In The Media
Idaho author writes religious book for young people
By Andrew Weeks - Times-News writer
Jay McCall talks to children about his book 'Jeremiah's Angel' Friday morning at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship in Twin Falls. Most of the 95-page book was written in about six days, he says.(ANDREW WEEKS/Times-News)
Two years ago, Jay McCall felt inspired to write a story for young people. He sat down to write two pages that later became the introduction to his book.
Later, still feeling the inspiration, he sat down again and wrote 26,000 words in six days.
"People to whom word counts don't mean anything don't understand it," he said. "And those who do don't believe it." He claims the words were given to him as a "gift."
"I always knew I was going to write," he continued. "But I didn't believe I had anything important to say until recently."
His book, "Jeremiah's Angel," tells about the relationship 12-year-old Jeremiah has with his grandfather, whom he calls "Papa," and Jeremiah's guardian angel, Ian.
"It's a pretty simple story, but definitely has some twists and surprises," McCall said. It also contains 13 verses of Scripture.
"But it's not preachy," he said. "By the time readers are finished they probably won't even know they've read the verses."
Readers get to journey with Jeremiah through life experiences in school, fly fishing in the Gem State, and even time traveling with him to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Along the way the story teaches about faith, love and forgiveness.
"I like it a lot actually, because I can relate to it really well because I'm 12 years old too," said Miriah Thornquest of Twin Falls, who is reading the book with her mom and two siblings during their home schooling. She wasn't quite finished with the book on Thursday, but said it has become one of her favorites.
"I like how he handles it," Miriah said, referring to how Jeremiah handles the bullies he confronts in school. "He let's the Lord take care of it instead of hiding it deep down in (himself)."
"Jeremiah's Angel" is a fun, faith-filled book sure to capture the imagination of young readers. It also will give older readers something to think about.
"The book is very hard to put down," said Miriah's mom Jennifer Thornquest, noting her children were immediately captivated by Jeremiah and the close relationship he has with the Lord. "They really want to know what's going to happen next."
She likes that the book portrays a cool kid who isn't afraid to show his faith in Jesus.
"I think it'll be an incredible tool to help readers live Jesus lively," she said.
Thornquest's other children are 9 and 13. The book, she said, is perfectly suited for their age group.
Page Geske of Twin Falls concurred. She plans to read the book to her two children, ages 10 and 13. She read it first herself, staying up until 1 a.m. to finish it.
"Icouldn't put it down," she said. "It's a powerful story."
She likes that the story takes place in Idaho.
McCall said he wanted to set the story in a place where young readers could relate, as he describes the state's natural beauty. The only specific place in Idaho he mentions in the book is the St. Joe's River, where Jeremiah fly fishes with his grandfather.
"The book starts off and finishes with Jeremiah in the mountains fly fishing with his Papa," McCall said.
Near the end of the book, McCall writes:
As Jeremiah celebrated the start of summer, fishing with Papa — and fishing the St. Joe, no less — it felt like time stood still once again. There was nothing, EVER, that made him feel closer to Jesus than he did when he was in the mountains fishing with Papa, and he felt closer to Him that day than ever before.
The book is illustrated by friend Steve Kidwiler. The pair had previously worked together in the software industry, and later teamed up to work on "Jeremiah's Angel."
McCall, of Boise, is marketing his book to churches, bookstores and others, and hopes to develop relationships with potential customers in the Magic Valley. So far it seems to be working.
He visited Lighthouse Christian Fellowship on Friday, where he spoke to and answered questions from children about his story. He'll sign books today at The Living Word bookstore and Hastings in Twin Falls, and will be interviewed Feb. 19 for KMVT's Community Connections, he said, to be aired later this month.
McCall recently completed the sequel to his first book.
Andrew Weeks may be reached at 735-3233 or email@example.com.