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“Persistence,” a wise man once said to me, “is the whole ball of wax.”

He was talking about finishing a novel, but the statement applies equally pretty much across the board. Almost everybody starts things; it’s the finishers we remember. And his statement is so right, so true—but also, in its boldness, incomplete.

On these pages I’ve talked already about many different things related to my novel Believe in Me: the music that helped inspire me, the writers whose work informed my story, the movies whose ideas seeped into it, the subjects like faith that unexpectedly became part of its fabric. The writers whose literary voices became friends at my shoulder. The moments—the supercharged moments—that stories themselves come from. The first story I ever wrote. The last album I fell in love with.

Persistence is huge. But it has to come from somewhere. You also have to have desire—desire to express something, and the desire to share that expression with the world. That’s one of the keys to Jordan Lee, the conflicted and contradictory character who plays a huge role in Tim Green’s journey in Believe in Me. And it’s one of the reasons I’m here today to share news I’ve waited a long time to announce.

For as long as I’ve had the story for Believe in Me in mind—nearly a decade, now—I’ve wanted to not just finish the story, but hold it in my hands. Today, at last, I can. And so can you.

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