In the late 1980's, Joyce watched a "60 Minutes" interview with an old German man who was talking about civilization's greatest need. According to him, the greatest need of civilization was for a savior--not a religious savior as we have traditionally believed but a "Secular Savior." A secular savior could unite countries and peoples and transform a divided, weary selfish world into utopia.
That interview became the seed that blossomed into The Fourth Kingdom. Joyce had the concept for a German scientist based on the man she had seen interviewed, who would not only dream of a secular savior but would work to make his dreams into reality. My younger sister had just finished a 50 page college project on the Holocaust and Auschwitz, and we had plenty of fresh material on the Nazi's. That set us thinking--what would utopia be for a German ex-pat who had spent his youth in Hitler's Germany?
This book was a lot of fun to write because the villains are so deliciously evil. And although readers think they know where this book is going when they start into it, they find out that it takes them to a totally different place than they imagined.
We wrote The Fourth Kingdom and copyrighted in 1989, but we did not publish it. Originally, the book was twice its current size. We submitted it to an editor at a large Christian publishing house who loved the first part of the story but hated the second part.
In 2010, we decided to publish the first half of the story--the half that the editor really loved. Next year, we are writing a new sequel which will be completely different from what we first envisioned twenty years ago, but a lot more fun.
The Fourth KIngdom, in its present published form, was selected as a top four finalist in Christianity Today's 2011 Book Awards, fiction category.