I didn't set out to write a "Christian" novel. This was one of the great personal conflicts I dealt with during the writing of "Second Chance".
I wanted to write a romantic suspense...a "clean" romantic suspense. I have read many in which I loved the plot, the characters, even the comedic dialogue in some of them, but so many were proliferated with such language that I had a difficult time.
So I wanted my novel to be readable by people who would appreciate the lack of more "colorful" language.
On the flip side, I feared that if I touted a Christian novel, it would immediately put a stigma on the book, and turn off some people. Let's face it, I wanted to reach as many readers as possible if I was going to have a book published.
Then halfway through the novel, issues within the plot began to arise. And I simply could not have the characters continue to try to deal with these issues without turning to God for help. It's just something I personally do, and after all, isn't writing an extension of oneself? It is for me, anyway.
I also began to be burdened with the question, "If I don't honor God in the book, how can I ask Him to bless it?" At this point my father, who has been one of my heroes in the faith for many years, made a point to tell me this: Sometimes we can use our gifts to gain recognition, then give glory to God through our actions. He used the example of Christian athletes. While I understood his point, it didn't resolve my issues within the book itself.
So what did I decide?
My characters turned to God. Not because it would make a good impression on my Christian friends. Not because I could say, "this is a Christian novel". Not because I was using a Christian publisher, or because it might gain me speaking engagements with Christian organizations. It was because that was what the characters should do.
In times of crisis, we who know the Lord, usually turn to Him. Even people who only know of the Lord and have no personal relationship often cry out to Him for help in those extreme circumstances. And sometimes, God uses those events in our lives to draw us closer to Him. I know he has done it for me personally. It certainly made a difference in the lives of my characters.
So I still say that my book is a romantic suspense novel. Many who read it will enjoy it for that fact alone. And that's okay.
My prayer is that God will use this book to remind some of us that He is always there, even in the midst of troubles. Even when we have been so angry with Him that we have rejected His presence. And perhaps He will bring someone back to Him.