All of my published works, so far, are for children so my answer is different depending on the age group. If my characters are slightly older teenagers, I like to hint at a strong friendship that may turn into romance later on; but if they’re any younger, it’s just something they observe between their parents or another married couple. For my books for young adult readers (two in progress right now), I have a couple questions I ask myself. 1.) What level of relationship are these characters in? 2.) Is this something they would do in public? I highly value purity, in my own life and in what I fill readers’ minds with. So if these characters just met each other, their actions would be on one level, but if they are married it would be appropriate for it to be deeper. And as far as the second question goes, these characters are having their lives shown off to a reader, so I won’t be portraying anything that wouldn’t be appropriate in public.
2. If you write scenes with violence, what do you rely on as a guide/gauge?
If I have to write violence (my absolute least favorite part!), I keep my audience’s age in mind to figure out what would be appropriate for them to know. I also like to use some techniques to skirt around the issue. In my book The Twin Arrows, I needed to portray that someone was badly wounded. I chose to focus on his reaction to the pain and the other characters’ worry instead of describing the wound itself. I think that focusing on the emotional element of a situation can give the author an “out” so they don’t have to describe how something looks but still be realistic. 😉
3. If you write magic into your work, could you please explain why you choose to do so?
I do not write magic in my books. I’m not uncomfortable with it as a background element such as being part of that world’s natural laws or being used as a way of describing the miraculous in what I read, but I don’t prefer to portray it myself.
4. In your opinion is Christian Fantasy becoming too worldly?
In some ways, yes. I think that if magical powers become a way for characters to “save themselves” that can really detract from the power of God. Some of the same things that plague all Christian fiction can be present in this genre as well. 😉 I have, however, been blessed to read quite a few God-honoring fantasies, so on the other hand–no. 😀
5. In your own words, how would you define ‘clean’ fiction?
“Clean” fiction? Books that draw me closer to God while I read them and don’t encourage me to violate Philippians 4:8. 😉
6. Do you believe Christian Fantasy should be written to appeal to general or selective readership? Could you explain why?
Since it has the word “Christian” in the genre name, I open one of these books expecting an overtly Christian faith element. Personally, if I were to write fantasy for a general audience (Christian and non-Christian) without an overtly Christian message, I would just call it “clean fantasy”.
Thank you so much to Kate Willis and to each and every author who so generously gave their time so that you, their readers are able to make informed choices. Happy reading, everyone!
Originally posted at: www.sarahaddisonfox.com