My well was dry this week. I finished writing Alexandra’s Appeal, and incredibly emotional, full-length novel on a Friday. Instead of taking my standard 2-weeks off to recharge my creative juices, I immediately started writing a Christmas novella, The Seven Year Glitch, because it’s due on September 1st. It’s been very hard to write that book, because — no recharge. I have to kind of force it out when all I want to do is go veg out on the couch and power-binge murder mysteries. Couple it with we started our homeschool year Monday. I’m a little tapped.
So, with a dry well, I turned to my street team and asked them what they would like to see this month’s blog post from me about, and the first reader who responded asked me, “Why Christian romances?”
When I started writing, I had no direction – no clear intent as to *why* I was writing in the first place. It basically boiled down to: I had a story in my head and I wanted to get it out. When I finished that story, I was a little surprised that I had another story in my head and I wanted to get it out, too. Once I finished that second book, the ideas just kept coming. I can barely keep up with the book ideas – they overwhelm me sometimes.
I used to be an avid reader of secular romances. I’d inhale five or six books a week. So, when I started writing, I started writing what I read. In two years, I wrote ten secular romances. A divorce happened and I shelved those books. I remarried, had two more babies, and when our youngest was potty trained and slept through the night, my husband encouraged me to pull out my books and seek publication. In the midst of this (because God’s timing is so very perfect), our family went through a deep spiritual renewal. We loved God and went to church, but He was a peripheral part of our lives, not the center.
Once we turned fully to Him and loved Him with all of our hearts, all of our souls, all of our minds, and all of our collective strength, we started cleaning out our entertainment — making sure that what we consumed either glorified God OR did not glorify sin. That was a lot of cleaning out the world we had brought into our home and into our minds.
Part of that cleaning out was my reading — and my writing. Under intense conviction, I cleaned up, or “redeemed” my books, for the Christian market. But I could very easily have simply cleaned them up – made them PG-13, taken out the sex and most of the greed and just written clean romances.
So, why Christian fiction? Why do I add a spiritual arc to my stories? Why is the faith of each one of my characters so important to me? Why do I write about Christians in real situations, about pain and forgiveness, about decisions – made in faith or not? Why am I choosing to be labeled a “Christian” author?
For me, it comes down to this:
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
I want my writing to glorify God. That is my intent, my mission, my ministry. And, in the end, what I’m doing is ministering to readers. I have so many reviews and emails like this one that I got last week:
I just wanted to say ‘THANK YOU!”for the gift of your books. I so enjoy your writing. Your stories capture and hold my interest, and I especially love your biblical worldview that sets the tone among the characters..Again, I just wanted to say “thank you” for providing me with reading that is a positive use of my time and allowed for additional thought and reflection in my own spiritual life (through your characters).
I often feel inadequate as a writer. I have pretty serious imposter syndrome (read more about that in detail at this link) which I have discovered isn’t abnormal for authors. When the negative thoughts invade, I always get an email – almost in that instant – that encourages me and uplifts me and helps me push that fiery dart of an attack away.
I believe God gave me the gift of writing and storytelling so that I can minister to readers. My mission statement as a writer is: To create modern-day parables that uplift fellow believers and minister to seekers in our fallen world.
So, that’s why I write Christian romances.
Why do you enjoy reading them? I am SO looking forward to reading your responses! One commenter will win autographed hardcovers of the first four books of the Jewel Series. I will pick a winner on Friday afternoon at 5PM EST (international readers are welcome to enter – I ship anywhere).