A personal message from the author:

I was turning 30, and I had a lot of unresolved issues. So I got some much needed therapy, and part of the therapeutic process was to journal, which didn’t come naturally to me. But as an actor, storytelling did. So I would write about a few memories or moments in time I felt I needed to process through, and then my brain would yearn to string that together with another memory and another, until I felt I could read it back like a story. After a few weeks of doing this, I realized how cathartic it was to process through the messiness, but I didn’t want to be restricted by the details, so I created Anna Bishop and let it all loose – some of the truth and a whole lot of fiction. I was also in the process of searching for my own biological father at that time, so there was this very weird space time continuum happening between myself and the fictional characters I was creating.

I wrote the first draft of The Almighty Father 20 years ago, but what it is today is a combination of who I was then and who I am now. I’m so glad I sat on it for a long as I did. I needed 20 years to keep going over it, editing and altering it, not just because I matured as a writer, but because I matured as a human being and my perspective changed so much. I was a lot angrier at 30 than I am at 50. I would go for years without ever pulling it out, forgetting it for long stretches of time, then something would draw me back. 2020 afforded me the time I needed to really dig into it, until I arrived at a place where I knew it was finally done.

— Diane Wagner

Young Anna Bishop’s life is turned upside down by a series of traumatic events. In 1974, after her mother remarries, she’s forced to leave behind an idyllic childhood with her grandparents and move into a new house that feels nothing like home. Unable to fathom why God would suddenly forsake her, she arrives at the only logical conclusion: a poltergeist. By grasping at tired cliches handed down from her grandmother and bits of biblical lore, Anna struggles to distinguish dreams from reality and questions why no one else can see what she sees.

As she fumbles into adulthood, she convinces herself that all of her problems can be solved by the very man who abandoned her so long ago. Anna sets out to track down her biological father with only a few hints as to who he really is. A troubled Vietnam war hero? A world-class criminal? Or maybe, the savior she’s been waiting for. Her search for The Almighty Father sets Anna Bishop on a spiritual journey that forces her to come to terms with the truth and fight for a life worth living.


Read online The Almighty Father by Diane Wagner

Featured on Joelbooks