As I prepared to launch my book in March 2014, I received several questions regarding my book and some suspicion from Christian and secular readers alike.
The skeptical Christians were asking:
Is it written from a Biblical worldview?
Is there anything that makes it distinctly Christian?
Is there anything in it that would offend Christians?
Is it consistent with Philippians 4:8?
And secular minded people were asking:
Why did you put Christian stuff in it?
Do you do a lot of preaching in it?
Is there anything in it that would offend someone who wasn't a Christian?
Allow me to answer these questions with a few questions of my own:
Have ye skeptical Christians ever read ye ol Bible from cover to cover? How about Deuteronomy? What about Genesis or Judges? What about Isiah, Jeremiah, or Daniel? Is there anything in those books that would offend Christians? Is all of it consistent with Philippians 4:8? Is there some fantastic creatures mentioned in those books?
The answers to the last three questions is: Oh yeah, not really, and definitely.
But I can guarantee that my book is not nearly as "bad" as those books in the Bible.
My book does not have any cussing, sex, incest, or rape like most of the Old Testament tales are full of.
What my book DOES have is:
-Dragons (Job 41:1-34, Job 40:15-20, Isaiah 34:13, Psalms 91:13)
-Violence (Aside from the fact that the Bible is FULL of violence, from Cain killing his brother to God wiping out the cities of Sodom and Gamorah, just the simple fact that Jesus was "as a lamb to the slaughter" suggests violence)
-Monsters & Strange Creatures (Isaiah 6:2, Ezekiel 1:4 - chapter 2, Daniel 7:7, Job 40:15-24, Job 41)
-A bad witch who uses magic (1Samuel 28, 2 Kings 9:22, Exodus 22:18)
Why did you make a Christian fantasy book?
Why do you have finger nails and hair? Because it is a part of you. My love for God and His Son, Jesus, and my love for the Bible is the reason I wrote a Christian fantasy book. They are a part of me. I am not putting that aside because it makes YOU feel uncomfortable.
Is there anything in it that would offend someone, Christian or otherwise?
When I was a little girl, I tried to please my friends AND my parents and quickly learned that I could not. I cannot make everyone happy - it is completely impossible - and so I do not try to make everyone happy. There are some people who my book would offend for the simple fact that I wrote it (purely personal). I do not try to purposely offend anyone at all, but if something offends you in my book, I'm sorry. Here's a tip: if you think it might offend you, DON'T READ IT. Go read something soft and squishy, like a romance novel.
Is there anything in it that makes it distinctly Christian?
I think there is: the constant mention of Dayspring (God), bad guys being bad vs. good guys being good (the clear line between good and evil is a constant in the Bible, after all).
Is it consistent with Philippians 4:8?
Okay. I'm going to be a bit sarcastic: (Mom: you had better close your eyes.) Are YOU consistent with Philippians 4:8?
I always try to keep Philippians 4:8 in mind as I write, because Philippians 4:8 was written as a basic guideline of how Christians should speak, think, and act.
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
We all interpret Philippians 4:8 differently, I am sure. But, when I write, I try to write what is true, my characters and I try to be honest and just, I try to keep my story pure, my good guys lovely. My story will have a "good report" as far as content, and I and my good characters endeavor to be virtuous. Even my bad guys are clean cut.
Yes. There is evil in my stories. Yes. There is death in my stories. Yes. There are dragons in my stories. But if you have read the Bible from cover to cover, then you must have run across talking snakes and donkeys, dragons, unicorns, seraphim, giants, witches, sorcery, ghosts, miracles, a thousand wars, and even naked people. I seriously doubt my book can be much worse.
If it would make you feel better, I could write a book about my family history... but in the end I think you would rather read The Dragons Son, because my family kinda has an R rated history. No lie.
When I was a young girl, a very kind lady I've known all my life introduced me to a fascinating creature: a ferret.
I remember that the ferret had been sleeping in an old t-shirt in its cage. I thought the cage was empty, until suddenly, this strange little creature popped it's head out of the t-shirt and looked right at me with the utmost curiosity. I froze where I was at, and I must have screamed, because the ferret disappeared back into his t-shirt and the kind lady came to my aid in a hurry "It's called a ferret, darling." she explained with a smile "Would you like to hold it?" she asked. Of course, I said yes. The moment she put the long, furry creature into my small hands, I was in love. I wanted one.
Years later, my parents were still not sold on my having a ferret. They thought it was a rodent (which it is not, by the way.... daddy, I'm talking to YOU.), and rodents are not allowed in our house (we have field mice visiting our house all the time, after all). So, I contented myself with taking my desire to the one person I could always rely on: God. I told Him very often how much I liked ferrets, and how I would like to have one some day. He must have heard me, because I did end up with one.
In 2009, my sister and I went to the local pet shelter to turn in some stray dogs. While we were there, I noticed a small cage with two ferrets in it. One, a big one, was the acclaimed mascot of the shelter. The other one was small and younger, and had been found wandering the streets. One of the managers at the shelter, a sweet old gentleman, was celebrating his 80th birthday that day. His grin was quite large as he pulled the small ferret from the cage and said "Today is my birthday, and I want to give you a present!" and he handed the ferret over.
No, it wasn't proper procedure, but it was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me, and I will never forget it.
From that time on, Popi (poe-pee) lived with our family. The vet guessed her to be a little over a year old when she was given to me, which would've made her about 6ish years old this year. That is a very ripe age for a ferret, considering most don't live past that age.
In the past, Popi was always a very active little girl. She could play outside in my flowerbeds for hours, and would never hold still for pictures. She would hunt mice and tarantulas (shudder), and could take a full grown Golden Retriever down to the ground! She was feisty and full of fight! Over the first few months of this year, however, Popi had begun to show her age. She was moving slow and tired easily. Her appetite came and went, and she had several fainting spells and a couple of seizures if she stressed too much. I knew that her time was growing very short.
On May 16th, Popi was feeling active and lively, so I said to myself "While she's feeling good, you should get some decent photos of her..." With the help of the kids, I laid out a nice blanket on the couch, grabbed my camera, gave Popi some treats, and took some pictures of her. She actually posed for me a couple of times! I was so happy. I knew that, if she were to pass away that night, I would have a couple of good pictures to remember her by.
On June 14th, 2014, before 10AM, my dear little Popi passed away quietly. I miss her very much.
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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