Randy’s second novel, Dominion, came as a semi-sequel to his very first, Deadline. The book allowed Randy to tackle the issues of racism and reconciliation as seen through the eyes of the African-American main character, Clarence Abernathy.
At 603 pages, it’s also one of his longer books and required an incredible amount of background research. Randy spent a lot of time with black men and women, relying heavily on their personal accounts and paying particular attention to the recurring stories he heard from them. He used thousands of notecards to jot down thoughts and ideas about the book. He also read at least 60 books by and about African Americans. Randy writes, “I asked God to give me insight, as it was way beyond me as a suburban white to write with a black viewpoint character. Very difficult, but very rewarding—hope I never forget what I learned.”
In this video, he shares more:
When asked about what kind of response he’s received from the African-American community, Randy said, “I've found some are surprised to find out I'm actually white. One man wrote to me just to confirm that I was black, because he’d placed a bet on it! Then he wrote me back an hour later, before I’d been able to respond and said ‘Never mind, I checked on your website and saw your picture. You cost me fifty bucks!’” (Several years ago EPM was sent a copy of the bookmark partially pictured here, which lists African American Christian Authors. At the top of the alphabetical list was Randy’s name, mistakenly included.)
While Randy was writing Dominion, several people gathered together more than once to pray not only for Randy’s strength and perseverance but also for the eternal impact it would have on people’s lives. God has faithfully answered those prayers hundreds and thousands of times over. Here’s a recent story we received:
Years ago, I was looking for garage sales as a last chance to stock up on books for the winter. I stopped at a house and scanned. There didn’t seem to be any books. As I was heading back to the car, I spotted a large thick trade paperback that had obviously been read by more than one person, titled Dominion. I don't buy romances and this didn't look like one so I bought it without even determining what it was about. Later, I picked it up to determine its genre and quickly saw that the story was based here or at least started in Gresham. I grew up in Portland so I just started to read still not knowing anything about the book. Not my normal MO. I became more and more deeply involved in a very short time. I fell in love with Clarence, Jake and Ollie. Obadiah, however, opened a new door for me and whupped me upside the head with a cast-iron frying pan. I gave myself to Jesus right then and there. I have since read the other two and am anxiously waiting to see Ollie converted. He is my second favorite character after Obadiah. I have since read countless of Randy's books including Heaven, Safely Home and Courageous. I've given them as gifts to friends and family.
In short, Jesus tapped me on the shoulder through Dominion and I am so very grateful. —K.H.
Eternal Perspective Ministries
Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.