I guess you can say I’ve been a Christian most of my life although I remember as a teen when a friend’s baby died I struggled with my belief in God quite a bit. Then of course were the years when the marriage I was in was anything BUT living the Christian life. But the Bible teaches us to “train up a child in the way he should go and he shall not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6).
This does not however, say that child will never stray from his or her upbringing—only that he will not depart from it. In other words, the way you raise your child will always be a part of him or her and at some point in their life, they will return to the teachings of their youth.
Same goes for the old adage “be careful what you pray.”
The fateful day when I recommitted my life to Christ, I also committed my writing to Him, praying that I never write “just another romance” but something that would touch hearts and impact lives for His glory.
Thus began my journey into the world of Christian fiction and times when I wished I’d never said that prayer. Though basically romances, my stories addressed issues like domestic violence, death, betrayal and grief and sent me on an emotional roller coaster ride more times than I care to admit. My books dealt with the characters’ intense emotions such as anger and sexual tension without glossing over these feelings – yet stayed within Biblical principles and I came to discover the joy of portraying the awesome power of God to heal, save, guard, and guide.
Then along came The Visionary. What I thought would be my “light, sweet romance” became a story that pulled at the very core of everything I knew about human emotions, challenged everything I believed about God and made me question why I put myself through the turmoil of writing.
The realization came when a friend said she thought the main characters, (m/f twins) were “extremely close” and warned it might be too much for an inspirational novel. Since I’ve never written conservative Christian fiction, I didn’t worry too much about that, but did set out on the quest to find out why they were so close.
What had happened to them or between them that made them cling so tightly to one another and afraid to allow others into their world?
As Christians and as writers we’re called to look a level deeper but let me tell you, the answer to that question came as such a complete shock that I argued – yeah, literally argued with God that I was NOT the person to write this story! For three days I’d sit down to write and get up in a total panic, unable to type a single word for the debate going on in my mind, heart and soul.
If you’ve ever heard that still, small Voice in your spirit you’ll know what I mean when I say He brought me up short with the question, “Who are you writing for anyway?” and I remembered my prayer to never write “just another romance.”
Resigned, I sat down and wrote the entire first draft in four months while working two jobs during the busiest season of the year for a book keeper & tax preparer.
So when you think of all the great advice out there for writers…write what you know, hone your craft, be flexible and teachable add Be Careful What You Pray to the list.
*This post is part of a month-long virtual book tour where 4 autographed copies of The Visionary will be given away. Follow the entire tour (list of stops on my blog http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com) and leave a comment on each spot because the more times your name goes in the hat, the more chances you have to win!
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”