Larry Hutch--all lanky, six-feet-three of him--bounded into my downtown Atlanta office at 10:45 Monday morning and dropped a screenplay on my desk. Thwack.
"This is it?" I asked.
Larry folded his arms, pressed his lips together in a kind of triumphant smirk, and nodded. "Done."
He looked as if he'd run across Georgia to get there; he was sweating through his madras shirt onto my best chair. This was August, however, so I kept my composure and read his title page. Larry looked on, silent and self-assured.
I thumbed the inch-high stack of paper--thicker than the average screenplay--and felt a tiny breeze tickle my nostrils. "This is what you said I had to read...your best yet?"
"Done," he repeated. Larry sat sprawled in the guest chair and gazed out of my 22nd-story window. "I still may tweak the ending a bit, Ned. And it's not a screenplay. I wrote it in novel form."
I thumbed the pages a second time and noted the coffee stains on chapter one. "Does it have drama?"
He nodded. "By the boatload."
"Of the highest quality."
I read the first page with my usual does of skepticism. "You have got to be--"
Yes, completely nuts. At least the author lets you know straight off the bat what to expect in that regard. Boatloads of adventure, gobs of drama, and romance of the highest quality are all carefully wrapped up in nuttiness. And while this book doesn't exactly tell me what kind of Christian I want to be--or should be--I do get a very clear look at what kind I don't want to be!
Kudos to Ray Blackston and his publisher, Warner Faith. I hope the book does well.