Friday, April 2, 2010
Just A Little On The Edge
Last night I received a response to one of many manuscripts I am currently pitching. It was to a more traditional Christian Romance Agency which shall remain unnamed, but it was quite critical. (So what else is new? We authors have to get thick skinned to take all the criticism, which by the way, is usually for our own good.) Anyway, after the initial piercing rejection, I got to thinking how much I appreciated the verification. You see, even though I have been a "Pastor's wife" I never quite fit into the stereotypic mold. I mean, I like rock music, have a few piercings, and love Sci-fi. (Oh, and I don't bake!) Most of the criticism was directed toward the main character, whom she characterized as negative, unsympathetic and judgmental - NOT the kind of hero that should appear in the pages of one of their books. I thought to myself, "Yeah ... that was the point. He is SUPPOSED to be all those things." You see, although I know there is a place for light, fluffy, feel good romance, that's just not the kind of writing (or reading) that appeals to me. I like something a little bit more on the edge. Something REAL that speaks to ALL aspects of human emotion, and doesn't necessarily turn out "happily ever after." Of course, I do want my writing to reflect my faith and to point people in the direction of the ONE who ultimately can make the difference, but for me, the reality of being a follower of Christ does not mean I will be skipping through the park with a picnic basket for the rest of my life. I want to be current; to make real connections with people on a deeper level, and maybe even raise a few eyebrows while doing it. The Church isn't the same as it was ten, twenty or thirty years ago. Society has changed, and although the MESSAGE shouldn't change, the way we go about delivering it should. Thus, I see a need for Christian fiction to move forward as well. Thus, I'm glad that my critic saw the 'edginess' in what I wrote. It's exactly what I was going for. I feel validated in moving forward with my own voice, not that of someone whom I am not. I know there is an audience out there for my brand of Christian fiction, even if it's a tad on the edge at times.