Friday, June 29, 2007

The Other Side of the Writing Life . . .


This is part of the writing life few people talk about. Oh, it's nice to hear kind comments and read nice reviews, but every once in a while the opposite happens.

I just received the following email:

I just am finishing the book, "Uncharted" I found it very difficult reading. In addition, for a Christian author where is all this talking to the dead, etc. I was really turned off with that. In fact, I will have a hard time picking up one of your future reads. We live in such a satanic world that we don't need to be encouraged by, even fiction, slanting towards something that is not of God.

This is one of the hardest things about going public with your thoughts, your stories, your life in pages--when someone completely misunderstands, misses the point, or misinterprets all that you have struggled for months to say. Of course I wrote this person back and tried to explain that Uncharted is the retelling of a biblical parable, but I'm not sure my explanations help.

It's hard for me to understand how someone could think that a book could originate with a Christian author, get past a Christian editor (half a dozen of them, actually), be published by a Christian publisher, and get into Christian bookstores while being "not of God."

Sigh.

~~Angie, wishing you a blessed Friday. Anyone getting an iPhone today?

14 comments:

Kay said...

Did someone talk to the dead? I mean besides other dead people?

Anyway, how frustrating, I'm sure. It's frustrating enough when it happens in regular conversation.

But this person is definitely in the minority. I didn't see anything like that at all in the book. Seems like a big stretch to me.

oh amanda said...

On the other hand, Uncharted might be one of the books that has stuck with me the longest. I couldn't get it out of my head OR heart. It spoke to me with clarity from God's Word! I even wrote an article about it myself!

Dana said...

I loved Uncharted. Difficult read? Sure. But just in the sense that it didn't leave me with a warm fuzzy - which is actually what I like about your books - they're not sappy. Anyway. It made me run to God and thank Him for His gift of Jesus and His mercy.

Marla said...

Oh, Angie. You must know in your heart of hearts that your writing is dead on, completely in line with God's Word. But I know it still hurts.

Praying that God will fill you with peace and keep Satan far from you (him and his crappy little underhanded attacks).

Every one of your books has inspired me to walk closer and closer to Christ.

(My husband would loooooove an iPhone.)

Marla said...

I keep meaning to ask you this--is it really Friday, June 29 @ 5:22 a.m where you are? Are you not in FL? Or is your computer clock just off a few hours?

jan said...

i was reading reviews on various books the other day and realized that the negative remarks were often written by those that did not seem to fully understand biblical truths. it is unfortunate, for these are the people we are trying to reach. your writing has been an inspiration to me, and as my favorite author i will be sure to read every book you write! thanks!

Angela said...

You are all so kind. I almost took this post down right after I put it up because I didn't want it to seem like I was asking for a pat on the back OR wallowing in self-pity. These things happen, and Jan, you're right, sometimes people have an incomplete understanding of scripture, so they don't get it. Or they don't want to.

I was thinking about Paul's milk/meat analogy the other day. What happens when you feed meat to a baby who's still drinking milk? They choke.

But I've been writing a long time, and personally, I'm investigating the deeper truths of God. So, whenever possible, I try to write about those things.

Anyway, I've rambled long enough. And Marla (tee hee), I always post-date my posts. I can do it manually. The time is hardly ever accurate--well, once a day it is. :-)

Angie

Richard Mabry said...

Angie,
Jesus said we'd always have the poor with us. What He neglected to say, but what every author, speaker, preacher, or public figure soon finds out, is that we will also always have with us those who misunderstand our words, actions, or intentions--even though we think they are self-evident.
Thank you for having the courage to follow your call. Remember, even Ted Williams only batted .400.

BJ said...

You already know my feeling about this kind of letter ...

Phhhtttt.

BJ

Leslie said...

Ok now I feel guilty after reading this. Last night I was reading "The Debt" (completely ignored the BOM discussions since I hadn't read it yet). Got to the pizza delivery truck/Schwann's scene, promptly threw the book away from me and said "I don't like her anymore!"

But I don't really feel that way. You are in my top 10 favorite authors and you are probably the one I respect the absolute most. I haven't read "Uncharted" yet, but I know that it couldn't be anything but pointing towards God.

So tomorrow, I'll pick "The Debt" up again and I know that you have a reason for what you did. (I'm pretty sure I already know the reason).

Oh, and if you don't mind-awhile back you had a site that you said you used for figuring out the personalities of your characters. Do you mind sharing that again. I couldn't find the post and I'm trying to figure mine (my characters, not me) out.

Thank you!

Accidental Poet said...

I'm glad you left the post up. It's easy to have a blog where you all talk about is the praise - it takes real courage, and integrity to show everyone the negative stuff. It makes this an honest place to be, not just a monument to yourself :)

As for the negative comments, the part that bothers me is - what was this person hoping to accomplish? In addition, I have found that your Q&A sections at the back of your books (the two I remember specifically are Unspoken and The Shadow Women) answers a lot of the questions I might have.

Susan

Angela said...

Thank you, Susan. And yes, that's why I have those Q&A sections or author interviews in the back of the book. Because I know that I tackle some pretty unconventional topics, I want to make sure my purposes and reasons are clear. You're not supposed to be didactic in fiction, and I don't want to intrude into the story, so I use the lovely format of the Q&A.

Leslie, I use the Myers-Briggs personality indicators to define my characters. Google that, and you'll find zillions of web pages. You can even find books about it--one of my favorites is PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME.

aNGIE

Danielle said...

Hello Angela!

I just finished reading your "Uncharted" last night. Wow. I was not expecting that ending. Thank you for continuing to provide fresh, chills-down-my-spine allegories. You are one of the only Christian fiction writers I read, finding much of it too shallow.

There were a couple of slight things I disagreed with {mostly to do with my squeamishness} but I viewed the visions in the cave more as visions than dead people communicating with living people.

Thanks for inspiring me. As an aspiring writer myself, you challenge me to ask, "What if?"

Becky said...

I just posted a review of "Uncharted" on my blog because I was so enthralled with the writing and the message! This reader who complained missed the entire point of the book. I am a big fan of yours and have read 4 of your books and will add more to my list.