As part of this week’s blog tour, I had the opportunity of asking Paula about her willingness to write about difficult topics (like rape, the death of a young person, etc.). This is her response:

Christians may be reluctant to admit when we or our loved ones are grappling with problems out of some misguided delusion of falling short. We may fear the judgment of people whose lives appear more together than ours. As God’s followers, we feel guilty to admit our struggles and find ourselves dealing with self-imposed shame on top of whatever the issue may be. This, I believe, is where sharing the journeys of fictional characters may be as helpful as a dose of medicine.

It is easy to find secular works of fiction in which characters deal with difficult personal issues. Sadly, I’ve spoken to many people who don’t believe Christian fiction can do the same. I’m sure we can all cite a few examples of sweet Christian stories, which are light and pleasant, like froth and bubbles. I enjoy reading these when I want a quick mood-enhancer, but it saddens me whenever I come across people who think they are all Christian fiction has to offer. There is another type of Christian fiction out there. It is healing, in its depth and scope. Its characters tend to experience a gamut of emotions and come through learning to approach sensitive issues in a sound, God-focused way. As well as simply entertaining, they minister to the deep inner needs of hurting people. That’s the type of book I try to write.

The world we live in is full of all types of pain and heartache. I like my books to finish on a positive note because I believe that seemingly hopeless situations can be turned around. There is a lot of human need out there to address and not all of us are called to get out in the front lines and do physical helps. That’s where a story can help too. Another beautiful thing about fiction is that it may become timeless in its power to minister. For all we know, a book written now may impact, touch or help readers fifty, or even one hundred years in the future. That’s what I hope will be the case with the Australian Christian fiction stories many of us are writing now.

Thanks Paula for sharing these thoughts with us. I love the way your writing is God-focussed and unflinching in the face of pain.