip Melanchthon, a happily married man himself, brought news of my matrimonial status from Luther. But, as events would prove, I wish he had not.

Luther had managed, so he thought, to find a match for me in a Nuremberg nobleman’s son, a student of his. I longed to hold my own babes in my arms, and my heart warmed at the domestic prospect. Until Melanchthon returned a week later, wringing his hands in his cap, profoundly apologetic.

Plans for betrothal were off. Apparently I was too beneath the station to wed into so exalted a family, especially with having broken my vows; suspicion abounded among some that an apostate nun might be a precarious match. The young Nuremberger was strongly urged not to vow himself to one who had already violated hers.

Weeks passed, and, disappointed though I was, I was the more determined to find contentment in my station.

Every week, I saw and heard the voice of Martin Luther. He was my pastor at the Stadtkirche. His sermons encouraged me, sometimes thrilled me, and I found the gospel of Jesus Christ becoming clearer in my thinking and in my heart with his every word.

“Just as workers with brawn are prone to despise workers with brain,” he declared one Sunday morning from the high pulpit of the city church, “so are scholars and clerics, and poets and courtiers prone to despise men of what are considered baser vocations. I can just imagine the astonished people of Nazareth at the judgment day. ‘Lord, were you not the carpenter who built my house? How did you come to this honor?’”

We all laughed at his words. We often did while he preached. His expressiveness, his inflections, his imagery—he had such a remarkable way of making plain what he was teaching from the Bible.

“The hosts of heaven,” he continued, “visited humble shepherds with the glorious news of Christ’s birth. What did those shepherds do after visiting the Christ child? We can read it in Holy Writ. Rejoicing and praising God, they went back to care for their sheep.

“But you will say to me. Nein, nein! Surely that must be wrong. We should correct the passage to read, ‘They went and shaved their heads, fasted, prayed their rosaries, and put on monks’ cowls.’”

Again, we could not help ourselves, some guffawing aloud at his parody.

“But what does the Bible say?” he asked us.

“They hastened back to their sheep!” shouted a man dressed in the coarse tunic and britches of a farmer.

“Precisely!” agreed Luther, slapping his palm on the lectern. “The shepherds returned to being shepherds. The sheep would have been in a sorry way if they had not.”

Someone bleated like a sheep, and the congregation burst into laughter, Luther with them.

“Noah was a farmer and a shipwright,” he continued. “Moses was a shepherd and so was David. The lowlier the calling the better! The milkmaid is above the cardinal, and the mucker of manure is above the pope! Away with all this strutting nonsense about exalted callings. We are all one in Christ Jesus our carpenter Lord!”

Next his sermon progressed to the family, the roles of fathers and mothers, babies and children, husbands and wives. Oddly, as he continued in this vein, I felt that he was avoiding looking in my direction, though I confess my eyes were riveted on his.

“Maternity is a glorious thing,” he said, “since all mankind has been conceived, born, and nourished of women. All human laws should encourage the multiplication of families.

“As for mothers, they are the living breathing exhibit of the love of God. Just as God’s love overcomes sin, so a mother’s love overcomes soiled diapers.”

Jawohl, Jawohl!” called several women at the same time. Affirming laughter pattered throughout the congregation.

The sermon came to a close, the service ended, and, conversing warmly, we filed from the church through the wide arched doors, there to be greeted by our pastor.

“Thank you, Herr Doctor,” I said. Taking hold of his extended hand, as was proper, I curtsied.

Blinking rapidly, he squeezed my hand, and seemed about to say something, but, oddly for him, no words came from his lips. Leaning forward, he narrowed his eyes, his jaw cocked to one side, as if studying me. To my chagrin, I feared that he was taking a tally of my flaws, an inventory of my deficiencies, attempting, thereby, to discern why no man would have me for wife. It did not then occur to me that this marked the very first time he had noticed me, clean and properly dressed, since my ignominious disgorging from the herring barrel.

I felt the color rising on my cheeks. Something must be said. “It was a fine sermon, Herr Doctor,” I blurted, then hesitated, he still holding my hand in his. What was I to do, to say? Ought I to say what was on my mind? Was it proper? I took a deep breath. “Your words about families, children, husbands and wives, women and motherhood—Herr Doctor, your words went deeply into my heart.”

