I write about things that are hard to read, and they’re not for everyone. With my most recent WIP (work in progress), I went in search of beta readers to check for accuracy. I wanted them to read it to make sure I represented the situation well and didn’t add too much information so as to make readers too uncomfortable. But I want them, you, uncomfortable enough to be more attentive. You’ll see why in a second.
At first, I thought my target audience was women who’ve been abused. Until I tried to get the above mentioned readers. One woman said that even though she was several years out of the situation, reading about such things was still too difficult.
But I thought these women—the ones who are hurting and in difficult situations—were my target audience. And then as I typed about it to a fellow author, I realized this book—it doesn’t have a title yet—is about helping them, but they are not my readers. Their family and friends are.
Well, let me start, or rather interrupt, with the note from the author at the beginning of the book:
Many times I’ve wondered why God has me write my heroines with so many issues. His general reply is that there are so many women, hurting and without hope, who might be helped by my words and who might find the mustard seed of hope of a better future that they need.
This is such a book. Some of the content (spousal abuse-physical, emotional, and sexual) is difficult to read. It was difficult to write. I didn’t want to, but Leah’s story begged to be told, and I couldn’t write it any other way. I tried. I wanted to. But, in the end, I couldn’t.
Her situation may have been extreme, but I know, even in my naive cocoon, that many women experience something similar both within the confines of marriage and outside of it, though I have never met any that I know of.
I pray as you read (book title) that you open your hearts to the reality that many women live in abusive situations and feel they have no other choice, even when they do. Pray for someone, even if it’s you, to recognize the signs of abuse. They’re not always obvious. Pray for the women to find the courage to know they are not alone. Pray that they understand that they can live lives unafraid and loved.
It’s a hard thing to write about abuse. I’ve done it before, but this book was SO extreme that I struggled. A LOT. God and I conversed— well, I argued. He remained steadfast—for several weeks, maybe longer. I didn’t want to write about another abusive situation. And this one, well, I didn’t write most of the things that God showed me that some women have to go through. But they were in my head. I cried tears as I wrote. Every time I read it, I see those images. For me, reading and writing are like watching a movie.
But lest you think there is no hope in this book, there is. The book starts sad, but Leah finds hope and healing, and of course, she gets a happily-ever-after, ‘cuz I don’t think it’s a good romance without an HEA. And this one is the FIRST of an eight-book series. As of right now, it has the tentative title of the I Am Series, but I think that’s going to change.
And, the rest of the books, to my knowledge, do not deal with abuse. And they all have titles, I think. They definitely all have at least one main character. :) I don’t know their stories yet, but that’ll come in time.
So, if you’re okay with hard topic books, make sure to watch for my newest to release in sometime this spring. I will make sure to let you know the title and show you the cover when the time grows nearer.
And because I’m curious, what are some hard topics you’d like to see more in Christian fiction?
And to celebrate our birthday bash, I’ll give one commenter (by midnight cst 3/8) an e-copy of Broken Freedom, another of my hard topic books.