Thursday, February 21, 2008

A New Series with Zondervan

I'm pleased to announce that I signed a contract with Zondervan for a two-book speculative fiction series that will likely debut in 2010. This time my target audience is adults, so that will be a new adventure for me.

Don't worry, faithful readers. I'm confident that those of you who are thirteen or older will enjoy these stories, and you'll be two years older by then anyway.

As usual, these books will be a contemporary/fantasy blend, but I'll be adding a significant amount of science fiction, as well, so they might be dubbed science fantasy. We'll see. When the story gets worked out in my mind, I'll try to give more details, including possible titles.

I am thankful to God for this opportunity. Please join me in celebrating His goodness.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I have posted about this topic before, but I'm bringing it up again because of another weird event. Here are the related posts:
Number 1
Number 2
Number 3

Do strange things happen to you that make you wonder if you have received some kind of sign? They happen to me quite frequently. Sometimes I figure out that an odd occurrence is a sign, such as the dime and two pennies "coincidences" that I posted about in the links above. Sometimes I don't figure out why it happened and hope I'll learn someday, or maybe there was no reason at all, what we call a mere coincidence.

This past Friday and Saturday I was doing my taxes, which is already a mind-bending experience, and I was going through all my expenses, including my post office receipts for book shipments. I came across this one and gave it more than a double take. Note the circled date and the amount charged. I didn't notice it at the time, but since I was entering the data in a spreadsheet, the numbers really stood out, especially since I wrote a book called Circles of Seven.

A mere coincidence? After all the amazing stories in my life, I'm not ready to assume that. I will keep my eyes open for a meaning.

How about you? Can you relate a strange event that left you wondering? Either tell me about it in a comment, or blog about it and post a link. I'd love to hear your stories.

And if you have a guess about the numbers on my receipt, let me know.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Small Town Joys

After living in Central Florida and Baltimore, Maryland, nearly all of my adult life, moving to the small town of Middleton, Tennessee, in June of 2007 brought many changes, nearly all of them ranging from good to heavenly.

I began to notice the differences immediately. After we bought our house, the real estate agent, Mr. Virgil Nutt, drove us to the gas company to establish our service, which was about 25 miles away, then to the electric company and the driver's license office. The entire trip took about 2.5 hours, and he didn't financially benefit at all. He had already earned his commission.

When we were looking for new counter tops for our kitchen, my wife called a supplier in another small town that was about 45 minutes away. The woman at the store gave her directions, but we stopped for lunch, which delayed us by about half an hour. When we arrived, the store clerk came out and gave my wife a hug. "I was so worried about you," she said. "I thought you might have gotten lost!"

That was just the beginning. Now that we are settled here, everyone seems to know us. I went to our bank recently, and the teller greeted me by name. When I handed a check to her and asked for cash, I instinctively reached for my wallet for identification, but before I could get it out, she had already counted out the money and put the check away, without even looking on the back for an endorsement.

Since I ship out quite a few books, I go to the post office frequently. The clerk is required to ask if any items in my package are "fragile, liquid, or perishable," so I told her she could shorten it and ask if the package has anything FLOP. Now when I walk in, she asks the question that way every time. Even if I haven't checked my P.O. box for an oversized package notice, she hands a package to me, and if the rural carrier is there, she asks me if I want my mail before she makes her daily run. All of this comes without anyone asking me my name. After being accustomed to impersonal service, these experiences are both delightful and a little spooky.

At the town's grocery store, Kirk's, the bakery ladies know me, because I frequently come in for a couple of donuts, usually right after my post office visit. When they see me, they sometimes have my order in a bag before I can tell them what I want. I sometimes laugh and tell them I'm going to surprise them someday and change my order, but I don't think they believe me.

Probably the greatest delight of all is the rural setting. My wife and I go on long walks on lonely country lanes, seeing deer, turkeys, songbirds, and foxes. What a great time for prayer and meditation! We drop in on our neighbors uninvited and chat for a while, and they do us the same favor. In just a few months, we have made true friends. Amanda quilts with the elderly lady up the road. The retired firefighter stops by to help with our horse fence. A neighbor calls and shares news, asks what she can pray about, or to tell us she's going to make a chocolate pie for us, just because. Coming from a land where neighbors only smile and wave on their way to a too-busy-to-bother-with-conversation day, this place really does seem like a piece of heaven.

I don't miss the bustle at all. Sure, Wal-mart is a lot farther away, but without the crazy traffic, it doesn't take any longer to get to it than it did before. Do we have a McDonald's? Nope. Wendy's? Negative. But you can go to the Southwind's Restaurant, get some fried chicken, okra, turnip greens, and black-eyed peas, and listen to the latest news from the gathering of locals. The blend of southern cooking and sweet southern chatter is a delight that can't be described adequately. You just have to sit and let it soak in. I think it won't be long until I adopt some of that southern twang. It feels smooth and easy, almost like the down-home food relaxes your voice and says, "Honey, this is the good life."

And it is the good life. Y'all come and visit us sometime, you hear?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Adding to or Taking Away From Scripture?

I have noticed a flurry of blog chatter concerning my book Eye of the Oracle. Some claim that it violates the biblical command regarding adding to or taking away from Scripture, that somehow since I use a biblical framework for my fantasy story I have crossed a line into forbidden territory. Of course, this accusation that has no foundation at all, but since the claim seems to have grown worldwide web spider legs, I will address it here.