7

THUNDERBOLT

(July 2, 1505)

 

"Save me.” Martin had tried to save him, did what he could, but there had been no saving Kaspar. Not only did the dying student’s final words haunt Martin, so did his frantic groping, his horrified eyes, and his life blood gushing onto the cobblestones and staining Martin’s gown and hands. His life, it was over so quickly. One moment the young man had been singing love songs to a pretty Fräulein—then he was dead.

Though word of Kaspar’s death spread overnight throughout the university and the city, his killer had vanished.

It was dark. Most everyone had been drinking. It could have been anyone. The man wielding the knife might not have meant to plunge its blade into Kaspar’s body, might not even have known whose body it was. It may have just happened in the reckless mayhem of a drunken brawl.

Though the magistrate questioned everyone who had been at the Bierhalle that night, what they saw, what they heard, the story was the same. No one had any idea who had plunged the knife into Kaspar’s body.

Bewildered and in shock, Martin and his friends could not concentrate on their books. In frustration, the rector of the university suspended lectures and tutorials for the week. Desperate to put distance between himself and Kaspar’s death—his blood, his final words—to leave the horrible incident behind him, Luther trudged to Eisenach and his home.

Knifings at universities were not that uncommon. His parents had heard nothing. He told them as little as possible. Brooding and melancholy, Luther felt restless to be back at his books. Taking leave of his family, he set off to retrace his steps back to Erfurt, a long day and a half of walking.

“Infernal Saxony,” he mused aloud. “Die of cold in winter on this road, or of this raging heat in midsummer.”

Loosening his gown at the throat, Martin scowled at the muggy heavens. The orange ball of the sun winked bright and dim, bright and dim, then disappeared altogether, a column of gray clouds in its place.

“There’s relief in that,” he said aloud. “At least I’ll not fry like an egg.”

In a rolling pasture, across a ditch from the roadway, Martin heard the guttural lowing of bovine, a bull emitting deep bawling growls like a bear. Ears twitching nervously, the herd of cattle huddled together, their tails swishing the sultry air.

Rolling up his sleeves against the heat, Martin’s mouth felt dry. He tried to swallow.

Trilling in alarm, a flock of starlings darted for cover overhead. The breeze set a lock of his hair thrashing across his eyes. Flicking his head, he ran his fingers through his hair, his eyes floundering for sight.

It was no longer a breeze. Martin felt his heart beating hard in his temples. It was a gale of wind, accelerating and furious. Oddly, the movement of air did not give relief from the heat, rather it seemed to infuriate the air as a bellows to the flames in a furnace.

The wide-bladed grass along the roadside ditch chattered in a frenzy. Martin’s unease mounting with every gust. He sniffed the sultry air. It was pungent with a menagerie of scents, spicy with the sap of weed grass, stalks of wheat and barley, and fir needles pummelled and bruised in the wind.

Wide eyes darting at the heavens, Martin watched a young goshawk driven madly before the gale, its frantic wings clutching the air for control against the blast. Driven sideways, it disappeared behind the flailing branches of a pine tree. There was no repelling this inexorable force, not for bird or beast, or for man.

It was useless to resist. Try as he might, Martin felt his unease giving way to terror. Impending doom pressed down on him so palpably that he tasted it in his mouth. Had it come? Were those rowling black clouds the judgment of God?

“The one who doubts,” the words from the pages of the Bible in the university library lashed defiantly at Martin’s imagination. “The one who doubts is like the waves of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”

Martin began running, where he did not know, but doom and trepidation demanded it... Pre-order LUTHER IN LOVE

LUTHER IN LOVE: Study Guide

Chapter 1

1.      Describe Katharina’s character as the author begins to reveal her to the reader in chapter 1.

2.      What are clues about challenging times this couple had in their early life together?

3.      What did Luther think a woman should do before speaking? How did Katharina respond to this? Discuss what the Bible says about the effect of complimentary or insulting speech on the relationship between a married couple.

