Oh my. I’ve been missing in action again, haven’t I? How do days just evaporate?
After I answered God’s call to write for Him, one of my publishers wanted to revise and republish my Coming to America series. I loved those books, and so I was delighted to rewrite them and turn them into the books they should have been in the first place. But we made one big mistake: we didn’t change the titles of the books. Unfortunately, some readers go looking for used books in order to save money, and they think they are getting a "Christian novel" when they buy a cheaper, mass market size paperback. Well, they aren’t.
On Wednesday, I got an angry email from a reader who had that happen to her. She read one book in the series that she bought at Family Christian Bookstore. She liked it, so she found another book in the series (the old, secular version). She was very displeased with what she found there. She said she planned to make it clear to her local Christian bookstore that they shouldn’t carry my books and said that I must not be a Christian, etc.
Of course, I answered and explained to her that it was by God’s grace that my life had experienced a radical change of direction. Although I wish those books weren’t in used bookstores, I can’t change it. All ended well. Except I am left to wonder how many readers who never write to me think and feel the same thing. How many of them are telling their local CBA bookseller not to carry my books. Groan…
So my point is, when God tells me not to do something, I shouldn’t do it! That’s when sin enters in. I made wrong choices. To err is human, as Shakespeare said. But if I’d been walking close with God, if I’d been listening to Him, I might not have made some of those same wrong choices. I might have written the books He wanted me to write. God did a major healing in my life during the ’90’s as He drew me back into fellowship with Him and back into fellowship with His family (the church). He forgave me, and He turned to good a lot of stuff that was bad. He even put those many painful lessons I’d learned to use when He called me into writing for Him. But a walk of obedience would have been better.
There is another well-known (better known than me by far) Christian novelist who used to write in the secular market. Her friends and readers seek out and remove her old paperback novels from used bookstores. I hope there are people out there doing the same for me. There are still readers who enjoy my older novels, but I would rather they were reading the novels that come from my heart today.