“Tell It Abroad”: building a novel on the foundation of a single name

Book Review
by Rosalyn Graham

Courtesy Photo
Glen Moyer

If you live in Shelburne, you probably remember Glen Moyer as The Gentle Dentist whose office was in the Creamery for 30 years. If you live in Charlotte, you will remember him as a frequent pastor in the Charlotte Congregational Church. Now it is time to be introduced to Dr. Moyer/Rev. Moyer as the author of a newly published novel that explores the earliest days of the Christian Church – and does it in a very convincing and entertaining fashion.

When Moyer was a youngster in a small rural church in Pennsylvania, he wrote scripts for special occasions like Easter dawn services. When he was in college, he began writing first-person monologues, adding color and personality to figures in scripture and performing them in church. He kept his scripts, and a few years ago he began gathering them into a compendium that might be useful to others. When he had an idea for a script with a new character, Andronicus, a name that is mentioned only once in the Book of Romans, the seed for a book was sown.

He knew that Andronicus had been encouraged by the disciples in Jerusalem to go to Rome to tell the message of Christ to the Romans. The rest of the story — who Andronicus was, how he happened to meet the disciples, why they thought he would be a good person to take the message to Rome, what happened when he became the one who would ‘tell it abroad’ — began to bubble in his imagination. Soon the monologue had become very long and unwieldy. Moyer took it to a friend to ask for advice and when his friend sat down with him to share his opinion, he said, “You have the beginning of a novel.”

Moyer is frank to admit that he has never liked novels, even when he was an English major in college, but the challenge of creating Andronicus’s life story excited him. He pored over scripture about the activities of the early church, read everything he could find on the history of those times in Jerusalem and Rome, and studied the traditions of the Jewish people and Romans at the time. He said, “First I thought this is impossible, and then I thought I should give it a whirl.”

The tale evolved into that of Andronicus in Jerusalem, with flashbacks to explain his early life and his time working for the Roman soldiers and becoming a witness to the crucifixion. The story moved forward as he met the disciples and experienced a miracle that had changed his life; there’s even some romance.

Moyer speaks highly of Archway Publishing, which worked with him for two years after he had finished the manuscript, providing interior and cover design, proofreading, publicity, and a webpage. “Tell It Abroad” is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Moyer is happy to do dramatic readings, participate in authors’ evenings, or tell about writing a Christian novel. He can be contacted at Glen_Moyer@comcast.net.

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