An Easter story: Why I ‘Became’ Mary, the Mother of Jesus, For My Latest Novel
LAKE FOREST, CA (ANS - March 31, 2015) -- For several years, while working for the British tabloids, one of my jobs was to "ghost" the stories of personalities who had a powerful story to tell, and so I would go to their home or hotel room, interview them, and then write up "their" story, which would be published in the next edition of the paper.
But my latest subject was completely different. It all began when Larry Nelson, a friend, called me to suggest that I might like to consider doing the story of Jesus through the eyes of Mary, his magnificent mother. Neither of us had actually seen a book written in this way, and so I literally "became" Mary.
Now, having never met Mary, I had to ask the Lord to give me special skills to tell the amazing story of Mary, giving real insights into her life with her beloved son, from his childhood, his growing years, his ministry, his terrible death upon the cross, which she witnessed, his resurrection, and finally, his ascension to sit at the right hand of his father in heaven.
I began by imagining what is was like for this young and poor girl in love, living in Nazareth, looking forward to marriage, when suddenly your life is changed forever when you are told that you are to become the other of the greatest person in history, the Messiah - Jesus Christ, and yet you are a virgin.
And as Easter approaches, I believe this story is more relevant than ever. Called "Mary: My Story from Bethlehem to Calvary" (Tanswell Books), and is a faithful adaptation of the story of Jesus' life told from the perspective of Mary. I have to say that writing it has been the most moving time of my life.
I started the novel envisioning what it was like to be told by the angel Gabriel, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne
of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
As I was putting together the story, which is based on 365 Bible Scriptures, I envisaged the shock this young unmarried virgin from Nazareth must have experienced when she was told that she would bear the Savior of the world.
How was she to tell her parents and Joseph, the man she was in love with? How would the people in her village react when they eventually noticed that she was pregnant? Would they even kill her?
As my fingers flew across the keyboard of my laptop, I was transported back in time to that dangerous period for Jewish people, because of the Roman occupation, and how Joseph accepted her and they eventually went to Bethlehem, only to find that there was no room in the inn, and so they had to live in a smelly stable with
the animals and where she gave birth to the baby Jesus.
The story then develops with the family escaping to Egypt from the cruel and jealous King Herod, and how, after Herod's death, they went to Nazareth, where her brilliant son helped his father in his carpenters shop, and made quite an impression on the local Jewish leaders with his deep understanding of the Scriptures.
I felt Mary's pain, when Jesus finally left home, after being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, and began his earthly ministry. For long periods, she would not see her son. To make matters worse, her husband had died and she tried to cope with the nagging loneliness of being alone in the world.
I had to fight back the tears, as I later "joined" Mary near the end of the story, when she watched her son staggering in agony through the streets of Jerusalem with the cross on which he would die. I joined her at Calvary as she watched in horror as he nailed to the cross, and later when she went to the place he was buried and discovered that the stone at the entrance of the tomb had been rolled away, and she was able to talk with him one more time.
His ascension soon followed, and Mary was back in her home, with the knowledge that her son's ministry on earth had ended and he was now seated at the right hand of his Heavenly Father in Heaven.
Now the book is available and could make an excellent Easter gift to give to a family member or a close friend who doesn't go to church, read the Bible, but enjoys a good novel.
Already, several well-known personalities have come forward with endorsements for the book, which has received high ratings on www.Amazon.com, where you can also purchase a copy.
They include the following:
Pat Boone, veteran American singer, actor, and writer, who said: "Jesus loves his Mom. Just imagine how He loves her. I'd have been afraid to do what Dan Wooding has done so marvelously, lest I offend in some way, not just Jesus, but His mother and Father. But it's clear to any reader that God Himself has anointed Dan to help us know his beloved earth Mother so personally. This is a true revelation!"
Jerry B. Jenkins, co-author with Tim LaHaye of the hit "Left Behind" book series, and also a biographer, and owner of the Christian Writers Guild, wrote, "Dan Wooding has applied his considerable, lifetime writing skills to the greatest story ever told, and from the perspective of the most sympathetic character. 'Mary / My Story' is an obvious don't miss. So don't miss it."
Larry Nelson, J.D., Pepperdine University School of Law, who, as I mentioned previously, first came up with the idea for the book, said: "Dan Wooding has written a wonderful, new version of the greatest story ever told. His novel, through the eyes of a young woman, is the perfect gift [especially at Easter time] for every teenager who wants his or her friends to know the story of Jesus. College students will want to give it to
their parents, and parents will want to give it to their college students. You will be glad you read this story. I love it."
And finally, Roma Downey, producer and actress, who portrayed Mary in the "Son of God" hit movie and is the co-producer with her husband, Mark Burnett, for the upcoming "A.D. The Story Continues," a ten-part series, which will debut on NBC on Easter Sunday, said, "Dan Wooding has a new book, 'Mary: My Story from Bethlehem to Calvary.' It is the story of Jesus as seen through his Mother's eyes. This is the perfect book to share with others as a simple way to be remind them that Jesus is truly the 'Son of God' and why his extraordinary mother was described by God as being 'highly favored' among women."
My hope is that this novel will inspire many, particularly young women, who will identify with Mary, and I believe it will be a wonderful way of getting inside the mind of the cherished mother of Jesus. It was certainly a great privilege to "become" Mary, the mother of the greatest person in history, Jesus Christ.
To find out more, or to order a copy (for yourself) or copies as a gift, just go to: http://marythebook.com/ . There you can read all of the endorsements and also watch a video made by my son, Peter Wooding, about why I wrote the novel.
Please feel free share these details of this unique book with your friends, so they too can read in it. I can promise that they will never be the same once they have done so.
Note to the Media: If you like to interview me about the novel, please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your media outlet, and I will get back to you.
Photo captions: 1) Book cover designed by John Shaffer. 3) Dan's wife Norma, holding the first edition of the book. 4) Pat Boone (right) with wife Shirley, and Rosey Grier (Photo: Dan Wooding). 5) Dan Wooding interviewing Roma Downey and Mark Burnett at the recent NRB 2015 convention. (Photo: Peter Wooding)
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