Blatant


I received an irate email from a Waiting For Spring reader last Saturday; we’ll call her “C”. A friend of hers (hereafter known as “S”) printed out the e-book and, when she was done with it, passed it around for her friends to read. At chapter 26, C threw the book down in horror and disgust. (Well, I don’t know that she actually threw the book down. Since it wasn’t a book at all, but rather a stack of printer paper, I tend to doubt it. That would’ve been pretty messy. But the image strikes my fancy, so I’m sticking with it.) After plowing through twenty-five chapters of foul language, steamy sex, drug use, violence, minor blasphemy, and a sympathetic openly gay character, what could have so offeneded this Christian woman that she could bear to read no further?

Its “blatant pro-choice message.”

I have to admit, I’ve always expected strong reactions to chapter 26. It’s not necessarily graphic, but it is emotionally intense, and C isn’t the first person I’ve heard from about it. Still, I was quite surprised to read the words “blatant pro-choice message.” I was also a little nervous. Not because of C’s negative reaction (sorry C), but because she thought there was a message at all. Ripped from the headlines novels typically irritate me. That’s what “Law & Order” is for. I hate it when an author uses their characters and fictional world as a thinly disguised soapbox. When I encounter that sort of thing in a novel, I immediately throw it down in disgust, because I don’t like being manipulated. And I shuddered to think that’s what someone thought I’d been trying to do to them.

The truth is that, although I do have strong personal opinions about this issue, Waiting For Spring wasn’t written to give voice to them. It isn’t meant to be pro-choice. It isn’t meant to be pro-life. It isn’t meant to be pro-any political issue. It’s honest to goodness slice of life reading, with all of life’s beauty and horror and joy and pain. It’s about confronting and dealing with life’s shit head on, before you get buried in it. It’s about what happens when you don’t do that.

Imagine my surprise–and relief–when, on Sunday, I opened up an email from “S”. She confessed to being surprised at C’s reaction to chapter 26. Why? Because S thought it was blatantly pro-life.

Advertisements

About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

7 responses to “Blatant

  • bunnygirl

    If it can be interpreted in more than one way, you’ve probably done a good job!

  • Zoe Winters

    hahaha that’s awesome. You just moved up higher in the TBR pile. I mean, you have foul language, steamy sex, drug use, violence, minor blasphemy and a sympathetic openly gay character.

    It’s totally on my list! hehe.

  • Kit Courteney

    People are funny – and not always ‘funny ha ha’. If you write with enthusiasm and a certain amount of integrity, whatever the viewpoint (inferred OR implied) surely we can all learn about things/ feelings/ situations, even if we might not agree with them…?

  • R.J. Keller

    Hey, thanks guys! And yes, KC, that’s how I look at it. As a reader, I enjoy reading a book where the character disagrees with my way of thinking. It usually doesn’t make me change my mind, but it gives me something to think about…or gives me the chance to think about something in a different way, which is always a good thing.

  • Jaden @ Screenwriting for Hollywood

    Scandal — I love it! I just downloaded your story. You sold me on it. Great punch line at the end of your post.

    Your blog is so good that I get too far behind in reading it because I want to give it special attention, which requires finding the right peaceful moment.

  • Pro-what? « Ingenious Title To Appear Here Later

    […] those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile know, I’ve addressed this issue before when a reader complained that I was pushing a pro-choice agenda in writing and publishing my […]

  • Line drawn « Ingenious Title To Appear Here Later

    […] a spotlight on the human condition through my characters when I write, and because some of those sticky moral and political issues affect my characters, they sometimes share that spotlight. I don’t expound on those issues […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: