Thank you to Authoright Marketing & Publicity for my spot on this blog tour! Below you’ll find a description of the book and also an author spotlight where Donald tells us about himself and how he wrote ‘Doing Scary’ which is published on the 5th October.
Two marriages haunted by betrayal. Four people whose pursuit of the American Dream has taken a nightmarish turn. Roman and Sage Bryant-Cole have spent nine months trying to salvage what was left of their marriage after it was rocked by the revelation of Roman’s serial affairs. Sage is dealt a second blow when she discovers that her cherished cousin, Owen Bryant, has been cheated on by his ruthless, gold-digging wife, Leah. Sage’s discovery hits the reset button on the progress she and Roman had been making on their marriage, as all the doubts and fears she has tried to suppress come flooding back. In order to reclaim Sage’s trust, and to save a love now left dangling by a thread, Roman must take his efforts to win back his wife to another level.
Leah and Owen Bryant are visited by a ghost from their past; Leah’s college sweetheart, Casey. Leah and Owen must confront a dark secret at the heart of their marriage, if they are to stand a chance of surviving as a couple. One family’s legacy, two marriages, four lives, and millions of dollars are at stake. Doing Scary is a coming of age story which explores the transition from adolescence to adulthood and the battles we face in our thirties to keep our spiritual, emotional and psychological progress in check, as the things we hold most dear are put to the test.
“My name is Donald M. Bell, Sr. I grew up in the harbor area of Los Angeles, California in a small town called Wilmington. At the age of 16, I answered what people in the Baptist Church call, “The call to preach.” For eight years I served as the singles pastor at Faithful Central Bible Church of Inglewood, one of the largest ministries in California. While serving as a singles pastor, the weekly bible study I facilitated grew from a weekly attendance five to 10 to around 750 to 800.
During that season I was also featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show several times, as well as ABC’s 20/20, and the Documentaries Sister I’m Sorry, and Soul Mate. I have also had the privilege of being a weekly guest on KJLH nationally syndicated radio program Love in the Spirit hosted by Kevin Nash – a call-in show that answered relationship questions from a spiritual perspective.
In 2001, me and my wife, along with a group of friends, founded the Covenant Blessing Fellowship Church (CBF) that now meets in the very building I started preaching in nearly 40 years ago.
Sandwiched in between my work in ministry, I became a single foster parent, ten years of psychiatric nursing and a psych degree in organizational behavior. So aside from seeing the world through the lens of scripture, I also see the world through the lens of symptoms and systems. Something I think that colors my book, Doing Scary, in a profound and entertaining way.
As I prepare for the release of my first novel, I can’t help but reflect on the 50 year journey to get here. At seven, I entered a book writing contest designed by my school to encourage kids to write. Even though I won honorary mention, it had the opposite effect on me. The teacher heading the competition credited me for having the most creative story with the strongest plot, then went on to say “but if you want to know what real writing looks like, read the winner;s story.” What I heard that, in retrospect, I am sure the teacher did not mean to say – “Your book was OK but it wasn’t really writing.” I not only heard it but I owned it! At that moment I accepted the fact that I wasn’t a writer. Not only did I stop writing, but I also stopped reading fiction. Fiction books I told myself were these lesser forms of the written word like comic books people read but don’t learn anything from them. Despite this, my passion for writing remained.
For years I tried to write a self-help book about relationships but could not finish anything I started. By the time I got going on the writing my attention deficit disorder I had wrestled with would kick and I wanted to write something else. At that point I had no confidence, no focus and mounting evidence I was a quitter. At this point, I know you are dying to know what changed? How did I finally write a 310-page novel in three months? Sounds Like an infomercial, huh?
First, let me say there is no there is no shortcut worth taking. Writing is a grind even when you are in a flow state. Also what I am about to say is what worked for me. What’s going to work for you will most assuredly be deferent. The value of my story is not the method but the methodology. You must be willing to explore. All of that trying to write I did, at least forty partial written projects were not forty failed attempts at writing they were experiments I didn’t review and then make some adjustments based on the outcome i kept getting.
Here it is – there are three things I did that change everything for me. The first thing I had to do was address my fear of judgment, which includes the self-condemnation for not writing and the fear of having your writing judged. To address my self-condemnation for not writing, I made writing a choice. Whether I wrote or didn’t, I owned the fact that it was a conscious decision that did not come with judgment. When I wasn’t writing it was because I chose not to write. Not because I was a procrastinator or lazy. To address my fear of having my writing judged. I had to come to terms with the reality all first drafts suck. I entitled the draft, The Draft That Sucks.
The next thing I addressed was my attention deficit disorder. I had to learn my flow – creativity first thing in the morning. Focus late in evenings. In between I got nothing – so don’t force it.
To stay inspired and to keep the project fresh – I processed what I was writing with anyone who would listen.
A couple of things happened to address my confidence. First I realized I was a storyteller and not a writer. So I stopped trying to write what I had to say and just told a story about people I cared about even though they were fictitious. Once I placed the concepts I wanted to write about in the hands of my characters they wrote the book in three months. Finally, I confidence was helped by one of the members that asked for a copy of something I wrote ten years ago. She wanted to use it for a devotional. When she was done she said you really ought to publish this. So I did – it became a devotional called 30 Days of Spiritual Detox (available on Amazon).
I hope that one of the things you take away from my story is the power of words to bind and to lose and that you choose words that edify and encourage.”
You can get a copy of Doing Scary here
Love Roxy xx