Genevieve Ching: Faith in Fiction

 Darkside Publishing Authors Week continues today, #WriterWednesday, with G.P. Ching!

A few years ago, I described The Soulkeepers to a fellow writer like this: An atheist teen comes to believe in God when he discovers he is genetically gifted to fight fallen angels. His reaction was to say he hoped I had a bulletproof vest.

I knew when I published The Soulkeepers that the theme of faith & spirituality mixed with the paranormal would limit my audience. According to a recent Pew Research Center Study, atheism is growing among young people faster than any other demographic, with an estimated 25% in this group claiming they have no specific faith. And on the other side of things, this months Thriving Family magazine points the finger at paranormal entertainment for introducing the occult to children. 

To be clear, my book doesn’t firmly fall into the Christian genre, and doesn’t contain the word Jesus. The Soulkeepers is representative of the struggle we all face with imperfection in self, family, community, and ultimately our God. It’s not about a specific religion but rather a journey of moving from a place where you feel like life is happening to you, to a place of purpose and connection with the people around you and a higher power. This theme, by the way, is not new. It is the central theme of Silas Marner, alluded to in the book. People have been writing about this theme for hundreds of years.

What is new is a fear among readers of anything faith based. Reviewers often point out that the book “isn’t preachy”, as if this was a problem in young adult novels to be avoided. I’m still looking for the mainstream young adult novel that is preachy. In today’s world, I think it’s hard to find modern works with religious themes.

Despite the fact that writing about faith has undoubtedly limited my market, I’m proud to have written the book I was meant to write. I think authors of faith need to write from their spiritual heart. Pretending to be something that we’re not, or downplaying our faith for the sake of selling books, removes the soul from the work.  It’s a type of whitewash, presenting art that doesn’t reflect reality.

I think readers, more than anything, want to connect to a believable character. And if 75% of young people practice a specific faith, and the other 25% have thought about it enough to decide that they don’t believe, how realistic is it to write a character who has never thought about God at all?

 

Loved it. Our words carry truth. We just have to bring them.

From the DarkSide Publishing blog:

G. P. Ching is a short fiction writer whose work has appeared in various print and electronic publications including Muse Literary Journal, Flashquake Literary Journal, Western New York Family Magazine, Everyday Fiction, YA Flash Death Match and Escape Into Life. Her work is forthcoming in the 100 Stories for Queensland anthology. She co-runs DarkSide Publishing, is a regular participant in the #Fridayflash community, and a member of SCBWI.  The Soulkeepers, a YA Paranormal, is her debut novel coming Spring 2011.  She lives in central Illinois with her husband, two children, and one very demanding guinea pig.

Find Genevieve here and on Twitter!

The Soulkeepers – YA Paranormal
When fifteen-year-old Jacob Lau is pulled from the crumpled remains of his mother’s car, no one can explain why he was driving or why the police can’t find his mother’s body. Made a ward of his uncle and thousands of miles from home, a beautiful and mysterious neighbor, Dr. Abigail Silva, offers to use her unique abilities to help him find his mom. In exchange, she requires Jacob to train as a Soulkeeper, a biologically gifted warrior charged with protecting human souls. He agrees to her demands, desperate for any clue to the mystery of his mother’s disappearance. But soon Jacob finds himself trapped in a web of half-truths, and questions Dr. Silva’s motives for helping him.
Ebook: $2.99Amazon Amazon UK Amazon DE  Barnes & Noble Smashwords
Paperback: $12.99 Amazon Paperback

 

 

 

word.

 

Be blessed!

 

 

 

 

 

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About Tymothy Longoria

Tymothy Longoria has been described as a writer with a flair for the dramatic (whether this is true still remains to be seen). He is a fan of all things fantastic, metal music, black t-shirts, and aligns himself with geeks, nerds, and all manner of monsters, and is an ardent, optimistic supporter of his fellow creatives. He has written several short stories for the online macabre zine Underneath The Juniper Tree and in 2012 was awarded Debut Author of the Year by Twisted Core Press for 'Envy', his contribution to the Seven Deadly Sins Anthology. He is currently editing his full-length dark fantasy retelling, Revenants: Book One of The Stories. Fairy tales? If only. Legends will be reborn. Tymothy calls Texas home, where he lives with his wife, two children, and a cat called ThunderCat aka Kitty PawKitty. He is represented by Bree Ogden of Red Sofa Literary. View all posts by Tymothy Longoria

2 responses to “Genevieve Ching: Faith in Fiction

  • Erin

    I loved reading The Soulkeepers. I read a ton of YA books and none of them spoke to me the way The Soulkeepers did. I wrote to Gen personally because her theme of faith within the novel touched me so deeply. It is a very well written novel and I recommend it to all of my friends whenever I get the chance. Whether a person believes in God or not, I believe everyone would love this book. 🙂

  • cynditefft

    I could not agree more. My novel, Between, has spiritual elements and I’ve often received the same feedback that the book is not preachy.

    I wrote a blog post about the Fear of God in YA Lit while I was preparing for the release of Between: http://bit.ly/oimUIl

    I’d like to see more YA books that deal with issues of faith and God. Writers tend to shy away from the topic and that’s a disservice to themselves and their readers.

    I applaud you for daring to be true to yourself! 🙂

    Cyndi

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