New Growth Press releases my new book Dragon Seed in less than a month, on June 19th. Dragon Seed is a novel I wrote for teens to alert them to the dangers of pride. I’ve always wanted to tell the allegorical story of the Dragon from the book of Revelation but couldn’t figure out how to get started. Then one morning in the fall of 2015, the idea for Dragon Seed hit me. Prideful temptations, like seeds of wickedness, look to find fertile soil in our fallen hearts. I envisioned a heart shaped seed with horrid black roots which seek to entangle themselves in the core of our being, making it next to impossible to rip them out. Here is the description of dragon seed from my new book:
There is one seed, the seed of pride, which is the most terrible seed of all. It can remain upon the earth for a thousand years and never sprout a root, for it needs the tender soil of a human heart to grow. But should pride land upon a heart, it sends a deep and terrible root and grows into a horrid monster. That is why it bears the name dragon seed.
Today these seeds float everywhere around us, and once a dragon seed lands on a heart, it sprouts in minutes. Think of a dragon seed like pokeweed seed. When a pokeweed seed sprouts, it is a tiny plant with a little root you can pull with little effort. If it remains hidden under a bush or around a corner and is allowed to grow, however, it sends a strong carrot-like root deep into the soil. Even if you grasp it low it snaps off at the ground and the root keeps growing.
So it is with dragon seed sprouting in the heart. As a small prideful thought, it can be plucked out, but if allowed to grow, it twists and bends the mind toward evil. Jealousy sprouts; a root of blinding arrogance plunges deep. Then a lying tongue forms, and from that the entire course of life for that person changes. Like a small rudder on a ship, the lying tongue turns a person’s life away from God, and the ugly scales of bitterness, envy, hatred, lust, and anger begin to form.
It wouldn’t be too alarming if dragon seed was uncommon and my experience with it rare. Unfortunately, though, dragon seed is everywhere and all around us. Anywhere you see a shadow swirl, you can be sure that dragon seeds are on the wind. Just like dandelion seeds they float, eager to land and sprout on the smallest patch of earth. We are helpless to avoid them, and dragon seeds seem to outsmart the cleverest minds. Our only hope is that the Prince, true to the promise, will kill the dragon and destroy his seeds once and for all.
The story surrounding the main character in Dragon Seed, fifteen-year-old Nick Freeman is based on the life of my Son-in-law Destin Mahalik and his own teenage struggles. Destin lost his father Gabe to cancer as a teenager and spent the next decade in a life and death struggle. It took getting shot during a drug deal gone bad, for him to once and for all cry out “Jesus, save me.” When Destin first read an early manuscript, he commented on the whispered voices of the dragon in Nick’s life saying, “I heard those exact same voices.”