Today we have a nice treat: a post by Katie Cross, author of the new YA fantasy Miss Mable's School of Girls:
Christians Writing About Witches
Publishing a book about witches brings a lot of boys to the yard. Just kidding. It brings a lot of Christians to the door.
Also kidding. Kind of.
Here's the thing: I was raised a Christian and I am one now. If you have any questions, I'm a Mormon. You can see stuff 'bout it here, here, and here
I'm an old fashioned kind of gal. I don't drink, smoke, and didn't do the pre-marital sex thing.
I also write fantasy about witches.
When Miss Mabel's first came out, my friend Terry, as a kind of aside, mentioned that I'd probably have people who refused to read it because, well, it's about witches. JK Rowling got it in spades, right? Nobigdeal, guys. NO BIG DEAL.
Yes, that happened as Terry predicted. A lot. Which is totally fine with me.
As Miss Mabel's School for Girls continued to do better and better, (check out an awesome Barnes and Noble article that included Miss Mabel's here) I had more people emailing me about the book. Some of them were really excited . . .
. . . until they found out it had witches.
Honestly, it's never bothered me. In fact, that's their right. I turn away erotica books because I don't enjoy them or their content. In fact, I totally admire people with that conviction to stand up for what they believe. I know how frightening that can be, so I'd never judge another person for turning away my book because it may clash with their spiritual beliefs.
That being said, I've had a lot of readers ask me what it's like to write about witches as an active, go-to-church-every-week Christian.
So, for those of you who have asked, here it is:
What it's like to be a Christian author writing about witches:
I sit down.
I write about imperfect people trying to do good things.
I find things that I struggle with, or I see other struggle with, and I put it to paper.
I infuse magic into my writing because to me, writing is magic.
I eat a couple pounds of brownies. Just kidding.
I have a few books about Wiccanism that I've skimmed and studied and genuinely enjoyed learning from. I celebrate other people's beliefs. I am not a practicing Wiccan, but I find that their closeness to the earth and seeking to be good and do no harm very inspiring.
I go to church every Sunday.
I still pray everyday.
I put characteristics in my imperfect characters that I wish I could embody. Bianca's pretty tough, and confident, and I wish I could be as brave as her.
Yep. That's pretty much what it's like.
So . . . how do I feel about the book as a whole?
I feel great about it. Amazing. I'm proud, my husband is proud, my mama is proud. I don't mention God. I don't create a Deity for the Antebellum world. I don't have a Christ-figure in the work. Neither do I have a spiritual warfare kind of battle where God helps Bianca overcome her evil teacher. Bianca overcomes with inner strength, which is also something I believe that God asks of us.
Do I feel like that takes away from my belief in God?
No, I still feel like God's okay with how I've handled it. I think expanding my talent, living the way I feel I should, and staying close to my Christian beliefs is as acceptable to God as it would be if I wrote a spiritual warfare book.
Am I saying that one or the other is good or bad?
Nah. I'm just saying that as a Christian, I write about witches.
AND IT'S AWESOME.
Have you turned a book away because it clashed with spiritual or moral beliefs? What was your experience?
Katie Cross's info: