This year I read 2 dystopian books. Sheesh. That's a crappy first line, about as exciting as an essay on What I Did Last Summer. Don't panic. I promise this won't devolve into a junior high book report... I may, however, throw in a few llamas and/or rock badgers just to spice things up a bit.
Anyhoo, ANOMALY is the Christian version of DIVERGENT, and both are about heroines who don't fit the norm (hence the titles). So what? So that's me. The title of my auto-biography will be ATYPICAL.
I should have known this all along. I was the freak who made little plastic Star Trek models and hung them from my bedroom ceiling while listening to Alice Cooper, which are serious ingredients when mixing up a serial killer. Thankfully, I didn't go the axe-murdering route. I chose fiction, though some would argue there's not much difference.
Anyhoo, as I partook of a Jane Austen Society luncheon this weekend, sitting next to my buddy and famed author Julie Klassen (if you haven't read her books yet, go do it! no really...this post will still be here when you get back), listening to a speaker highlight aspects of the military in Pride and Prejudice, a thought suddenly hit me. The reason my books aren't flying off the shelves like llamas--besides perhaps my overuse of bad metaphors--is because my stories always involve picking up the rocks of humanity and looking at the wiggly underside of dark issues. Most readers don't like that.
But my great revelation is that just because I like to read about overcoming horrific circumstances doesn't mean everyone else has to. Putting out gritty books isn't going to sway the great populace. So, I'm at a writerly crossroads. Either I keep doing what I do with younger characters and target the young adult market, or I switch gears and lighten things up in my stories. Which way should I go? Tough call. And definitely fodder for prayer, because the real question is what does God want me to write?
Take a look at the kinds of books you're reading. What draws you to them? What are the stories that take root and grow in your mind even after you've read them?
I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?