30 Aug Narcissus Blinked: Religious Fiction or Pornography?
Well, the answer is…a resounding neither! It might ultimately be challenging to fully categorize my new novel from Kindle Books (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=narcissus+blinked), but I will say this: The struggles and ultimate triumphs experienced by the main character Jacob and his wife Andrea are a reflection of what “real people” face amid the messiness of modern human life. I do not sugarcoat the handful of scenes (such as the phone sex episode found in Chapter One) where my characters make certain choices amid temptation, but the scenes are not an end in themselves. They shine a light on my characters’ brokenness, and it is nearly impossible for anyone to fully taste redemption without first having known brokenness.
Narcissus Blinked more fully explores how lingering disappointment can fester and become a dangerous toxin that blurs one’s decision-making in the heat of the moment; and, yes, how the deeper opportunities for peace, clarity and perseverance are found in the spiritual realm. But that spiritual realm, at least in this novel, is not overtly proscribed. I am not leveraging my novel as a pulpit to tell anyone to be a Christian, Jew, Muslin, Buddhist, and so forth. I do have particular personal beliefs, and others are free to debate how overtly I should be pushing them through my life and work in general. But as the clergy writer Frederick Buechner once said, trying to sermonize via a novel would make for neither good preaching nor good fiction!
What I do hope is that, through my characters, readers will engage their critical thinking, take a fresh look at their own rough edges and taste more authentic fulfillment. The journey will be different for each reader; the questions that need to be asked are, perhaps, quite similar; and every individual and institution, religious or not, benefits by being willing to embrace the tough questions.