People who don’t know me will think I’m one of those crazies who love to catapult into controversy—the LGBT fray in this case—when my new novel, Chasing Happy launches September 1.
They would be wrong.
I like to be liked, more than just about anything—short of caramel turtle cheesecake. I count snagging best personality and homecoming court in the New Smyrna Beach High School Class of 1976 as two of my favorite “likes.” My life as a pastor’s wife has played out with most people liking me and my liking most people.
I’d prefer to hide under the bed until the brouhaha abates. But that’s not happening anytime soon since the Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage this summer.
So, despite the gentle, non-judgmental tack I took with the story, I need to woman-up to the flack Chasing Happy will churn up.
Paranoia may climb my family tree, but a top Christian literary agent confirmed Chasing Happy will meet opposition. Though I have four previous novels published and over 100,000 copies of Kicking Eternity have been downloaded from Amazon, the agent said no Christian or secular publisher would touch the book. Christian houses shy away from the controversial topic. Secular publishing would reject the book’s Biblical stance. The agent, herself, was angered by my take on the subject.
I used my own publishing company, Flawed People Press, to produce Chasing Happy.
Early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with a smattering of vehemently negative reviews—including an editor of one of my earlier novels who panned the book altogether. People either love or hate the book.
Some reviewers have taken issue with the sexual content and strong language in the story. I wrestled in prayer over these issues. Due to the theme of the book, I determined that sexual scenes needed to be included. As to offensive language, I used a mild swear word several times, plus a couple others that appear in the Bible—essential, in my opinion, to make the story realistic.
I don’t point fingers at those who live the gay lifestyle. I read the Bible as saying homosexual behavior is sin, but it’s not my role as a Christian to judge others. That’s God’s job. I don’t know what I’d do in their situation. My role is to offer compassion.
My goal for Chasing Happy is to lend hope to readers who struggle with same sex attraction and to urge Christians to abandon self-righteous and harsh attitudes toward gays. We are telling gays that according to our belief system, they should change their sexual orientation—something that is very difficult at best—or abstain from sex for the rest of their lives. Christians, of all people, should have compassion for gays.
I spent months gathering my courage to publish. In a lot of ways, Chasing Happy feels like career suicide. It came down to asking myself if I was going to do what I believed God wanted me to do.
Chasing Happy will be available September 1 on Amazon.com and most online retailers.
After an epic fail in the hetero world, Ash Jackson heads cross country to Arizona to figure out his bisexuality and make peace with himself and God.
Nashville Star Samma Templeton’s music career bankrolls her future husband’s political campaigns. But she throws up before every concert and feels relegated to an item on the senator’s calendar.
When Ash moves into Samma’s apartment building their childhood friendship resurrects, and Samma must choose between promoting a political agenda that will benefit millions or following her heart. Ash must face his inner demons for the girl who was his past and feels like his future.
Check out my New Smyrna Beach novels by clicking on the covers.