Well, lovely readers, I am in the midst of a life shift. It seems I've been in this place for four or five years, but that's what happens when most of your kids are Irish twins (close in age.) And yes, I'm Irish so no cultural appropriation here. I say I have empty nest sadness, which ticks my daughter off because she says, "I'm STILL here. You do NOT have an empty nest."
But teens are rarely around. Little buggers just come home to sleep and raid your fridge.
I am back to writing daily though, and that's a big deal. I feel essentially the Christian market has left me. I mean, I was never a perfect fit for the Christian market as it was, but now I feel an age away. The books I'm working on have a lot more family drama and humor has never been a big draw for the market. I've tried to write straight (ie., in third-person and without humor) and it's just not me. I always have to be the weirdo!
So I'm currently working on a few books and if they don't sell then I'll be self-publishing them and getting that arm of my career going. The one thing I don't want to do is write to the market. I'm too old to write to what's selling -- does anyone want a sweet romance from me anyway? I'm definitely too defiant. And I've never once met an Amish person, so that isn't happening.
I write about what makes me angry. "Swimming to the Surface" is the novel about a friend whose husband was a pompous ass and pastor, combined with another friend whose wonderful "Christian" husband left her for a man. Incidentally, it's not the gay part I took issue with. It's the LIVING A LIE part. If he wasn't a selfish jerk, he could have gone off and lived his life, rather than destroy his wife and make her feel ugly, unwanted and always wrong. In real life, this man made his wife look nuts when she knew his truth all along. She was kicked out of the church for not being submissive and "ruining her marriage." They kept him. Until he left for his new boyfriend. But that all got brushed under the carpet. The thing is, sin is like energy. It doesn't go away, it changes form. And it infects.
We're all hypocrites, don't get me wrong -- none of us is perfect. We are all the prodigal son and those who think they are the "good" son who stayed home are in the biggest trouble. God sees all.
Anyway, after 20 years in the industry, I've seen a lot over the years. Maybe I'm jaded. Maybe I'm just sorry to be rejected (I don't think it's this though, or I'd write what is selling.) Rejection is just part of the publishing game. The issue for me is that I cannot color between the lines.
I'm working on a few books. They're funny. They're romantic. But they're also dealing with some hard issues -- like narcissism in the church, a sociopathic mother and mental illness being viewed as "sin." They're not for the Christian market -- though they contain no swearing or questionable sex scenes. The beautiful part about this new publishing era is that it allows for me to write to MY market.
Sometimes we have to change whether we want to or not. (Waving hand wildly!) Life has a way of moving us forward.
Here I am with the great Frank Peretti who a., did not write to market and who b., single-handedly started the Christian fiction realm.