Friday, April 4, 2014

Do You Enjoy Murdering People?

Cause like, that's a crazy
question, right?
That's a question that comes with two answers: Yes. And no.

Before I get the police called on me, I'm talking about writing inspirational romantic suspense.

Does that even go together? Inspiration and murder? You might ask the question (and yes, I've been asked this before) why do you write about murder and mayhem since you're a Christian?

Good question. One I asked myself. Why do I do this? (I also write contemporary romance.)

I think it's complex but I'm going to try and break it down like this.

Romance:
I can't write a single book without including romance. It's not an after thought. Or a sub plot. I love romance! We're built each and every one of us to love romance. It comes from God. You may disagree. I think the entire Bible is God's love for us. He speaks to us as his Bride. He is the Groom. It's page after page of him pursuing us. A divine romance. Love that song by Phil Wicka-wicka-Wickham!

I love the dance of romance. From the first flutters to the first kiss to the hope-ever-after. Romance. Easy enough.

Suspense:
Here's few questions: How can we entertain ourselves with serial killers, abductions, heinous evil--whether in books, movies or TV? Seems wrong.

Agreed. When we find the thrill in the evil side of life. When we glorify evil.

I believe we, humans as a whole, love puzzles. Love to figure things out. By nature we're curious to seek things out. Truth. Answers. We want to solve things. That's why my stories never give up the killer/villain right off the bat. They're more of a mystery. Because I like to solve puzzles. I'm not a box puzzle kind of person, but I do love to answer riddles, go on scavenger hunts…discover answers. Discover truth.

I love the Word of God because it can be very much like a treasure hunt. Read, dig, search…find answers. Truth.

Shows like Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Insert favorite crime show here __________ are all about solving a puzzle. Finding truth. We find it entertaining, engaging.

Our minds are curious. How could someone be that demented? So far gone? Completely depraved? We cover our eyes then peek through spaces between our fingers. We gape. We cringe. Sometimes we even turn off the TV or toss books that cover hard subject matter. We want to pretend evil doesn't really exist. Innocent people do not die. Revenge, power, greed do not motivate people to take drastic and frightening measures. And monsters aren't really lurking in the darkness or the broad daylight.

If we can't see it or hear about it, we can live in our happy bubble.

Yet it does exist.

Tragedy, death, despair, pain, torture. Abuse, assault, the list goes on. Every day it gets worse. We can't turn blind eyes. Can't wish it away.

But there is hope. Even amidst the evil. There is good. God is good.

As a Christian writer, I want to take that evil, create a puzzle to solve and bring readers along with me. Let's solve this. And while we're at it, let's throw in some really flawed characters we can relate to, identify with-- who are also searching for answers. For some truth. For some hope.

It's not just about good conquering evil. It's about God saving, rescuing, loving, holding, guiding, loving, touching, healing, blessing, showing grace, showing mercy and compassion, loving, strengthening, renewing, restoring, directing, teaching, comforting, loving…it's about a God we can't always understand, but we can trust.

In green pastures where the sun shines and still waters beckon us to rest. And in the valley of the shadow of death.

Do I love to create a sick, twisted villain--yet crafty and smart? Yes. The grittier the villain, the more depraved the better.

Why?

Because no matter how big and swallowing the villain is. God is bigger. God is greater. God is stronger. God is an all-consuming fire.

 I'm a Christian writing from a Christian point of view (not in every character! And not in a Bible-thumping manner). I can't write without hope. Sorry. No. Can. Do. Because I've experienced it (Him!) in my life. Every day. Over and over.

So when you find me hunting down ways, or doing research, to make things bad or terrifying for a character/s, I'm doing it so I can show God bringing good, administering peace and hope.

Because he does. He will. It's who he is. And my prayer is that readers, who are experiencing some of the same feelings as my characters, will discover that the same hope in the pages of the story, is available and real to them and that they will grab hold of Him, our anchor in this evil temporary place called the world, our Hope for better things to come.

*I just created a suspense and romance board on Pinterest! It's in the early stages but I'd love for you to come and follow where it leads...muwahahahaha. 
Click here to hang with me on Pinterest!

Do read romantic suspense or watch suspenseful shows/movies? What's favorite of yours?

6 comments:

  1. I do read and watch suspense! Possibly not as much as other genres, but I do really like it. You know, your post reminded me of something I've heard a lot of people say--that we understand light even more when its contrasted with dark. And suspense can really, really do that. It's not that we revel in the dark...but when we see it for what it is, when it's stacked up against light, the light is all the better and more attractive to us.

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    1. That is so true!!!!! I know you like old school suspense like Hitchcock, right?

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  2. Nailed it:) Great post, and I can't leave out romance for the same exact reason, Jess. And you know I love suspense. Love the contrast of light and dark, bringing in hope to ALL situations, and knowing that no matter what, God is bigger!

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  3. Absolutely awesome post Jess. You are an inspiration to us all.

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    1. Thank you, Sandy!!!! :) I appreciate those kind words, my friend.

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