What would your reaction be if I told you I was writing a story called The Accidental Text? In this story, a girl sends a text message to a phone number she thinks belongs to a friend. But it turns out the friend changed her number and the girl ends up exchanging several messages with a perfect stranger. The stranger is a man who sounds interesting, friendly and educated. When she sees his picture, he’s drop dead gorgeous. They exchange messages for weeks and when they decide to meet in person he ends up attacking and killing her.
The rest of the story details how the girlfriend with the new phone number discovers what happened, tracks down her friend’s killer and helps bring him to justice. Sound interesting? Would you want to read it? Would you judge me for writing this story?
What if the story went a little differently? Over the weeks that they communicate by text and phone, the two fall in love. When she meets the guy in person they have sex in his car. They develop a relationship, in which the sex is passionate, steamy, intense; in the shower, on the kitchen table, outside in the backyard. If I told you this was the story I wrote, would you judge me?
I’ll tell you, I’d feel more comfortable telling you I wrote story A than I would telling you I wrote story B. But why is that? Is sex worse than murder?
I write romance – some of it erotic. Okay a lot of it is erotic. And in my stories the characters have sex.
While I was in church today, I looked around at the people I worship with – my church family and couldn’t help wondering what they’d think if they knew the type of story I just had published on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Bowmans-Inn-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00WBZSN0G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431909410&sr=8-1&keywords=bowman%27s+inn ) Or the story I’m working on currently.
Over the past year that I’ve been writing I’ve been concerned about whether I’d share my writing with my family, my friends, or worse, the people I go to church with. Would people say or even think that because of my faith and spiritual beliefs I shouldn’t write about characters who engage in questionable activities? Deep inside I guess I wondered if I should be writing the type of stories that I do.
But then I thought about books written about murder, serial rapists, people who don’t recycle, and people who don’t quite get the concept of what the left lane is for on a highway. Do the authors of such stories worry that they’ll be judged by their peers because they write about topics which are socially unacceptable? Criminal activity? Sinful activity?
I don’t think the fact that an author writes about topics that are socially questionable means he or she engages in, or condones such behavior.
We can write about drug use, driving slowly in the left lane, or failure to recycle without it meaning we engage in those activities, so why should I fear judgment for writing what I believe is an interesting story just because my characters are engaged in a sexual relationship? So yes. I write about sex. Hot, steamy, knock your socks off sex. But I also have a loving relationship with my God. No longer will I worry that these two areas of my life cannot coexist. No longer will I fear that people will judge me. I know that not everyone will like what I write, but I also know I can be true to my faith and still write steamy erotic romance.