They rejected it. The official reason was that it was "too much promotion," but I've dealt with these traditionalists enough to read between the lines to see what they really were telling me: tone it down.
Excuse me, but I think you missed the fundamental point of the article. It's supposed to be bold. It's supposed to expose uncomfortable truths. It's supposed to make you think, and perhaps even make you squirm a little.
This is why I'm a fiction writer, folks.
I guess they missed the final paragraph when I said that ebooks mean that writers don't have to beg for acceptance anymore. I certainly told them when I deleted it today that I was doing so because I intended to publish it, as is, in my blog. Yea, I have one of those, and nobody has a right to tell me to tone it down here. I'm nearly 42 years old, folks. If you haven't figured out by now that I'm laughing at your admonishments to settle down, then I'm not drawing you a picture.
And so, without further ado, here's the article that Ezine Articles wasn't comfortable with. I hope you enjoy it.
Nice Girls Don’t Write Sci-Fi
I started out as a Christian/inspirational writer, but switched to fiction in 2007. At first, it was an experiment to see if I’d like writing mystery and science fiction. I love reading these genres, and wanted to try my hand at writing them. Imagine my surprise when I found that people in the fiction were more gracious and supportive with one another than they were in the Christian field. In ten years of writing fiction, my fiction titles sold better, and I haven’t been criticized as harshly as I was during the three years that I wrote inspirational work. Editors, publishers, and readers were less judgmental and rude than they were in the field of Christian writing. It was ironic that I crossed paths with more of what people preached against inside the genre than outside of it!
I also have a tendency to express opinions that aren’t popular, which probably didn’t help. “Nice” is a word that has never been used to describe me. People tend to drift more toward words like “interesting” and “different.” That’s alright with me. I’m in my 40’s and have come to accept that I am who I am by the grace of God, and I don’t have to justify it or prove anything to anybody. People don’t realize that there are lions in the Kingdom along with the lambs. They don’t seem to know that dealing with the ugly people, situations, and emotions in life require action in addition to the prayer and supplication that they endorse. It seems the wider world has more patience with the shades of grey that permeate life than nonfiction does. What’s more, people take these messages indirectly a lot better than they do in a straight-forward matter. I’ve had more reactions, better sales, and better reviews from paranormal mystery and scifi than I ever enjoyed with Battleground Earth or the devotionals I published. It seems that people would rather read truth from a murder-mystery of the tragic consequences of a young woman fearing change (as in Move and Obsidian), or an alien invasion (as in The Earthside Trilogy) than in straight-forward advice on how to deal with fear, frustration, depression, anger, and grief in a way that leads to inspired action and getting your proverbial crap together.
There I go with those unpopular observations again. Then again, nice girls don’t write scifi. We live in a tough world, and sometimes the best way forward is to do something about the things that are causing problems in life. Sure, there are times for prayer and reflection. Timing is important, as is obedience to the Holy Spirit. But this isn’t a once-size-fits-all world, and different things call for different action. Sometimes, you have to set boundaries and stand by them. Sometimes, you have to be bold. Sometimes, you have to kick over convention and do something amazing and new to shock people out of the complacency of what they think they know to inspire new thinking and action. Sometimes, you have to be bold and courageous in ways that aren’t smiled on by tradition.
What’s right isn’t always what looks or feels right, and it takes a tremendous amount of discernment to know the difference. Our emotions can get us in trouble if we grant them more power than a measure of our thinking and reasoning. There are times when the Lord calls us to do a new thing, and it can be confusing. It can seem completely contradictory to what you know, because it isn’t comfortable. But sometimes, that’s exactly what we need: to get out of our comfort zone and shake up the world.
When life hurts, you can only take so much patting on the back and “the Lord has a purpose.” You have to move on to reflection and wisdom, and this takes action on your part. It’s alright to feel what you feel, but it isn’t alright to be held in bondage to it. You can’t be a lamb about all things. What you allow continues, and sometimes you need to breathe a little fire to burn off the chaff trying to take over your harvest of blessing. It’s alright. You can be bold and still be right. It’s a matter of motive and purity of heart.
I think this is where the lions have an advantage. Our higher energy and more direct approach to life are scary to some, but our contentment is undeniable. Still, we need advice on how to channel this energy correctly to make sure we don’t fall into dark territory. Mischief and silliness can be fun for a while, but it’s also close to a line that we don’t want to cross. Perhaps it would help if we were allowed a more gracious voice amongst the lambs so we can all find a balance.
Recently, I was inspired to write a sequel to Battleground Earth. I resisted it for a while because I was hesitant to return to a field that chastised me so harshly, and then I came to a realization: it doesn’t matter. I’m not a nice girl anyway; and if I can bring the supernatural forces, the apocalypse, and aliens to Earth, then the harsher scrutiny of the Christian/inspirational genre won’t be a problem. Fiction has helped me grow, and one thing I’ve learned is that this lion isn’t afraid to use her voice. That’s the good thing about the writing industry: it’s getting bigger everyday. I have to submit it to the publisher for Battleground Earth due to contractual issues, but if they reject it then I’ll be happy to self publish it, like I do everything else these days. Ebooks have removed the need to grovel for approval, which is a good thing because it increases options for readers. There’s room for everybody, and options for readers who want to hear what we have to share.