Over the years I’ve gotten the feeling that The Prince’s Psalm was a novel that was meant to be somehow. Along the road to publication, people told me the book was too old fashioned, too modern, too long and too short. There are more than a dozen drafts and scores of rewrites.
And every time I have thought to put the book aside, it has come up again, on its own.
There are plenty of books I want to write. Ideas that have been orbiting around up there, waiting on their chance, for years. I’ve written books that are moldering away on old, actually-floppy discs and some that are big-banded and stuffed into long forgotten stationery boxes.
I published Write Murder last fall, the first in a murder mystery series I’ve always wanted to write.
There is a folder in my files entitled “I Think Maybe” that has little scraps of paper on which I’ve jotted down ideas. Countless e-folders crowd the document files on my computer, each filled with little synopses, ideas and titles.
Many years ago, my father reached out to me and shared the first few verses from 1 Samuel 18:1-3 because he thought their depiction of the love between Jonathan and David demonstrated a Christian inclusion of my sexuality, a kind of meeting point between his long-held faith and my identity. In that moment, I became determined to write The Prince’s Psalm. But along the way, the universe seemed determined never to let me give up on the idea.
I attended a local play starring a long forgotten gay porn star and the verses my father had quoted to me were on the program even though it was not the subject of the play or referenced in it – I know, I was not the only person at the play, but still, random. There was an inspirational phone call with my dear friend novelist Anne Rice whose encouragement and determination singlehandedly caused me to write The Prince’s Psalm. And yet, we could not even get my agent interested in the book once it was written.
Shortly thereafter, I went to a friend’s comic book signing – my pal Gregg Hurwitz is not only a prolific author but he also writes the Batman graphic novels or comic books or whatever is polite to call them now but whatever you call it, it’s BATMAN!! Right?! Isn’t that cool? – and at lunch after, we commiserated about the business of writing, as authors do, and when I mentioned The Prince’s Psalm and how it was languishing in a drawer, ignored by my own publisher, for whom my most recent novel had been a bestseller, Gregg volunteered to read it. Shortly thereafter, he connected me with his literary lawyer, the excellent Marc Glick. Marc fell for The Prince’s Psalm and put me together with estimable historical author and interpreter of the Bard, Nicole Galland. Nicole worked with me to edit the unabridged version into the merely compendious work it has become.
Alas, once again the project flagged. But then, several years later, my best friend Christopher Rice ran into Elizabeth North (Publisher and Executive Director at DSP) at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Dallas. As they spoke of other matters, Christopher happened to mention The Prince’s Psalm in passing as their conversation turned to historical works. Elizabeth was polite enough to ask to see my novel. I sent it to her and she published it.
But the most unnerving cosmic nudge happened at the very well attended signing of another book. I was appearing at the West Hollywood Book Fair that is, alas, no more. The book I was promoting was a bestseller and the crowd was big, but the security was a little light. A man who’d apparently begun his recreational substance use a little early that day — and possibly a few hundred days before – broke through the rope line, charged the table, waved his finger in my face and demanded, “Don’t you remember me? I’m King David, have you forgotten?” And then he ran away before I could answer.
If I have learned anything from watching eleven seasons and counting of Supernatural it is not to expect my angels all to arrive in stained-glass-ready form. Some are little a little scruffier than others. Angels come into this world through the vessels that are open to them, so who knows? But whether or not that man was really an angel or just high and sleeping in the park, my answer is the same. The long answer is my novel The Prince’s Psalm. But my answer then and now is “No, David, I have never forgotten you.”
The Prince’s Psalm and all my books are available in all formats and platforms here: http://thedinnerpartyshow.com/albums/the-princes-psalm/