I pulled out the notebook I use to track short story submissions--I've been sending out a lot lately!--and happened to flip to a page where I'd pasted in a blurb written by a fellow writer. I had posted on a writers forum for Christians who write "out of the box" fiction, because I wanted opinions on how other authors deal with negative comments/reactions. It was right after I'd gotten "Willing Blood" accepted for publication, and I was a little nervous about the reactions I might receive from Christians because the main character is vampire-like. It spawned a discussion on the forum about the place of vampires in Christian writing.
Author David Brollier responded with these words:
"The premise behind vampires is basic. They are undead. They drink blood. They fear the light. Using these three basics you can tell a very eye-opening Christian tale...we were born under the curse of sin, and as such become the "living dead." We feasted, maybe not on blood specifically, but on evil. And we at one time feared the light knowing, as any vampire does, that should the light of the sun touch us we would die. This happens to each child who accepts Jesus, for they are touched by the rays of God's Son, and that Light does in fact kill them, but at the same time empowers them by creating in them a new person, one that is truly alive, not a walking dead person. The Gospel is told by the story of vampires in possibly the most odd, yet interesting of ways."
I just wanted to share this with you because I felt he summed up EXACTLY how I feel about the topic, as well as the very message I was trying to convey with my story!
You see, "Willing Blood" is the first short story I ever wrote. And I had not stepped too far into the writing world at that time. I felt like a complete newbie, and needed encouragement from within the circle. I think we all hear "good job" from those close to us. Sometimes, however, those same personal cheerleaders shake their heads because they just do not understand why we write, or why we write a particular genre, or for-heaven's-sake why we write for hours and hours and not get paid for it. So it is important for us to hear "good job" from someone who "gets" us. Or even if we don't hear the "good job," knowing that someone "gets" us is enough!
I've discovered that these types of interactions are the most meaningful and encouraging things in my walk as a writer. I've started another notebook (besides the ones I track submissions in) that holds snippets of emails and articles I've cut out, devotionals that really hit home, sayings by and about writers, and even Chinese fortunes. What all those things have in common is that they in some way or another contributed to me pressing on with this endeavor to write for publication.
So, David, thank you for "getting" me. I know that at the time you had no idea your words meant so much.
And for everyone else, I think I'm going to start posting more of the words of encouragement I've collected, so keep checkin' back.