Is small exorcisms a Christian novel?
Could it be presented to a Christian audience, a Christian publisher?
If so, what might people think of all the !@$^% and darkness? What would a Christian publisher think of the fact that one of my characters is a gay priest? Who gets the ever-loving %$$@&* tortured out of him?
I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. — Psalm 101:3
Owen, a psychopath incapable of feeling regret, is quite capable of vile acts, and does them. Most are merely alluded to, but the last one is described, and it’s a nasty one.
However, Frank and Sophie — the main instigator of the kidnapping, and his daughter — wrestle with their guilt, and struggle with understanding forgiveness and God’s love. There’s a strong theme of forgiveness and letting go of the past. I’m presently writing a scene where Sophie asks a Christian friend/coworker about forgiveness.
I’m concerned that the message — God redeems and forgives — will get lost in the muck of Mischa’s torture at Owen’s hands. But I don’t want to write a novel that dances around, either. Vengeance, rape, torture, possible suicide — these things happen in this world!
A quote from Mike Duran, author:
We are called to think pure thoughts and meditate on that which is good. However, that does not mean we should live in denial about the darkness all around us. Nor should we eschew the horrific simply because it is unsettling. In fact, it is this “unsettling” that may make our stories more efficacious.
I’m glad I’m not alone in my thinking. But will I convince a publisher? Or a reader?
Tell me your thoughts. Please. And then go read Duran’s article.