Tackling the Thorny Subjects
As a teenager I devoured The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis. I loved the idea of reading the enemy's mail, just as intrepid spies tried to do during World War II.
In 2007, I aimed to do the same thing, taking on the historical and biblical origins of vampires and their desire for blood, even the Nazarene Blood on a Roman cross. My Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy kicked off with my 6th novel, Field of Blood, a deeply researched, dark and gritty, extremely spiritual book. It dealt with death, addiction, sexual temptation, and religious hypocrisy.
Not everyone got it, but many loved it. Pastors wrote me, saying it was the most powerful symbolism they'd ever read in fiction. Non-Christians told me it was the most original vampire series they'd come across.
I also had people tell me I was "consorting with demons," "flirting with the devil," and "in danger of losing my salvation." One man, whom I had financially supported in his work with Romanian orphanages, refused to receive my money any longer because it was "gained by evil means."
My 7th book, Fireproof, became a NY Times bestseller and had Christian bookstore employees and readers wanting to take photos with me. Go figure.
When we as writers create stories, we can explore questions, enlighten, entertain, or offer escape. Sometimes we manage to do all at the same time. Even in one if the "safe" stories I've written, such as Fireproof, my character dealt with porn addiction and destructive unforgiveness.
What can I say? I love tackling the thorny subjects. If you've read the trilogy, you know exactly what I mean.