You know, I’m really starting to resent the negative fallout those of us with God in our lives get because of all the self-righteous hypocrites who give Christians a bad name. More and more every day I see the behavior of churches and their devoted members doing more to turn people away from God than Satan and his followers ever dreamed of doing.
Case in point, my second book, DIFFERENT ROADS, just received an overall positive review from an online book club, and while the reviewer liked my heroine’s hard-edged, gritty realism, he couldn’t stomach her spiritual growth at the book’s end, even though her fledgling relationship with God is completely personal and doesn’t involve any churchgoing or religious rhetoric whatsoever. And this isn’t the first time I’ve heard that my edgy heroine is weakened by her spiritual growth, although the only thing weak about Jaycee is her resistance to a certain dark-eyed rich boy with legs to die for. Clearly, these people are turned off by anything to do with God no matter how inoffensively it’s presented, and I think that’s just as much of a shame as when religious zealots automatically shun certain people without giving them a chance. I hate bigotry no matter how it presents itself.
While I expected this kind of reaction for DIFFERENT ROADS because of the contrast between Jaycee’s behavior in the beginning and later on in the story, I was surprised at the reaction TRUE BLUE FOREVER has gotten on the subject of religion. Although my teenaged characters have exceptional morals, because they abstain from sex to avoid an unplanned pregnancy instead of for religious reasons, a few Christian parents have said they didn’t want their teenaged children given such an “amoral” message. I’m sorry, but shouldn’t we be happy if our kids abstain from sex until they’re out of their teens no matter what the reason?
Oh, well. It’s not as if I have any control over how my characters behave or how the plots in my books unfold. I just write them the way they tell me to.
~Stay true to yourself, and your dreams will come true.