This incredible story kept me turning the pages. I flew through the book and barely noticed the passing of time. The constant action, both internal and external, grabbed my attention. It’s a wonderful coming-of-age story about a bright, but sensitive, fourteen-year-old girl named Shale who feels misunderstood and isolated from the other students at her school and in her neighborhood. Judd, a boy at her school, ruthlessly picks on her and attempts to get her in trouble with the school authorities. At home, she feels out-of-place because her mom has remarried and her dad does not have regular contact with her. Feeling alone and confused, she wanders into the woods and finds a seventh dimension. This fascinating land parallels her life at home but takes place in the first century during the days of Jesus Christ, a key character in the story. This beautiful, yet violent, land forces Shale to face her inner fears and choose a new direction for her life, including making choices about her relationship with a handsome young man. Facing dramatic action and spiritual warfare, Shale completes her time in the seventh dimension and becomes a stronger woman. The story begs for a sequel by leaving loose ends about her romantic interest.
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Interview of Shale Snyder from Seventh Dimension – The Door
By Melissa Main
Shale Snyder is the main character in the book, Seventh Dimension.
Question: Why were you so bitter and angry at the beginning of the book?
Shale: I didn’t like myself. I felt empty on the inside, afraid and insecure. I didn’t like that we lived with a family we didn’t know that turned out to be wretched. I hated that my father left me, that we didn’t have any money, and that the principal was out to get me. I hated that I failed in school, that other kids bullied me and called me stupid. What did I do to make people not like me? It seemed like even God didn’t like me—though I know now that wasn’t true.
Question: Why did you feel that you couldn’t talk to anyone?
Shale: Whenever I expressed my feelings, others laughed at me. I learned to keep my feelings to myself—feelings of pity, compassion, and caring. That was the underlings’ way with me, to tell me lies until I believed them. I think I could trust Daniel—if I ever see him again. I trusted Daniel enough to give him the golden nugget and to ask him to retrieve my diary. Hopefully he will be able to get the papers and prevent Scylla from absconding with them. He won’t understand why I addressed the diary to “Dear Dog–” who that really is. Some things must remain a secret for now.
Question: Did you enjoy living in another dimension?
Shale: I loved being in the seventh dimension, though at times I was afraid. Sometimes I feel like I am there again. I dream about it. The intense longing for the journey can be overwhelming. I used to not know what that longing was, and now I know, having been there. I was in the presence of another reality inhabited by the king with his mighty angels—even the underlings. It’s a world much bigger than planet earth, a universe that we can’t see that surrounds us, a spiritual world. This world intercepts it, but only at certain points, and when we quit praying and ignore God, then we lose those points of good interception. However, the underlings are not limited by the boundaries as we are, and they come out from the dark recesses and torment us if we don’t have the seventh dimension within. The king said when he was here, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He was just passing through, and so are we.
Question: Do you want to visit the seventh dimension again?
Shale: I do want to visit the seventh dimension again in person. I know it’s also within me. Otherwise, the journey would be terrifying. The underlings are more powerful than we are, but no match for the king and his angels. If we aren’t careful, our pride can convince us otherwise. Such is the paradox of teenagers—thinking we are all-knowing and all-powerful, wanting to circumvent adults who can be very shortsighted, but teenagers are close enough to their childhood that it’s easier for them to believe. Teenagers haven’t lived long enough to become hardened as many adults are, and are still creative enough to be of tremendous value to the king and the underlings. Now I can only visit the seventh dimension in my mind.
I have shared with Rachel my adventure, and she believes, aware that I know things I couldn’t have known otherwise. Mother and the others don’t—not yet. There is always hope. When I took the rock up to my room, I said, this is my new beginning. I chose the road the king set before me. I must believe so I can be who he wants me to be. I must be strong enough and brave enough to do things others may not understand—but that’s how it is with the king. He gives us each a journey in the seventh dimension. We are in the process of becoming sons and daughters of the king—a process because the king must mold us. We are his, but if we don’t claim our inheritance, then what?
For now, I will walk this road until I reach the crossroads in three years, and then, if the king allows me, I will be able to visit the seventh dimension and meet up with Daniel in Israel. If it’s in the king’s will. Hopefully Daniel will believe – otherwise, he might still be in first century Israel. The king is relentless, though. He won’t let go of you once you call out to him. The king won’t let go of Daniel until he believes. I am praying for the king to help him with his unbelief.
Question: Do you have another story to tell readers? (Will there be a sequel?)
I hope there is a sequel. I will go back to Israel and look for Daniel—somehow. I suppose when I reach eighteen, my parents won’t be able to prevent me. Nothing can circumvent the ultimate goal of the king for your life—parents, officials, friends, enemies. God uses every circumstance we face to make us even stronger, of more value in the Great Fight—if we don’t succumb to the lies of the underlings.
