Saying that God wrote your book is something of a joke in Christian publishing. Because while really, hopefully, He did have an awful lot to do with it, you still want to walk that fine line between being inspired and sounding, um, nutty.
While I certainly give God the credit for any success I’ve had with my books, I don’t usually go around claiming special dispensation. Which makes it utterly delightful when someone points out something in one of my books that I didn’t know was in there.
- Several readers of Miracle in a Dry Season commented on how the physical drought reflected the spiritual drought many characters where experiencing. Hunh, look at that!
- In Until the Harvest a good friend mentioned how sisters Margaret and Mayfair are very Mary and Martha-like. By golly, the are!
When I was in college, I studied reader-response criticism, which basically says that each reader will bring his or hear own experiences to a text and will draw meaning based on those personal experiences. Which means I might put something in there that no one “gets,” while they might “find” something I had no intention of including.
Which is all good and well when you’re an English major in college. Now, as a writer hearing from readers, I’d rather call it God-response. I’d rather believe that God can use my words to speak to someone in a way I never imagined.
A reader wrote a beautiful note about how she, like Perla, was an unwed mother. My story and the fact that Perla isn’t let “off the hook” with a socially acceptable reason for having a child meant the world to her. She, too, had found forgiveness. I had no notion of speaking to a grieved, single mom when I wrote the story. I guess maybe God did.
And I’m so glad he used me.