One condition of having my work represented in an online group’s Readers’ Market was to provide an explanation of the Christian themes in my fiction. Here’s my answer –
My goal is to integrate Christian themes organically in the plot and avoid heavy-handed, preachy narrative or contrived ‘alter call’ moments. I’m not ashamed of my faith or diluting definite truth-claims, but I feel part of my job as a writer is to keep the story line internally consistent. That means characters – Christian and non-Christian – have to act/re-act in ways that are authentic to their particular worldviews.
I’m never comfortable analyzing my own work, but Running Black intentionally addresses the sanctity of human life, specifically the premise that a transcendent worldview is the only thing that restrains Man’s inherent inhumanity against their fellow Man. Historically groups de-humanize, commodify, and demonize others, outcasts and opponents. The novel’s catalyst was the fear that cloning technology would one day allow us to mass-produce human beings, who in turn would be viewed legally and culturally solely as property. A high-tech version of slavery.
Hopefully, Running Black touches that nerve in the midst of all those firefights, explosions and betrayals.
Now Clar1ty Wars is a different animal. It’s a serialized, sci-fi re-imagining of the 19th Century Opium Wars. The big picture is this nasty, shadowy war between the planetary government and massive, space-bound corporations who have been controlling an entire solar system with a drug. I’m trying to portray the conflict on the street-level using an immersive, mosaic style. There are recurring characters, but each chapter offers a different perspective, a new piece of the puzzle. The Clar1ty Wars focuses on regular people – the good, the bad and the ugly – caught in the crossfire.
Religion and spirituality play a major part in our societies and – wishful humanist thinking aside – I don’t see that dynamic disappearing any time soon. That means devout characters will play their parts as the conflict unfolds. For example, the cabbie in One Bad Apple’s ‘The Doubter’ learns to see the protagonist, Seeb, in a new light. Little does he know it, but he’s slated to make another appearance at a crucial time in another installment.
Hope that helps. If you have an further questions or need anything else from me, just ask.