4.      How does Luther express the value he places on his wife? What would he not trade her for?

5.      For what “crime” of Luther’s did Katharina prescribe penance to her husband?

6.      To what extent might it be an indicator of relational health for a married couple to feel guilty about how much they value each other?

7.      Read Ephesians 5 together. How is a husband supposed to love his wife?

8.      What are the dangers in a relationship when a husband or a wife goes beyond a biblical love for their spouse to making an idol and expecting from them what they are not capable of supplying?

9.      For Discussion: Though Luther and Katharina were both sinful people, and had their conflicts, use your imagination to construct the kinds of speech and actions toward one another that would lead a mature married couple to feel guilty for over-valuing one another—even with, and in spite of, all of their faults—rather than settling into being critical and weary of one another.

DUNCAN'S WAR -- the movie

I'm making this the place where I drop all the latest images from the ramp up to DUNCAN'S WAR the movie. Lots of exciting things in the works. Go to www.facebook.com/DuncansWar and like and share.

My recent interview about the movie with Janie Cheaney (WORLD Magazine) at Redeemed Reader Here

A number of readers who are enthusiastic about this forthcoming movie of DUNCAN'S WAR have sent us their ideas and graphics. Check some of these out HERE

BREAKING NEWS: Just got off the phone with the attorney who negotiates film rights for my publisher P&R Publishing. Lots of details to hammer out and I'm so glad that it's not up to me to do any of that side of things. 

THE LATEST ON THE SCREENPLAY: The script for DUNCAN'S WAR is "...an embarrassment of riches," wrote an independent reader for screenplaycoverage.com.

The producer and script writer submitted the script to two different independent script reading services for evaluation. 90% of scripts get rejected off the top; 8% get "Consider" and 2% receive "Recommend," the highest ranking they give, which means they think it's a story and script that is ready to be made into a successful movie.

One professional reader gave DUNCAN'S WAR a "Consider," and said this (among other positive things) about it  "There is a lot to like in this script and the historical aspects are very compelling."

The other professional reader (they read independent of each other and without collaboration) gave it an overwhelming "Recommend," and said this about it, "The script combined the two powerful thematic elements of resistance against authority and holding true to one’s faith. Either one would have been sufficient; having two is an embarrassment of riches."

 

READERS' IDEAS

Thanks to reader Jeremiah Lofthus, now working on an undergraduate double major in Digital Film Production and Screenwriting! Would love to have Jeremiah as part of the Duncan's War production team.

 

RR INTERVIEW with Janie Cheaney, WORLD Magazine columnist

February 23, 2014
 
1. Tell us a little about how DUNCAN'S WAR the movie project began: who first contacted you, and how did the team come together?

I was speaking at a conference in Southern California a couple of years ago and after one of my talks a fellow came up and introduced himself as Phillip Moses, a Christian who works in the film industry primarily creating action special effects, and editing and producing for films, and he is a husband (as it turns out of one of my former students from long ago) and father of children; he had been reading aloud to them Duncan's War and other books of mine, and indicated to me that they were loving the books and so was he. He casually mentioned (at least I took it as casual) that he would like to see DW as a feature length film on the big screen. I had heard this from a few others and thanked him but honestly gave it very little thought. Until he called me a few months later and said he was serious and wanted to negotiate film rights and get started on the project. That led to a number of other phone calls, some conference calls with the screenplay writer, and many emails over the last number of months.

To be honest, I have vacillated from excited to incredulous, to excited again, to incredulous again--and now pretty much just to excited. For the first time in more than two years, I actually am beginning to believe these guys will do this, and do it well. Maybe Duncan's not just playacting after all. One of my big concerns has been that I don't want to dilute the book by turning it into a movie. Novelist John le Carre expressed his chagrin at what film can do to good fiction when he said, "Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bullion cubes." I so do not want to see that happen to Duncan's War. I feel confident that neither does the producer.

