Tuesday, June 19, 2007

On Writing Diva NashVegas - Final Thoughts

Many of the Diva NashVegas reviews have said how brave Thomas Nelson was to let me doing something edgy.

What, you ask, did I do?

After reviewing Aubrey's life, I did not see her as virginal. Taking into account her spiritual compass was whacked when her parents died, and subsubquently she lost her brother by abandonment, I couldn't see her towing the line.

First she's wounded. Her moral compass is now being directed by the life of celebrity. She's away from God because He allowed he parents to die.

I recently read a statistic that said most Christian woman do not consider their sex life submitted to God. Now that's a sad commentary on the Church.

So, in light of that, I felt Aubrey would have a past, and in fact, be in a sexual relationship with her current boyfriend turned fiance.

Otherwise, I just did not feel she would be authentic. However, I didn't want to make her a "ho" or a sex pot. I wanted her to be normal, feeling she's living right by only sleeping with a man she loves, but I tried to hint at underlying conviction. Deep down, she knows it's not the right thing to do.

The Ryman Scene

I decided to have a judgemental fan of her parents confront her. What I wanted to show was that often religious people sin more than those they judge.

When this woman confronts Aubrey about her life of sin, it is without love and mercy. She's harsh and condeming. When Aubrey responds with humilty, the woman is almost angered.

The juxtaposition here is the kettle calling the pot black. The woman is no better than Aubrey.

Yet, Aubrey hears her. Which I think speaks so much to her character. She realizes while the messenger is all whack, the message is right. Loved her for this.

Coming home to Jesus

It's hard to write spiritual content. One, it so easily comes off preachy. Two, I don't want to present my soap boxes or my slant on things to such a wide audience. Seven million plus Christians pray in tongues, I'm one of them, but not all who love Jesus do. I wouldn't want to present anything in a book that would distract from the true story. I'm not wimping out on what I believe, I'm just avoiding a potential argument when there is no need.

So, spiritual content is difficult to weave. I always want to present a realistic picture of the faith journey.

I try to think different, go out of the box, be intentional in my character's spiritual journey. Maybe have things happen to them I'd like to have happen to me: see a vision or something.

Because Aubrey is strong, I decided she would make the decision to go to church when she realizes she's heading in a direction she doesn't want to go.

She gets up one Sunday morning and decides to go to church. Period. God meets her there. The pastor of this church is my real life friend and man of God, Shawn Bolz. He's not a pastor of a church, but a minister of the Gospel nonetheless. And the man has seens some stuff! Good stuff. God is awesome.

Finding true love

When Aubrey finds her true love, she holds him off for a long time. She wants to do this right. We see her love, even desire for him, but also her desperate desire to get her life in God deep and strong.

In her spiritual journey, I hope the readers discovers a Father of love. One who will always welcome the prodigals home. One who understands the weak human heart and the tug of the flesh. Aubrey is like so many of us, once lost, but now found.

The Lord is always there for us, arms open wide. If only we won't give up on ourselves.

1 comment:

Gina Burgess said...

Rachel, I seriously wish I had read this before I posted my review.

I humbly ask your forgiveness.

I would like to print a good portion of this in my newspaper book review. It is very poignant, and has a great point. Even if some young woman does not read your book, she may be swayed by what you said here.

Gina Burgess