Tag Archives: Christian Writer

Leaper by Geoffrey Wood

When one parent goes out of town, kids can be very sneaky! BJ left to go out of town this morning, and so I—fighting a big sinus headache—hopped back in bed with the intention of sleeping another hour or two and thus getting up around 9-9:30.

I woke up at 11:55 to the sounds of clanking in the kitchen. The bedroom door had been closed by the kids and thus they’d had the run of the house all morning long. Thankfully we don’t have cable/satellite tv OR free access internet. Not that I think my kids would do that, but at least it removes the temptation!

So, the blog entry I planned to write mid-morning is being finished up mid-afternoon! Sneaky kids!

Leaper by Geoffrey Wood

Leaper by Geoffrey Wood

I’m not sure how many more “Christian” books I’m going to review here, very publicly, on my blog. Why, you ask? Well, while I wouldn’t be considered a rookie in the comic book industry, I’m very much a rookie in any Christian publishing industry. If I don’t like something and post it here, I may either make someone mad or hurt feelings…and that just wouldn’t be good. Though a rookie I may be, I don’t want to make rookie mistakes…at least not very many of them. I’ve already read a handful of Christian books that I just couldn’t review here simply because I could find very little nice to say about the work (please note—I said “work” and not author!). I’ve already discovered that some writers search the internet for reviews as the author of one emailed me thanking me for the review. I had to run to the review and see what I’d said before I responded. Made me a little nervous!

That said, I quickly picked up and read Leaper when I learned a “Christian superhero” book existed (thanks, Rene!). It worked its way to the very top of my list and I quickly devoured it. Penned by Memphian (meaning, not far from where “I” live!) Geoffrey Wood, Leaper tells the story of one troubled dude who gets the power to teleport through space, kinda like the X-Men’s Nightcrawler.

Leaper is a very fast and easy read. Written in First Person (see Monday’s blog), we move through the three days in the life of James, the main character. And, a character who has so many problems it’s comical. In fact, much of the book is really funny. The whole problem with it is—that it has a very depressing ending. I’m not just talking about surprising—it wasn’t a huge, come out of nowhere kind of ending. In fact, it was pretty predictable from about the halfway point in the book (no, I’m not gonna get a page number from where I knew!). I saw it coming, but like a car accident, I couldn’t stop watching. I wanted James to make better decisions…but he never did. Reminds me a lot of the protagonist in Twilight who continually made bad decisions.

I’m not sure if characters making bad decisions is a new trend, or if I’m just picking up those books. But I’ve always thought that the characters we fall in love with are those who make good decisions, yet things go wrong. No matter how hard they try, something messes up. Spider-Man being a prime example.

For those of you who like superhero books but might be put off by religion or religious elements—this book is still very readable for you. The “Christian” elements are presented in the kind of way that I think many Christian writers ought to aspire: they weren’t knock-you-over-the-head-preachy. Instead, there were solid Christian characters living normal lives like most Christians “I” know.

Depressing ending aside, I’d recommend this book for fans of superhero literature.

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Filed under Books/reading

Writing excuses

I wrote the other day that all stories have a point, etc. and that those points generally reflect—intentionally or unintentionally—the views/opinions of the author. One of the things that has constantly given me both frequent chuckles and frequent confusion is when “Christian writers” try not to be Christian.

I’m still learning my way around the Christian fiction market, having only become a believer in 2000 but before I go on, let me be very clear in that I don’t think that every person who claims to be Christian must write Christian material. I think it’s probably a logical step in the progress (I want to see the new Pilgrim’s Progress movie! Anyone seen it?) of a believer, but I don’t think it’s a necessity.

However, I do find it funny to hear Christian writers try to get out from any responsibility as a writer. “It’s not me writing the graphic sex scene or cussing, it’s the characters.” This is just laughable. As the writer/author, the responsibility for all material falls on us. We have it within our power to change the words we do not like.

Writers have a responsibility to their audience not just to give them good reading material, but to be the writer they claim to be. Thus, if a writer claims to be “Christian,” then that writer owes it to his audience to write material that reflects that.

“Oh!” we’ve heard them say, “but that’s the way they really talk on the street.” So. So what?

When Jesus spoke with tax collectors, prostitutes and drunks, he didn’t participate in their activities—he pointed out their errors and told them—quite bluntly—to STOP it!

One of the most recent waves of excuses for overstepping the bounds in “Christian writing” is when the writers claim they don’t write “Christian fiction,” but they are a Christian who writes fiction. I do understand the point they’re attempting to make, but the only person they’re really trying to convince of their “rightness” is themselves…well, and maybe their editor who’s sitting on the same fence.

Or those who want to disguise their message and call it “allegory” and then point to the masters Tolkien and Lewis. The first question I always want to ask them is why they are ashamed of their Christianity. I’m reminded of the song pre-schoolers learn about hiding their lights under bushels. J

One of the things I like about the Bible and its depiction of believers is that there is no middle-ground. You’re either in…or you’re out. Smarter Bible thumpers than me can quickly find the passage which suggests God spits out the luke-warm believer.

And I know that, I, for one, do not want to be Godly spit!

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Filed under General