Greetings from the keyboard.
I have been on a tear the last few weeks, working on two different projects. One of them is slow-going, but about to quicken quite a bit.
The other? It’s a secret. But there’s no secret about how much fun I’ve been having while cranking out the words. It’s a story about something completely different, and because it’s out of my usual genre/genres, it’s fun to write.
It is not Christian Fiction. I have grown to hate that term, and all that it implies. It is fiction that is well written and has an underlying base of Christian values. The hero is a Christian. But he’s very unlikely to show up at a church tea. Nor, unlike Kurtz, he’s not going to use his military skills to solve the problem with high-explosives or a ton of bullets. He could, if he wanted, but that’s not who this guy is.
Christian Fiction is an unfortunate designation that some authors hide behind when they want to just blast out a story that wouldn’t sell at Barnes & Noble. “It’s really good for Christian Fiction” is a phrase I never want to rely on in marketing my work. Most of the authors I know writing “Christian Fiction” are good. Some are excellent, and deserve far more in the way of sales and recognition. But, sadly, there is a “it’s good enough” mentality in the mix and it’s painful. If it’s Christian Fiction, some overlook the poor writing. Hungry for stories that don’t offend them, they buy badly written books.
That has led to a narrowing of definitions, and forces out people at the edges. This is not to say I’m abandoning my values and faith, but that I’m working on a project that doesn’t neatly fit in the box. Okay. So it is.
I have written two novels with explicitly Christian themes. In neither of them was the hero a “Bible-banger” or a preacher when the story started. In Assault on Saint Agnes, Kurtz just gets more deadly with every chapter, and wrestles with his values as a believer. In Nicholas of Haiti, Nick has no faith at all, and God calls him out for a very specific role. Kurtz is a long-time believer, and Nick is fresh out of the bottle.
But all the writing was from a faith perspective. This new book is never going to sell in a Christian book store. That’s too bad. It’s a story of redemption as much as either of the first two. It’s given me liberty to add a few words that you can’t use in the industry. Nothing awful, but it allowed me to accurately write dialogue for a couple of characters who were not exactly Deacons at the local Baptist church. I’ve noticed there are way more people like these characters than there are Deacons. Funny, eh?
In the past two weeks, my candle has burned brightly. I’ve put out over 10,000 good words while working full-time at the day job. Not on the clock, but by getting up at 0500 and annoying Chewy by putting him in his box and stealing off to the coffee shop, an unused conference room at work, and other hidey-holes where I can listen to the Bangles on my headphones and just write uninterrupted for a few hours. My boss and coworkers know that if they find me hiding in a corner I will not make eye contact and they should back away slowly while I continue to type. I just tune them out.
I only tell you this because I’m getting ready to do some power writing and I’ve neglected to blog this week. I like this blog. It’s sometimes inconvenient to crank one out, but other times it’s as easy as opening the page.
I hope you enjoy all that I write. If you haven’t yet purchased the books linked above, it would be nice if you’d do so. And, if you’re an audio book listener, and can handle some real-world words and sexual situations, there’s a page here, and the books are listed on the right, of my work for both my books and Mr. Michael DiMercurio. Give them a listen. Good stuff.
See you next week. But first, the gratuitous dog picture. Because everyone likes Chewy.