I am, by trade, a storyteller. I am a novelist, and I LOVE to tell stories. Some of them might make you laugh, some of them might make you cry, and all of them (I hope) entertain you.
You might not know this, but part of my job as a novelist is to manipulate you. I am supposed to massage your emotions into loving my characters and settings so much that you laugh with them, cry with them, and buy book two or book three and become a lifelong fan of them.
From writing to speaking
As an author, I am often invited to speak at events. Usually, people want to hear my story. They want to hear about the writing life, the process of writing novels, and how I create characters. They want a glimpse into the life of a novelist, curious to see if it is as glamorous as the movies indicate.
Spoiler: it’s not. Not unless getting up hours before my kids just to squeeze in some quiet writing time is glamorous.
The Call of a Christian Storyteller
As a writer and a speaker, I have to continually remind myself that the story entrusted to me, the story that I have been called to steward well, is not the story you find within the pages of one of my books. It’s not my personal story about my life as a writer. As a believer, I am to use my talents to tell God’s story.
My words are not powerful enough to change your life. My words might amuse you. They might inform you on some topic of interest or even enlighten you to consider a new idea, but only the Word of God has the power to transform you. I’m just the storyteller called by God to steward the greatest story ever written—His.
That means that even as a novelist who spends the majority of my time creating fictional worlds and characters, I must be a serious student of God’s Word. I must train myself to handle, interrupt, and teach—yes, teach—the Word of God responsibly. I will be accountable to the Lord for the way I have represented Him in my books and for the way I have portrayed Him during a presentation. That is a weighty and sobering truth.
The most important message I can communicate as a speaker or as a writer is that there is Someone much greater than me desirous of your attention. This Someone wrote an entire book to communicate His great love for his people and the lengths to which He will go to redeem them. This Someone is holy enough to demand all who enter his presence be holy, and then He makes it possible for sinners like you and me to put on the holiness of Christ by faith. This is the story that can change your life for all eternity. The words penned by His Spirit are the ones powerful enough to transform a heart of stone into a heart of flesh.
I am just the storyteller, a novelist with a greater message. I am a student of the Word of God, and I take the responsibility of representing God accurately seriously.
*image by Ben White. Used with permission. Unsplash.com