I wrote a book. It took a really long time. Years of thought, months of writing, months of editing. I found a publisher who believes in me and soon my baby will be born for all the world to see. To say I’m excited about that is a massive understatement.
It’s a fairly controversial book. I had editors (less fabulously open-minded and forward thinking than mine) tell me, “I can’t print this book. We print for a Christian audience. This book is too secular.” One said, “I don’t like that you included angels. The Bible already said everything there is to say on that subject.” I also heard, “We would never be able to sell this. It’s way too Christian.”
My husband is worried that everyone will hate me because a beloved character comes to a disturbingly bad end.
One of my beta readers told me, “If the scenario you present really happened, more of the main characters would die.”
It would seem that you can’t please all of the people, all of the time.
The story I wrote deals with the battle between good and evil, faith and fear, that which we know and that which we wonder about. I knew, going in, it would ruffle some feathers.
I never thought it would be banned. I mean… who does that anymore, right? Why wouldn’t someone want to discuss the big issues in life?
Apparently there are a good many people who go to great lengths to stop others from discussing the big issues in life.
Books as diverse as The Great Gatsby, Harry Potter, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Perks of Being A Wallflower have been banned or challenged.
This isn’t something that happened in history long past. This is something that is happening today. It happens in cultures where people are considered to be oppressed and it happens right here in The Land Of The Free.
Now, I’m not saying that every book should be in every library. I don’t want my tax dollars spent on buying a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey for the local elementary school. I’m also not saying every book puts forth great values that I believe all society should embrace. The Satanic Verses pretty much goes against everything I believe is good from one cover to the other.
But do I believe people should have a right to write, publish, and market their books – ALL of their books?
Further, I think you should read them.
Please let me put a little disclaimer on that sentence. I have a mentor in my life who says, “Without knowing anything about you I can tell you where you’ll be in five years based on the people you associate with and the books you read.”
I believe he’s on to something. Read books that will improve your life. Read books that will guide you along your chosen path. Don’t surround yourself with drivel.
But challenge your mind. Irritate yourself a little. Push past, “everybody knows…” because the truth is, only the tiny little circle of people in your immediate association think the way that you assume everybody thinks. There are seven billion people in the world and at least that many stories to be told. Get outside of yourself a little.
If you’ve never understood why black people get all worked up about race, read The Color Purple.
If you can’t quite grasp why depressed people don’t just look on the bright side, read What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
If you think there are books that should just disappear off the face of the earth, read Fahrenheit 451.
Maybe you’ll realize that it’s time to rethink your position. Perhaps you’ll be shored up in your beliefs and become even stronger in your convictions. Either way you win.
I challenge you to observe Banned Books Week. Read something that rubs you the wrong way with every word. It’s more fun than you may think.
For more information on banned books week please visit the official website.
What’s your favorite controversial book? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!
Visit my author page for all the latest info on the Heaven And Earth Series!