The film is in what is called the Packaging and Development stage (I'm a newbie and learning all the lingo--wearing dark glasses and a paisley cravat too); every film that every makes it to the screen goes through this important stage. It was back in November (2013) that the creative geniuses working on this project decided to move forward with a soft launch (no paid advertizement, no press releases) with the FB page https://www.facebook.com/DuncansWar. Within about three days it had over 1,200 likes and many more comments. Phillip and James Chung (Art Director) were able to show this initial flurry of interest to potential distributors and others whose attention it has to win at this critical stage. There are a number of readers who have contacted me expressing their interest in using their training and skills in the production team. Most recently a production and distribution company from Australia is interested in producing and filming the entire movie down under and are selling the idea to Phillip and James.
 
2.  The visuals look great!  Do you feel a disconnect between the way you imagine the characters and the artist’s version of them?

The visuals on the FB page are the result of James Chung's genius for creating rapid-fire story-board images (the guy is amazing, whips these out in a few minutes, does the same kind of thing for his own kids when he puts them to bed at night--amazing talent). So they are not actually what the film images will be; it's not to be an animated film but live with real people acting the characters in the book.
 
3.  What’s your impression of the film industry, based on your experience thus far?  (or can you say?).

My sole connection is with two wonderful Christian men (Meridian Filmworks) who are really talented and committed to producing a film that stays true to the book as much as that is possible given the different mediums, fiction writing to film. My impression is, that if the entire industry was like Phillip and James, Hollywood would be an entirely different universe, one that would not deserve the slur Hollyweird (though they are both delightfully quirky). I likely will be able to answer this in more detail in the future.
 
4.  What’s the most exciting thing about the production process so far?  How about the most frustrating or puzzling feature?

I just sat down and read the entire script in one sitting last Saturday. These guys seek out and want my input on everything about the way the story gets adapted to film, which I appreciate (though it takes a chunk of time and never seems to come at times when I have a surplus pile of that commodity laying around). I was delaying, postponing, dragging my feet doing this. I think I was afraid that it would be a mess, not at all what I wanted to convey in the book. I honestly try to avoid putting myself in critic mode whenever possible (though it sort of comes with the territory when I have a pile of essays, sonnets, or short stories to grade--or my own manuscripts to beat up). So I stalled for as long as I could. But I am happy to say, the screenplay writer has done a very fine job. But that's not just my opinion (or theirs).

These gentlemen are thorough. The producer Phillip Moses submitted the script to two different independent film script readers for evaluation. 90% of scripts get rejected off the top; 8% get "Consider" and 2% receive "Recommend," the highest ranking they give, which means they think it's a story and script that is ready to be made into a successful movie. One professional reader gave DUNCAN'S WAR a "Consider," and said this (among other positive things) about it  "There is a lot to like in this script and the historical aspects are very compelling."

This is the best part: The other professional reader (they read without collaboration) gave it an overwhelming "Recommend," and said this about it, "The script combined the two powerful thematic elements of resistance against authority and holding true to one’s faith. Either one would have been sufficient; having two is an embarrassment of riches."

5.  On the Duncan’s War Facebook page, you mention religious persecution in the world today.  Of course, Duncan’s story is all about religious persecution of the 17th century Scottish covenanters.  How do you want the movie to speak to this?  Is the production team sympathetic to this concern?

That's such an important question. We are totally in agreement about this. It is our hope that the film will not simply be a principled Braveheart, entertaining but not particularly relevant and applicable to the modern world. Far from it. It would be my hope that the film could have a connection with an international ministry that raises the awareness and supports the cause of persecuted Christians today, likely far more of them now than in Duncan's day. Moving one step closer to home, with the rise of devoutly devoted irreligious secularism intent on recasting morality and ethics in the image of its most prized dogmas, the net of persecution is gradually encircling our religious freedoms in American. I hope the film version reawakens our sense of the importance of preserving our constitutional freedoms here at home.

Ultimately, as with all things (literature, film--all of life), we want the film to be done with excellence on all fronts, and thereby to bring glory to God and placard the grace and beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Disconnected from Him, nothing else matters.

THE THUNDER, a novel on John Knox

HAND OF VENGEANCE, 8th-Century Anglo-Saxon Tale

HOSTAGE LANDS

GUNS OF THE LION

GUNS OF THUNDER

 

 

 

GUNS OF PROVIDENCE

HOLD FAST In a Broken World

THE BETRAYAL

 

STAND FAST In the Way of Truth