Question: If there is a sequel, can you give us a small taste of the story line?
Shale: I do have many unanswered questions—like where was Rachel in the Seventh Dimension—I knew Mari, her mother, while I was there. I have questions about my birthfather. I am afraid to tell my mother I met him. I haven’t had any contact with him or his wife since I came back. I don’t know that I want to. I believe the seventh dimension gives you insights into people’s character, supernatural knowledge from the king himself, even powers of discernment beyond our own limited understanding.
I wish I could remember everything the angel told me, or at least understand. When the angel said whatever is bound in the seventh dimension is bound here, what did she mean? She told me how I lived my life was my choice, but I know if I make poor choices here, there will be a consequence in the seventh dimension. Perhaps that is what she meant.
If I don’t become everything the king wants me to be, then I might miss the best future he planned for me long ago. I want that future to include Daniel. It’s like you are preparing for your future husband, your future children, your future world—your future, period, whether it be to get into the best school or get that dream job or go to the jungles of Africa—ultimately to prepare us for the garden of heaven—our eternal home.
The king is the “Great I Am.” We are “becoming.” He is complete, we are in process. He is the Creator, we are the created. And yet, our fullness is in him. We are made complete in him as we become.
When I make mistakes, my sin affects others deeply. I never understood that before, maybe because I was too selfish, too sorry for myself, or too angry. That’s another device of the underlings, to tell us we are no good and to make us feel flawed. We are flawed, but not in the way the underlings tell us. They just want us to end up in hell with them. They have no hope and they want to take away our hope.
If you live your life as if you are in the king’s garden, then your goodness affects others, too, in a positive way. More than we realize, with lasting consequences in the seventh dimension. We have far more power than we realize, bound up in the king’s power. With the king’s power, we can defeat the underlings, who continue to torment, sometimes causing me great sorrow. I believe it’s a lifelong process. I would love to go back to the garden and see Cherios. If I could, I would in a heartbeat.
So what would the storyline be for my fairytale? And everyone’s life is a fairytale—a true fairytale. I want to go back to the seventh dimension and meet Daniel and get married and live happily ever after – hopefully he’ll be there, waiting for me.
Question: Have you met other teens who have read your story?
Shale: I’ve shared my story with a few teens so far. Most aren’t searching; they are too much a part of this world. The call of the seventh dimension on some lives is miniscule, but I am laying a seed—an egg. Or perhaps they don’t have so far to travel and are closer to the gates. Each person’s journey is different. Some teens haven’t suffered enough to see their need. Others love hearing about the animals, especially Cherios. Everyone wants to know more about Daniel, what he looked like. Rachel understands my story—she has been seeking the king since she was young. My friend wonders where she was in the seventh dimension when Mari took care of me. Don’t tell her I told you this, but I think she might have been adopted— but I don’t know all the details. It’s just this feeling I have. Who was Rachel adopted by? I hope Daniel can find out and let me know when I meet him again. After all, they are related.
I have some fears about the future – I have unsettling dreams where suffering is pervasive.—a way of life. When I ask God for a view of heaven, he sends me back to Israel, the desolate part, outside the city of Jerusalem. I don’t know what it means, but I’ve dreamed it many times. I expect to return during war. Daniel predicted famine and pestilence—at least for my future. He had already lived it. I cling to the king, though, knowing no matter what, he will never leave me—I am a princess. When someone tells me I’m ugly or worthless. I stop and remind myself, I am a daughter of the king of kings—forever!
What others are saying about Seventh Dimension – The Door?
“A heartwarming story with loveable animal characters, a stirring heroine, and a king’s love for his children–truly pleasing for young and old alike.”
HANNAH BOMBARDIER, age 17
“A beautiful and meaningful story that keeps you on the edge of your seat!”
LEAH PALMER, age 14
“Lorilyn’s writing has a touch of imagination that conveys both action and fantasy, using dazzling imagery to convey a Biblical Alice in Wonderland.”
ROGER HUNT, ROGER HUNT MUSIC
*Shale Snyder–confused, angry girl who has been bullied
*Judd and Chumana–neighbors who hate and pick on Shale. Judd also appears in the Seventh Dimension under a different guise.
*Rachel–Shale’s best friend on earth
*Much-Afraid–cute dog, the first animal to talk to Shale
*Baruch–a donkey that loves to eat apples and allows Shale to ride him
*Cherios–a white garden bunny who keeps herself fastidiously clean
*Daniel–befriends Shale in The Seventh Dimension
*Lowly–a little pig
*Family members important to Shale for mysterious reasons
*Daniel—Shale grows to love and trust
Setting: Takes place in Atlanta, Georgia (2013), a heavenly garden, and first-century Israel
Theme: You are a daughter (or son) of the king
To watch the book trailer: