When I first dreamed up the world of Faerie that’s featured in The Alazne Series, the word “faith” to me was synonymous with the gutsy gal played by Eliza Dushku on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the only divine beings I contended with were the ones who existed in my book. Then, in early 2013, everything changed.
After I wrote the first draft of The Prophets’ Guild (The Alazne Series Book 2), God gave me what my friends and I like to call a “grace slap.” He stepped into my life, changing my heart and healing damage from my past in an unmistakably divine way through Jesus Christ.
On several occasions, new friends who I’d met through attending and serving at my church regularly over the past year discovered that I had written a book. Every time I explained the plot and characters, I had to preface my explanation with the disclaimer that I’d written The Kings’ Council before I became a believer. I would jokingly discourage them from reading my book because it had three shades of gray in it (instead of fifty) and wasn't fit for Christian consumption. After using that colorful, tongue-in-cheek reference repeatedly, I decided to do something a little crazy: Release a “clean” second edition.
In the months that followed, I pored over The Kings’ Council and removed pages of passion while making other improvements to the text. Eventually, I had a finished product that I could hand over to my Christian comrades without humorous warnings and a fear of causing someone to stumble. Despite the new “cleanliness” of the book, I realized that there was still a bit of a problem. The characters had sinned time and time again during the story, and the protagonists still managed to find some semblance of happiness and decided to (gasp) live together without being married at the conclusion of the book.
Sure, Alazne and Garaile exist in a fictional land with four gods instead of one God and no Jesus, but I didn’t feel right letting them ride into the sunset without contending with the fallout of their transgressions. After all, in the real world, we have salvation through Jesus Christ because he cleanses us and justifies us through his death and resurrection, but we still have to deal with the earthly consequences for our sins, and I didn’t want my characters to be any different.
For that reason, I sat down with the untouched printed proof of The Prophets’ Guild and made some drastic changes to the plot and the characters’ relationships to show the effects of their actions in the first book. My renewed fervor for the land of Faerie and my faith-stoked passion for writing also inspired me to write the third book in the series, The Valley of Eternity. In this in-progress book, all of the characters’ transgressions as well as the insufficiency and iniquity of the gods themselves cause a calamity that forces the characters to form unlikely alliances and to take steps toward reconciliation and peace that are oftentimes uncomfortable.
Readers who stick with the series and read all three books once they are released will have the opportunity to see the characters face the consequences of their innate brokenness and find new hope in the same way that I have during my transition from a “check the box” Christian-by-default to a true Christ-follower.
If you’re interested in reading my story of transformation, check out the blog I wrote for The Porch, and if you haven’t heard the gospel before, e-mail me at email@example.com. It’s a (true) story with a joyful ending better than anything I could ever hope to write, and I’d love to share it with you.