Taking Back the Past

Sweet Passion I posted a while back about being concerned about my upcoming re-issues from Harlequin. A lot of my concern stemmed from confusing readers who have certain expectations for my work now that I write Christian fiction. Thanks to the support of some of you and to what I refer to as my “Anne Rice” moment, I decided to let it go and let God take care of it.

He did exactly that. I just saw the cover for my latest re-issue and I laughed out loud. You know why? Because there’s no way anybody could confuse that cover with a Christian fiction novel. And when I think about it, even the title, Sweet Passion, suggests that the story is not Christian fiction. And it’s not. Let’s be clear: my earlier romances include sexual content (though I’ve been told it’s pretty mild) that I do not put in my books today.

So now I rest easy. Actually, I started resting easy a while back after reading something that Anne Rice said about not being ashamed of her earlier books. I think she referred to them as “a record of her past.” I love that! When I look at my Christian fiction titles, they all deal with people who have done things in their past that they haven’t really dealt with, things they feel they need to hide or be ashamed of. How fitting is it then that my past is now staring me in the face?

A theme of my current books, and it’s always there, is that with Christ, the past is nothing to beat yourself down about. If you’ve been there, you can help somebody else who’s there now. Now it’s my turn to live like that’s true. Instead of being worried about the re-issues, I’m excited about what God’s going to do with them.

So how am I going to take back the past? Well, instead of focusing on the books, I’m going to focus on what they represent as “a record of my past.” Over the next few weeks, I’ll blog about what I was thinking when I was writing each of the re-issues and what was going on in my life at the time. I think you’ll enjoy reading the story behind the story.

One more thing. This notion of “taking back the past” relates directly to Geigh’s comments about fighting for what’s yours even though your own actions put it in jeopardy in the first place. Maybe you need to take back your past, too. You’re welcome to join me.

9 thoughts on “Taking Back the Past

  1. Angela, nothing for you to be concerned about. That was what you wrote THEN–this is who you are NOW and NOW is all that matters. Amen. You’re a wonderful writer….period. You’ve just shifted your area of writing.

  2. Thanks, Geigh. I’m really looking forward to blogging about what was going on with me during the time I was writing my earlier books. I have some very warm memories that I will enjoy bringing to life and as well as some lessons that I hope I can share.

  3. You know I believe the journey is a part of the process to making us whole. I’m so glad the Lord has given you peace with this issue.

    Blessings,

    Rhonda

  4. Angela, what I sensed in my spirit as I read this post is that the reissues will point readers to God. They’ll start by reading the reissues and then, desiring to read more of your books, they’ll move on to your Christian titles…and definitely be blessed in the process. God is going to use the reissues to reach some people who otherwise would not pick up anything Christian.

  5. Thanks Mary, Rhonda and Angela for the words of encouragement. I’ll be sure to share the stories of hope that the re-issues cause to surface. It’s going to be exciting.

  6. I can’t be two-faced here either (see comment for Feb. 15 blog). I’ve always much preferred reading Christian books but for many years, they were very far and few between. In short, there were none–at least no fiction. I needed that for relief from tension and daily problems. Yes, the Bible probably should be enough but even a very godly pastor I know who had never even played any games before his wife taught him, now acknowledges that it’s not a sin to enjoy some reading other than the Bible and theology.

    I’m so glad that there are so many more authors writing Christian fiction now. I just saw (is it Jim?) Dekker mentioned in the NYT this week as one of the most influential authors presently writing. I know that during my growing-up years there were a few Christian novels for children, but that was it. As an adult, you were supposed to read only theology or devotional books or the like.

    So I started to read more and more secular fiction. This still did not affect my standards or my values much, I say much because I really can’t evaluate that correctly. However, I never lost sight of my faith and what really motivated me. Maybe the tide changed while I was working in Europe for 10 years, but it took a while even after my return before I discovered the wealth and variety of faith-based fiction now available. By then I’d gotten into reading other writers but certain aspects always made me feel at best somewhat uncomfortable.

    I’m so glad things have changed. I wish they’d change enough so that the price of Christian fiction would come down. Instead, the price of other fiction keeps going up. And for me, it certainly isn’t going up according to my cost of living or my disability income.

  7. Sigrun, you may a very valid and interesting point about the price of books. I was pleased when my publisher gave The Amen Sisters a price point of $21.95 versus 23.95 or 24.95. I had hoped for a 19.95 price point, but it didn’t happen. The good news is that you can get books from the library and you can wait for the paperback release. Sometimes readers feel badly about going to the library, but you shouldn’t. Just encourage your library to purchase multiple copies and encourage your firends to check out the book themselves rather than borrowing the copy that you checked out.

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