Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More than a Book

I love hearing your guys’ opinions on the book! It is beyond encouraging to me when I hear all the excitement about my book’s release. So in this blog I’d like to spend a little bit of time talking about why I think the excitement level is buzzing right now.

I’ve had people tell me it’s just going to be fun reading something from someone they know. I’ll admit right now that it’s going to be weird for me when all you finally get to read it. Because no matter how many people tell me they like my work, I am my biggest critic. I’m going to be nervous…I’m going to wonder what you think. But my biggest concern is your hearts. This book was originally targeted for young adults, mostly non-Christian young adults. But while writing I decided to steer away from that path…not that young non-Christians can’t read it. They can!  And I sincerely hope they will! But my target audience, my “niche” audience, in publishing lingo, would simply be Christians…of ALL ages. I will say right now that the main character is a young adult. Her journey starts at age 18 and follows her through age 21. You’ll have to wait til book two for anything beyond that! J But the encouraging thing is that this book can reach all ages. I had a dear friend and mentor read the manuscript for me, and I was pleased to hear that she was able to relate to it as well, even though it’s been a few years since young adulthood! (I hope you get a chuckle when you read this…I will keep you nameless but you know who you are!) The reason why I think this is relatable for all age groups is because Molly, the main character, wrestles with emotions and asks the hard questions, just as well all have to do on our rocky journeys through life. Jesus never promised that life would be easy; we all travel the ups and downs. Now, most of you probably won’t be able to relate to all of what happens to Molly. She experiences some pretty serious, traumatic events. Still…her emotions, fears, and questions are most likely similar to ones you may have had yourself. Maybe not to the same degree, but God doesn’t deal all of us the same hands. We take what we’re dealt and have to figure out what to do with it, how to respond. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easily you can relate to Molly. And if you DO find yourself relating after reading my book, please let me know! I am so looking forward to the feedback. I might have a private email with my website…not sure yet. I’ll let you know!

The biggest reason I think people are so excited for this book is because like me, many of you know that our world needs stories like this. We need to hear of people struggling and asking the tough questions. We need to see that it’s okay to ask God why, to cry out like Job did. It’s okay to be angry. It’s what we do after we’ve asked why and allowed ourselves to be angry that matters. Will we say, “Not my will, but Yours,” or will we say, “See ya later God, obviously you don’t care about me”? It’s a choice we all have to make at some point, like Molly must. This is more than a novel, more than just a book to curl up with and make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Be warned now: this book will not make you feel warm and fuzzy. It will make your stomach tighten in anxiety and your heart hurt. It will make you think about issues you may not want to think about. It’s dark. It’s scary. If it had a rating, it would be PG-13. So moms…maybe not the best book for your kids and preteens. Teenagers? Good to go, if you’re mature enough to handle some of the darkness. If you have questions, just shoot me a message and I’ll give you a brief synopsis. Not to scare anyone away or anything, because believe me, the ending is good. It’s full of hope and God’s loving grace. Again, it’s not a warm and fuzzy, unrealistic ending like other books. I wanted this book to be relatable…in real life, not every ending is a happily-ever after. We don’t always get our deepest desires. Sometimes God leads us down paths we wouldn’t normally choose for ourselves, like in Molly’s situation. But, we have to be able to deal with that and come to a place of peace…which is another reason I feel like this book is relatable. Peace is what we all crave; we want to be satisfied with where we’re at. I hope you sit back and ask yourself after reading this, “Where is my satisfaction coming from?” Are you chasing after things you desire but can never have…money, a house, a relationship? Where is your satisfaction coming from? I hope when you’ve closed the book you desire to be filled and satisfied with Christ, and Christ only.

I hope too that I can raise awareness for some social issues in my book, specifically sexual abuse. It happens more than all of you know, sadly enough. And it’s not always some creepy old man hiding behind a tree in the park at night. Oftentimes it’s someone the victim knows. Hopefully you can all become more aware of the sad truth of the world we live in and how to deal with it. You’ll get a taste of the emotions that victims must face, which was extremely tough to write about. I did my research though. Here’s a website if you want some of the sad details: http://www.rainn.org/statistics/

Please know that while all of you are praying for me, I’m praying for you. I’m praying that you’ll read this knowing it’s not just a novel. It is so much more than that. I’m praying that you’ll all have open hearts to this message; that’ll you take a look at some issues you may already have strong opinions about and realize that you may be spreading those opinions in a hateful way. As Christians we want people to know about healing and forgiveness, not about how wrong we think they are. Because…no sin is unforgiveable. No sin is worse than any other sin…all sin is wrong to God, and all sin makes us guilty and deserving of death. Only through Christ are we pardoned…and we can all be pardoned, no matter what we’ve done in our lives. My main message is that we can face tough, ugly stuff, and we can turn around and choose to heal from it. We can forgive ourselves and in turn welcome in God’s forgiveness. We can leave those mistakes in the past knowing that God has completely removed them and declared us pure and righteous. We can heal.

This is more than just a book. It is a message of hope and love, of a grace so good I get chills just thinking about it. I am so excited for you all to join me on this journey.

God bless!

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