In a recent interview I was asked this question: In what specific ways does your faith impact how you write fiction? The question gave me pause because in all honesty, I didn’t set out to be a Christian writer, per se. I set out to be a general fiction writer, hoping to appeal to as broad a spectrum of readers as possible, irrespective of religious persuasion, nationality, political affiliation, and so on. Over the years, however, I have come to realize that it’s impossible for my faith not to impact my writing, and in looking back I can see that it has been a constant influence.
So how has my faith impacted my writing? In every way! For example, I will not use inappropriate language, gratuitous sex, or graphic violence in my books. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to read and recommend them without reservation. I believe in God and His goodness, and I believe that I am accountable to Him in all I do, say, and write. So I want my books to be positive and uplifting.
But here’s the qualifier. I don’t want my writing to be “preachy.” My faith will naturally shine through, but it needs to be in a manner that’s not “in your face.” Not all of my readers are Christians, but we are all members of the human family. As such we have much more in common than our religious differences might suggest. So I paint with a wide brush and am careful not to slip in my personal doctrinal beliefs and then chuckle to think I pulled one over on my readers. I have no hidden agenda. I simply want to tell a story—shaped by my faith—that appeals to a broad base and makes my readers feel better for having spent some time with me.
These are my thoughts on the subject. Anyone have additional insights? I’d be curious to hear your comments.