News

Alumnus Publishes Young Adult Novel

by Office of Alumni and Parent Relations | November 05, 2013
As a high school history teacher and an adjunct social studies professor at Lancaster Bible College, Mike Beckett ’00 may not have much spare time, however, Beckett has found the inspiration to write and publish a young adult novel – "Free Will: A Young Man’s Spiritual Journey."

“I’ve always wanted to write a book!” said Beckett. As a high school teacher interacting with teenagers everyday, he “wanted to help them find their inner strength … to deal with peer pressure and other issues.”

As a result, Beckett (along with his collaborator Priscilla Fias) created Will Freeman, a normal twelve-year-old boy dealing with the struggles of adolescent life. Will and his family move to Lancaster County, Pa. from New Jersey, where his spirituality is awakened. The disappearance of Will's father becomes a driving passion that leads Will through an emotionally, spiritually and physically challenging adventure.

The 26-month process of writing "Free Will" came to an end last April, when the novel started hitting online markets such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Sony’s Reader Store.

Now that "Free Will" is available, Becket and Fias are currently working on the story's sequel, which will focus largely on Will's sister. The two co-authors plan on writing a trilogy, in which the Freeman's journey will evolve and be resolved with the final installment.

For any aspiring writers in the Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) community, Beckett would offer this advice: “Give it a shot because you’re never going to know until you try!” He continued by saying that the writing process is not nearly as easy as it looks; “It takes a lot of time, a lot of thought and a lot of preparation … and you can’t be afraid of failing.”