Writing “The Amen Sisters”

A while back when we were talking about What makes IT Christian? I promised to write a post about the writing of The Amen Sisters. Well, this is that post!

Because of the subject matter of the book, I was determined not to sensationalize it. That meant The Amen Sisters was not going to be about the acts of a pastor gone wild. I was determined not to focus on the misdeeds of the pastor but the impact of his actions on those around him. For me, that was a more complex story, a more interesting story. I bet you can imagine the drama showing the pastor’s unpastoral actions would have brought to the book, but that was not my book to write.

I want to make another point about a choice that I made with The Amen Sisters but it gives away some of the book, so I’m going to put it on the next page. Don’t select “Read the rest of this entry” at the end of this post if you don’t want to know.

Every author makes choices with the stories he or she chooses to write. Our stories reflect our perspective. Some writers say their stories represent a “Christian worldview.” I’d probably go along with that as long as it’s understood that my stories represent “a” Christian worldview, not “the” Christian worldview.” I make this distinction because even though we are Christians our individual views are colored by our personal experiences of Christ.

That’s it for tonight. Don’t forget that selecting “Read the rest of this entry” below will tell you something about The Amen Sisters that you may not want to know before you read it.

The ending of The Amen Sisters has caused me to get a lot of email, not all of it good. I chose that ending because I didn’t want to give the impression that God gifts women with good men because they live godly lives. I wanted to show that my heroine could be happy and content with God. Isn’t that what we Christian women preach all the time–that we need to be satisfied with God alone before we’re ready for a mate? Well, that’s what I wanted to show in The Amen Sisters. It worked for some readers, but it didn’t for others.

5 thoughts on “Writing “The Amen Sisters”

  1. I didn’t click to read the rest because this one’s still in my TBR pile. However, I get the message. I wholeheartedly agree with the “a” Christian worldview part. I’m dismayed daily by how Christians are painted in the media due to the words or actions of some Christians. Perhaps that’s what their view tells them is right but not mine. And I try hard not to hold others accountable by my understanding. It’s for me.

    I’m not suggesting that Christianity is like Baskin-Robbins, a different flavor for everyone. What I am saying is that we each have to seek God and His revelation in our own lives. Perhaps He’s revealed something to you that He knows I’m not ready to receive yet. As such, my worldview does not include that revelation. Just puts us in different places, not ahead or behind…just different. Too many Christians have difficulty with this concept so I’m not surprised that the world doesn’t get it at all.

    Your ending sounds intriguing. I will definitely get to this one this year.

  2. I love how the book ended!! As not to reveal its ending to readers who have yet to read The Amen Sisters, I will say this: With the exception of The Amen Sisters, every African American Christian fiction book I’ve read has centered around relationships, struggles with sex, etc. After a while they are started reading alike. That’s not everyone’s STRUGGLE!!

    I want to read books that will empower me, that will show me a strong sister seeking God’s will for her life whether she has a man or not. I want to see her accomplishing her goals and living out her destiny. It’s so hard to find books like that written by black authors. And let’s not even talk about the non-Christian fiction by black authors. I know that “sex sells” and I just see a trend of authors now trying to see just how graphic they can be sexually in their writings. When I worked at the hospital, every Black nurse had a copy of one of Zane’s books on her med cart and they would be reading it in between servicing their patients. There are some good African American fiction books out there, but great authors like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Nikki Gionvanni, etc. are seemingly becoming the minority. 🙁

    I love the balance in The Amen Sisters and that’s why it’s my favorite Christian fiction book of all times. Patricia, you definitely need to read it.

  3. Although I was surprised by the ending, I thought it was realistic and I appreciated you taking the risk. I did however have a problem with the brother-in-law, the heroine’s ex-boyfriend (my own personal bias against cheaters who call themselves Christian) as I have indicated in my review. Overall, this was a satisfying read.

    1. Mrs. Benson,I really love your book The Amen Sisters. The only thing about the book I didn’t like is the part where you got [spoiler] agegned to each other. I really thought that it should be [spoiler] being agegned. The book is really good and I’m looking forward to reading all of your books.

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