My early years were spent in a Protestant family that went to church for weddings and funerals. I went to church for the best of reasons: to be with the prettiest Protestant girls in my public school classes: Mary the Episcopal, Nancy the Methodist, Linda the Presbyterian, Marla the Mormon, and so on. When I chose to attend a Catholic High School, it was--once again--for all the right reasons. "They" recruited me to play football on a great team; and "they" had the most beautiful girls in the valley at the time.
In collage, while still not a Catholic, I attended Mass in the Catholic Chapel regularly, and thought it might be a good place for a Sacramental Marriage.
Soon after meeting Dana on a blind date after a Saturday football game, discovering I was crazy about her; and when she said she wanted to attend Mass in the Catholic Chapel on Sunday morning-- the rest was inevitable.
We were married in the Spring, by a young priest from New York City who later became an American Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.
The occasion and the ambiance was heavenly, and included a view of the Hudson River with the cast of "Hello Dolly" filming a dance scene on a grassy knoll nearby.
So faith and spiritually have logically entered the genre base of the trilogy, along with historical fiction, romance, action, adventure, and several others. And it took me to the back story I needed--beginning with the first century AD and a Jewish man named "Benjamin" who had trouble with the Romans in his homeland; and in his hour of need, encountered the Apostle John and his disciples, John Mark and Barnabas.
I long thought that John 3:16 was perhaps the most significant verse in the New Testament; much admired Mark for his diligence in preparing his early Gospel; and appreciated Barnabas for being a timely and forceful advocate for Paul, with Peter and James, following his miraculous encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Benjamin's home town.