Spanky’s Secret, Deviant Few Motorcycle Club, is not a “Christian” romance novel. I don’t anticipate seeking any contracts with “Christian” publishing houses in the future. If you’re still with me—I’ll have lost some of you already—let me explain.
My literary agent attempted to secure a contract for my first writing of Spanky’s Secret. He was told it was too secular for the Christian market and too Christian for the secular market. He suggested I self-publish it, and that freed me to write the story that demanded to be written.
It’s my assumption—and it’s a pretty safe one—that the Christian publishing houses wouldn’t touch Spanky’s Secret, because it’s an absurd idea that a woman who grew up in an outlaw motorcycle club could also have God in her life. For real? As if this woman had any control over the culture she was born into. And as if Christians can’t be found anywhere except in “Bible-believing churches.” I think God laughs at that. Or maybe He weeps.
This is a safe assumption because the publishing houses have to answer to their readers. I received a letter shortly after Only His Kiss was released; a reader didn’t approve of Noble, the hero in the story, being divorced. “God hates divorce,” she wrote to me. So did Noble, but he was helpless regarding the dissolution of his marriage. I guess she missed that part. So … I’m not interested in writing for that audience. I don’t want to be limited, I don’t want to limit God, and I don’t want our work together to have to first pass through a gauntlet of opinions about what God would and would not do. God is bigger than that, and I refuse to place myself in a position of having to apologize or explain.
I want to write stories about the gritty part of life, about people who live messy lives. Things are seldom black and white. I believe if mercy had a color to it, it would be gray. I want to write about HOPE; it’s my favorite word. It’s tattoed in a bracelet on my right wrist.
And because God is my Friend, and I tend to mention my friends in my conversations, I guess I can’t help but talk about Him in my writing. But I will not push Him on anyone, and I will not attempt to define what a Godly life looks like. That’s between God and individuals. Others have the same ability to listen and hear Him as I do. And it would be the greatest confession of UN-faith to assume He can’t possibly reach them—or that He hasn’t already done so simply because their life doesn’t look a certain way.
If I’ve offended you, you aren’t in my audience of readers. The Christian bookstores are full of wonderful books written by my Christian author-friends. Buy their books. I mean that with the warmest of intentions toward you. And thank you hearing me out. I appreciate it.
6 thoughts on “Who I Write For”
God loves all novelists…actually he loves us all as we are, and challenges us to be better at some things…hmmm…he accepts me how I am. Oh how wonderful his spirit is.
JaRene, I love you so so much! You will always be my sister.
Isn’t God wonderful, creating each of us different from everyone else then relating to us as individuals? I just want to love people. Some are more challenging to love than others are; I’m still working on it. He hasn’t given up on me, and I’m grateful for that. I miss you, Sis. And by the way, I wouldn’t change a thing about you; I love you more than you know for all that you are. Be well. Thank you for stopping by.
Didn’t lose me! I’ve waited TOOOOOO LONG to read another book by you! I used to read what I would call “fluffy Christian romances”–in my younger years before life had been too difficult and I had never really struggled with my faith (and no, your books didn’t fall into that category). 30 years and much struggling later (and at this point not a part of organized religion. For now. Not necessarily for forever), fluffy holds no appeal. Real life, real struggles, real people. I look forward to reading your newest!
Oh my!!! I’m overwhelmed; if hearts could make a visible connection, there’d be a line across the miles between you and me.
I so “get” it. My life got messy a little more than a decade ago. I thought I had all the answers; shoot, I didn’t even know the questions. God has a way of humbling us, doesn’t He? But He’s still there; He hasn’t moved.
I hope your life is good, that you’re happy. You’re listening, and nothing can improve on that.
You are precious to me. Thank you so much for your faith in my earnest intention to listen. I can’t wait to hear your feedback. Thank you!!! Hugs!
It’s a mad world. Hold fast to your thoughts and beliefs which are of course Bible backed. Looking forward to reading your latest and future books!
LOL! Indeed, it is (a mad world). Thank you, Judith. You are faithful. I appreciate you.