The Rocky Raccoon Revival

Michael C. Duell

front cover sketch

The story came to me in a dream. Typically, I make the same mistake that most do; I fall back asleep believing that I will remember it all when I wake up in the morning. I learned though from Paul McCartney, who kept a piano by his bed, that you must get up and start writing when the inspiration comes, or else you may lose it forever. The story came to me in the most vivid dream I’ve had in years, and I woke up and jotted down everything, and the Rocky Raccoon Revival was born.

Rocky Raccoon Revival

What you must keep in mind as you read this story is that it is a novel, and not an autobiography. This novel greatly resembles my life, as I am in part Rocky, and I have traveled many of these same roads. However, it is a story. Some writers state that you should only write about what you know (i.e. your life). Others say that your life is not as exciting as you might think, and that George Lucas, for example, was clearly not writing about his own experiences unless he had traveled through time and space to see a Wookie and actually hold a lightsaber. However, I just took Alfred Hitchcock’s approach as my model, “Drama is life with the dull bits left out.” My story came to me in a dream, in large part resembling my life. I simply left out the “dull bits,” and changed a few details.

Rocky Mask

The Raccoon Mask that appeared before my eyes as I prayed about Rocky

Easton Theological Seminary is inspired by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary only in so much as it is one of the world’s most respected seminaries, and is located north of Boston. Dr. Peter Casper is not a carbon copy of the president of Gordon-Conwell when I attended, Dr. Walter Kaiser, but is a composite of many respected scholars and pastors. The students at Tuttle Hall are very similar to my friends at Pilgrim Hall, and I even go so far as to name the characters after my friends, though one would be incorrect to assume, for example, that the flaws that the character Scott has in any way resemble his namesake. Likewise, Tom is named after Thomas the Apostle, not any particular Tom who may have been in attendance at Gordon-Conwell during my time there.


The Kerr Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Lastly, I wish to acknowledge the efforts of all those who have worked with me to see this project completed. I can truly appreciate what Winston Churchill said when he commented, “Writing a book is an adventure: it begins as an amusement, then it becomes a mistress, then a master, and finally a tyrant.” My wife, Lisa, was my rock and my cheerleader when I felt down or uninspired. She not only read the work as I went along, thus prompting me to have to maintain a reasonably quick pace, but she also encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Without Lisa, there would be no Rocky Raccoon Revival.

Lisa with Lauren

Lisa with Lauren

My mother-in-law, Loni, who would be esteemed like Mother Teresa if she were as famous, also contributed greatly to the novel through prayer and thoughtful constructive criticism.

I must also acknowledge my original proofreaders, Matthew Wiggins, Marvin Beculhimer, Tom Clark, my cover artist, Matt Merchant, and my web designer, Mike Kunze. Each one brought a different perspective, background, and talent to enhance the story.

Finally, I want to recognize and thank Jesus Christ, the real Hero of the story, and the Savior of the world. Just as Rocky Raccoon would be powerless and ineffective without Him, so would his author. The story is ultimately about Grace, and what it looks like lived out in an ordinary life, under extraordinary circumstances. It’s the tale of a revival led by the most unlikely person, in the most unlikely place....

Michael C. Duell


Raccoon Mask