Not Just a Storyteller

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.

Whose story are you telling?

God’s Story

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

Why I Write Christian Romance

whyiwriteromance

Christian Romance books do not involve sexual love. The romance is based on an emotional connection between the characters and growing respect. The story is told as an allegory of God’s love for His children.

In my novels, the plot moves the story forward—not shocking or steamy scenes. I take Ephesians 5:4 seriously, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

God has placed each of us in the middle of a love story.

You are, right now, in a love story.

Some love stories are dramas. They’re full of heart-wrenching moments and climatic events. Some love stories are like a feel-good-girls-night-out, everything falls into place at the right moment and clicks. Some love stories are suspenseful; they have us biting our nails and wondering if good will ever prevail. And some of you are thinking – love story? – yeah right!

I don’t know your circumstances or life, but what I hope all my readers understand is that there is Someone who does. He is greater than any fictional prince, and He left his kingdom to pursue your heart. Not only is He pursuing you, but He is writing your story as a part of His story. He has promised that the stories of all His children end in victory for His glory.

Broken Love Stories

Our culture often depicts love in steamy images, as if love is solely based on sexual feelings. Our culture manipulates hearts and stirs up inappropriate passions. I believe this world needs clean, wholesome, and God-honouring stories. It needs authors bold enough to call cheap, broken, and worldly lust what it is—sin. It needs stories of purity, characters that honour God first, and illustrations of how true satisfaction comes from a right relationship with God not from a human relationship.

Ephesians 4:29 refers to speech, but it applies to authors as well, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Christian romance stories thrive within the boundaries God has created for love, and that gives hope to those who have only known broken love. Not hope in the right man, but hope in the Lord.

Happily Ever After

In this genre, you can count on your happy ending—and I like that. But more importantly than finding her one-true-love is my heroine’s growth in her walk with the Lord. More important than saving the day, winning the girl, and defeating the villain is my hero’s surrender to God.

So yes, I write romance. But the real story is exposing the lie my characters believe about themselves, the world, or God and proving that lie to be untrue. The real story is that God is the Hero, the pursuer of our hearts, and the lover of our souls.