Hello everyone! I am finally able to write my first post. Today I will be talking about how my personal relationship with Jesus Christ has affected my writing! First of all, I am not the perfect Christian. Even though no one is perfect, I do think some Christians are definitely more faithful than others and I am still working on my faith (work-in-progress, I like to call it). However, I have always believed in God, even before I was saved, and I am very sure that He gives me all my ideas for a reason: to share them with others! Here are some ways that my faith has affected my writing:
Last year a book idea came to me: a story of a teenager struggling with her faith while living in poverty. I am very sure that God wanted me to write this idea because it just wouldn’t go away. While I am haunted by many book ideas, it seemed that this one was absolutely stuck. It’s all I could think of. It took me several months to finish the book and I am always thrilled when someone new reads it and speaks on the faith element and how inspiring it is. Now, it has bothered some people, but for the most part my feedback is positive, even if the people aren’t Christians. They can relate to Peace and her initial falling out with God (even I have found myself angry with Him at times). I don’t know if writing a book such as Peace Represent is enough to plant to seed, but deep down I know that God can use anything to bring someone to Him so I sincerely hope that the books I write that have faith in them will do this.
Whispertown is the story of a teenager who lives in a very small, Christian conservative town where the people tend to be judgmental of everyone else besides themselves. Over the past two years, I have learned about extremist Christians and have had the chance to encounter a few. While it’s great to have deep faith, sometimes the actions of these individuals seems to contradict the way Christians are supposed to act–judging when you are sinning, hating people for their sins, etc. In Whispertown, the main character is raped and impregnanted my the preacher’s son. This girl’s older cousin has had a child out of wedlock and is treated terribly because of it and so the girl decides not to tell anyone and to endure it as long as possible.
Thinking of her cousin, who chose to have her baby instead of aborting it, the main character reveals the hypocrisy of many people–some people who are very against abortion are also the same people making single mothers feel like trash even though they chose to have their babies instead of aborting them–doesn’t that sound odd to you? I would have thought many pro-life people would be very happy that some of these women chose to become mothers instead of ending the pregnancy. I am very sure these single/teen mothers know they are in a mess–who really wants to be a single mother? Most people want their children to have two parents. What does making someone who already knows they screwed up feel even worse about themselves accomplish? I cannot, cannot picture Jesus condemning single mothers. Did he condemn the adulteress? No. He treated her kindly and tried to show her the right path. It seems that even today, I mostly see some Christians not treating people such as single mothers kindly–no, they treat them like scum of the earth. I have very big plans for this book. Sorry if it sounded like a rant. This book tends to get me fired up concerning how people should have more compassion :-)
Strawberry Sunrises is the story of a girl whose family takes her and her siblings to their hometown, where they make new friends and even become saved. Unfortunately a tragedy strikes and the main character becomes angry with God for it and shuts Him out of her life until she returns years later as an adult, ready to face the tragedy once and for all and to make amends with God.
When November rolls around, I will be doing a book concerning a girl with very extremist Christian parents who want to keep her from anything they deem bad, and how this often causes more problems than good.
These books are examples of how my beliefs have influenced my work. I apologize if they sound like rants or promotions–they are merely examples of how my beliefs can sometimes very actively affect the things that I write. You are absolutely not under any kind of obligation to read them!
Have a wonderful day!
– J.N. Cahill