We got an interesting bit of anonymous feedback a few weeks ago through our website. This reader wrote: “I read all of the novella books when they come out, and have for several years. This past year it seems like in all the stories, the young people's parents have died in a tragic accident. How about having your writers let the parents live to a ‘ripe old age’ for a change?”
I kind of laughed at first, but this reader has a good point if he or she is tiring of themes repeating themselves in our books. I especially have to watch for this type of thing with Heartsongs that release four at a time every four weeks. If all four books in a shipment have too similar a theme or situation, members will likely get bored with the stories.
So, I’m paying closer attention to how people get “killed off” in our books—or if it’s even necessary that they do. If a character’s grief over the loss of a loved one is essential to his/her development, motivation, etc, that’s fine. But if, for example, you just don’t want a heroine’s parents to be a big part—or any part—of her life, you don’t have to make them die. I know this isn’t very profound, but apparently at least one reader has noticed unnecessary death in our fiction, so we writers and editors need to watch out for it, too. :)
Speaking of unnecessary death, how much do you know about it in real life? Do you know much about the Freedom of Choice Act that could very well be passed in our country in the near future, depending on the results of the November 4th election? My conscience won’t let me not speak out about this for a moment on our blog. But I don’t need to go into much detail myself because respected Christian author and teacher Randy Alcorn already has. Please read this blog entry of his and this one, too. Please prayerfully consider how you’re voting on November 4th. Forget political parties and popularity and a desire for “change.” This election is not just about the economy and jobs and the war on terrorism. There are much more important and fundamental issues at stake.
On a lighter note, I'll end with a photo of a little girl who is full of life, and the scripture I'll teach her to cling to in serious times like this.