About nine years ago, when I started writing consistently, I did not tell a soul. Only my husband knew what I was spending all my off time doing (and if he thought his wife had suddenly lost her marbles, he kept that opinion to himself, bless him). A few months later, I told a couple of my online friends, but these were people I did not know in real life and would probably never actually meet. Finally, I told a Real Life Friend (who also happens to be a published author; that helped), and then another, and then another.
As I’ve revealed my Super-Awesome Secret Identity to more and more people, especially people who are not readers of inspirational fiction, I’ve heard the same questions pop up a few times. This is a little irreverent to be an actual FAQ document on the site itself, so I figured I’d inauspiciously begin my blog with these.
Q: Hey, I didn’t know you wrote Christian romance!
A: Neither did I, and that’s not a question.
Q: Sorry. So you write Christian romance, then?
Q: *sly look* Do you write those books with the Amish ladies on the front?
A: No. While that is a very popular sub-genre, and while there are many, many wonderful books featuring the Amish, mine are not among them. I’m a contemporary Christian romance writer.
Q: What does that mean, exactly?
A: Behold. Contemporary Christian Romance, 101.
Contemporary: Plots and characters occur in modern times, and problems are modern in nature. (The official definition, according to the American Christian Fiction Writers, is anything set after the Vietnam War; anything earlier than that is considered Historical.)
Christian: My faith in Jesus is the core of who I am, and it features prominently in my work. Christian/inspirational books, by definition, include faith elements in addition to the main plot of the story. Characters are frequently Christian, and their relationship with God influences their actions, decisions, emotions, etc.
Romance: Love stories are my favorite stories. If a book or a movie doesn’t have a romance in it, I’m much less interested in the plot, and if it does, that is invariably the part in which I am most invested. I love love, I love happily-ever-afters, and I love demonstrating how God, in His wisdom, brings people together in His plan and His way.
And before you ask, no, Christian romances typically do not have sexytimes in them the way mainstream romances do. Not that the characters don’t have sexytimes; married Christian characters definitely do in many books. But the readers are not invited into the bedroom the way they might be in other genres. Also not present in most Christian books are gratuitous violence and foul language.
What I, and other Christian writers, strive to do is inspire, uplift, encourage, and entertain to the glory of God. That’s Christian fiction in a nutshell.
Q: So you write books about Christian characters whose faith impacts their lives, who fall in love, live happily ever after, and grow closer to God in the process?
A: Basically, yes.
Q: Your books sound cool! Where can I buy them?
A: Nowhere, yet.
A: I know. (And that was also not a question).
Q: No wonder you’re a writer. So how come I can’t buy your books yet?
A: Because they are technically not “published.” But I’m working on that, and this website is a great place to stay informed about the process!
Q: Okay, so what else do you do with your life?
A: I’m glad you asked! I’m a happily married mother of three adorable and hilarious kids, and I’m also a professional cellist.
Q: Really? A professional cellist?
A: Yes! I teach cello lessons, perform with orchestras and worship bands, and play freelance gigs (mostly weddings).
Q: And for some reason you decided to start writing books…?
Yes. From the time I was a little kid, I was dreaming up stories and putting them down on paper. Fiction-writing took a backseat to book reports, essays, and term papers in high school and college, but a couple of years after grad school, I got irrevocably bitten by the Writing Bug. Sort of like how Peter Parker got bitten by a spider and turned into a superhero, but instead of wearing a cool costume, shooting webs out of my wrist, and kissing people while hanging upside-down and getting rain up my nose, I wear yoga pants, sit at my laptop, and drink coffee while staring at a blinking cursor. So it’s basically the exact same.
Q: So let me get this straight. You’ve already got a job, you’ve got a family, and now you’re writing books, too?
A: That’s right.
Q: Are you insane?
A: That is a distinct possibility.