How did you get started as a CBA writer?
The first draft of An Eye for Glory was finished in June, 2008, but as a first-time writer, I had no idea what to do with it. I found the American Christian Fiction Writers website, became a member, and signed up for their annual conference in September. At the conference I was able to schedule an interview with an editor from Zondervan. I had never pitched my novel before, and never drawn up a proposal, but the editor liked my story and my proposal, and less than two months after the conference Zondervan committed to publishing it. Some would call this beginner’s luck, but I believe it is the gracious providence of God.
How did you come up with the concept for An Eye for Glory?
The seed for An Eye for Glory was purchased in the spring of 1998, in a used book store at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee. While browsing through the history section I discovered a hardcover copy of Infantryman Pettit, The Civil War Letters of Corporal Frederick Pettit in good condition. Pettit was a young Christian soldier from western Pennsylvania who served in the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Brother sometimes fought against brother during the Civil War, but as I read the letters Corporal Pettit sent to his family and friends, it struck me that Christian brothers often fought one another, each trying his best to kill the other, and each fully convinced of the righteousness of his cause. There was a story to tell.
What is the symbolism for the title An Eye for Glory?
Many times during the story, Michael Palmer gives us vivid details about what he has seen, and often these descriptions are terribly graphic. The horror he sees takes up residence within his soul to the extent that, as lowering clouds hide the warm, life-giving sun, so Michael’s ordeals hide God’s tender mercies from him. As the story develops, Michael sees only the temporary afflictions, rather than the eternal glory that can be his, both in this life and the next.
How much research did An Eye for Glory take?
I didn’t keep a log, but thousands of hours were spent on research, with reading occupying most of that time. My Civil War library grew from half a shelf to an entire bookcase. The town and state libraries were a wellspring of information on regimental histories. The Internet proved invaluable as well, especially the Library of Congress collection of digitized historical maps. I also visited all of the battlefields depicted in the story, some two or three times, in an effort to walk where the men of the Fourteenth Connecticut walked and fought. A complete bibliography can be found on my website at www.kbacon.com.