Lee was born and raised in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana (a parish is Louisiana’s version of a county), located just beneath Lake Pontchartrain and slightly to the west of New Orleans. While one might never guess it in a professional conversation, as soon as he begins to speak casually, his Cajun accent is quick to reveal itself.
“I keep telling myself that one of these days, I’m going to have to write in a Cajun character. Words like couillon, peleed, and te’gaine are too good to disappear in modern culture. I’m yet to see a movie get Cajun dialect right. I’m determined to do it justice.”
That brings us to Lee’s Epic series. Beginning with Dawn of Destiny, it is a story that Lee predicts will span eight novels. It is the story of a young soldier named Scott Remington who joins a global campaign against hostile extra-terrestrials. This decision has life-altering consequences.
“It’s science fiction in setting,” he says, “but it really is the story of a man’s journey. There are a lot of journeys in Epic. Every major decision we as people make, we have to live with. It’s no different with Scott, or with any of the other characters in the series.”
While writing has always been Lee’s passion, he feels that his purpose is something different. It is his belief that God has blessed him with the ability to write, and that it is his obligation to proclaim it.
“I am a Christian. I have no reservations about saying it. I made a promise to God with my writing, and I remind myself of it often: bless me with this, Lord, and I will use it for Your glory. I’ve said it to myself, time and time again, that if I sell a million books, but I don’t give glory to God, then all of my work has been worthless. Helping someone in their spiritual journey is infinitely more important than making money. Money comes to an end, but souls last forever.”
Epic is not a Christian series, and Lee is quick to explain that. After finding that he could not make Christianity work at all in the science fiction universe he created, he opted to give Earth a more generic monotheistic religion. But while the book is a complete work of fiction, the man behind it is serious about his beliefs.
“This work is inspired, and I wasn’t the one who inspired it,” Lee says. “The credit for that goes to God. This book isn’t going to lead anyone to Christ. I can say that with one hundred percent certainty. But if somehow, someone can be led to Christ through this book, I’d call that a success.”
During the writing process of Epic, Lee has tried to walk a fine line between decency and reality. It’s a line he believes he’s walked well. “It’s not a nice world,” he says, “and the world I created isn’t nice, either. There’s war, there’s anger, there’s temptation both physical and emotional. There’s sin. That’s all present in this series.” But what isn’t present, he says, is the gratuitous nature of it. “You can portray an unclean world in a clean way. You can make someone come across as a jerk without filling their dialogue with profanity, and you can make someone come across as sexy without turning their text into something indecent.”
Lee has done much outside of his work as an author, including real estate, education, and even a brief stint in the movie industry. Most recently, he has worked for the Department of Emergency Preparedness in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, where he experienced the force of Hurricane Katrina firsthand in 2005.
“I’m thankful for the things I’ve experienced, both the good and the bad,” he says. “Everything presents an opportunity to do something of value. We just have to choose to see it that way.”
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