I assume the accusers would point to one or more of the following verses to back up their claims:

You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)

Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)

No one should add to the commands of God or take them away. No one should add to his word at all and claim it is Scripture. No one should point to any Scripture and claim it is not God's word, thus taking away from the word of God. In obedience to the word of God, my stories commit none of these errors.

Eye of the Oracle is a fantasy story. It mentions biblical characters and stories and creates a fictional account, asking "what if" questions, thus creating a new story. My story is not true. I don't claim it to be true. In fact, I emphatically claim that the extra-biblical events that I created never happened.

Is this adding to the commands of God? Of course not. Am I claiming that my story is scriptural, and thereby adding to Scripture? Definitely not. Am I pointing to any part of Scripture and saying that it's not true? No, again. Therefore, I am neither adding to nor taking away from Scripture, and I have heeded the Bible's warnings.

Still, I am claiming that the story communicates truth in a powerful way. Since the only "what if" questions I ask are in areas in which the Bible is silent, it never contradicts Scripture, and for many readers the story shines light on what the Bible teaches in a way that is helpful and enlightening. The story communicates unconditional love, selfless sacrifice, godly perseverance, and God's faithfulness in ways that line up exactly with biblical truth.

Some people worry about my use of myths such as Lilith and Naamah or stories from the Book of Enoch. Certainly I am not the first to do this. Both Tolkien and Lewis borrowed from myths, and the book of Jude in the Bible quotes from the Book of Enoch. I think I'm in good company. I certainly can't find any Bible command that forbids the use of such things in telling a fictional story, so if someone claims that God forbids it, who, then, is the one adding to the commands of God?

Others are concerned about the presence of evil or occultic influences in my story. Yes, they are there, portrayed in all their wickedness. Evil is clearly evil, and good is clearly good. The Bible does the same, showing us what the forces of evil are like and how the children of light can overcome them. Again, I am in good company.

I tell stories to illustrate truth, fantasy stories that open our physical eyes to the unseen spiritual world. Jesus did the same. He told us of a camel passing through the eye of a needle and performed wondrous miracles. Although his miracles really happened, if they were put in a storybook that took place in another world with a name other than Jesus, it would be a great fantasy story.

I sat at the feet of my Lord and learned about using fantastic stories from the Master Himself. That is the greatest company of all.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Last of the Nephilim Finished!

I finished Last of the Nephilim yesterday and turned it into AMG Publishers. It's a relief to have it done, but there is no rest for the weary. I will now turn to the editing process for Eternity's Edge, book #2 of Echoes from the Edge, and when that's done, it will likely be time to start the same process for Last of the Nephilim.

After that, I have to write book #3 of Echoes from the Edge (as yet untitled) and book #4 of Oracles of Fire, The Bones of Makaidos. During this editing and writing period I will be teaching at the Florida Christian Writers' Conference and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers' Conference, and I will be going on promotional tours in Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, Maryland, Florida, and New Jersey, as well as local events in Tennessee. I appreciate your prayers for me and my family as this hectic season of life continues.

All of that said, it's time to celebrate. I'm excited about the story and looking forward to readers' reactions, and having it done is a great reason to do something fun here at the Davis home tonight.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Thou, O Lord, Art a Shield

Psalm 3 has been a comfort to me today. I'm certain most of my blog readers are familiar with it, but I thought I'd post the text anyway.

1 O Lord, how my adversaries have increased!
Many are rising up against me.
2 Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.”

3 But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
4 I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain.
5 I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me round about.

7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God!
For Thou hast smitten all my enemies on the cheek;
Thou hast shattered the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
Thy blessing be upon Thy people!

I am thankful today that God is a shield. (Text is from the New American Standard Bible, 1977)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Reviews from the Edge

Zondervan sent out pre-publication copies of Beyond the Reflection's Edge to about fifty readers, and the reviews have been amazing. I will post a few of them here, and I will post more as the release date (May 1) approaches.

If you would like to order an autographed copy of the book now, I will take pre-orders on my ordering page - Click Here

Action, intrigue, and take-home value—the very essence of a powerful story and…the defining characteristics of Bryan Davis’s new novel: Beyond the Reflection’s Edge. Davis ratchets up the intensity right from the start, grabs you by the throat, and draws you into sixteen-year-old Nathan Shepherd’s world, a world where nothing is quite what it seems. Readers will white-knuckle through the pages until the stirring conclusion where, at last, they can exhale. ~ Wayne Thomas Batson, Author of The Door Within Trilogy, Isle of Swords, and Isle of Fire

Beyond the Reflection’s Edge is a sci-fi thriller, packed with action & adventure, that hurtles along at top speed from beginning to end. ~ L.B. Graham, Author of The Binding of the Blade series

Bravo, bravissimo! The book came alive in an ever-increasing crescendo of action, science fiction, love, and adventure. The plot begins at a fast-paced allegro and quickly becomes a glorious accelerando poco a poco al fine. A true masterpiece worthy to be played before the Great Composer himself. Encore! Encore! ~ Caleb Schlamp, Age 15

You can describe this book with one word—WONDERFUL! It had me guessing even through the very end. A well thought-out plot and believable characters, though what the characters go through are things they never thought possible. This is one book where even before you read the first page you’ll need to buckle your seatbelt and hang on for dear life! ~ L. A. Clark, Age 17