Join us as we talk with author Laura Lee!
From the author: I didn’t go to Seattle expecting to come away with a novel. After my success addressing a group of actual rocket scientists, I decided I deserved a reward and I took a bus tour of Mount Rainier.
I was deeply moved by the mountain scenery and entertained by the tour bus driver, an average-looking, middle-aged man who had both an engaging sense of humor and a gift for poetic imagery. “Magnificent in its symbiosis” was how he described the mountain. Throughout the tour, the guide kept mentioning burning out on his old job. He said, “I was a minister.”
The answer was surprising and curious, and for the next decade, whenever I sat down to write I began with the question “Why did the minister go to the mountain?” It was intriguing to me because it was really a two part question– why had he left the ministry, and what was it that attracted him to Rainier?
Having worked for many years in a church office, I understood a lot of the internal politics that can make the life of a minister a stressful. But they weren’t dramatic or poetic enough to fuel the story on their own.
The second piece of the puzzle came in the form of a man whose beauty captured my imagination. There was something classical about his features and they made me wish I could paint. I decided to explore that impulse, and as I always did when I sat down to write, I came back to the minister and the mountain.
What if the minister experienced the same thing? What if he was overcome by a response to a man’s beauty and discovered a love which would change his perceptions of himself, inspire him to be a better minister and yet put him at odds with the ministry he loved? All of the pieces fell into place.
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