I think I was thirteen years old when I dropped Return to Harmony on the floor and didn’t bother to pick it back up. I told my mom I didn’t like books that were about quote, “people’s lives and how they feel about them.” I really wasn’t that into the fluffy inner struggles of young ladies and how their bland love interest’s hair smelled.
When I was thirteen, I liked stealth military aircraft and meteor showers and those little kits where you can hatch things. Honestly, I still prefer those things over reading stories about people’s lives and how they feel about them. I actually have a kit for triops on my desk as I write this. I can’t wait to get it started. Hope it works.
So, I noticed fairly early that the Christian fiction market was a little lacking. There are quite a few sweet romances out there starring heroines with rather obvious problems who learn rather obvious lessons and get the guy who was rather obviously designed for them. Apparently, this appeals to Christian women. I have no idea what male readers are supposed to pick up. Maybe Christian men don’t read fiction.
I started writing fiction of my own when I was about that [author name]-dropping age. There was a frolicking joy in the process of invention that I found addictive. Naturally, I leaned toward science-fiction. At last, my inner worlds took shape as real places—planets, alien landscapes full of fantastic geography, bizarre life-forms and near-magic technology. My teenage adventures in The Stardrift Trilogy saw the first manifestations of my writer’s voice, and on that journey, I learned the dark art of finishing novels.
I didn’t stop writing after The Stardrift Trilogy. I had a mission—a gap to fill. I wanted to write thrilling imaginative stories that took Christian fiction far outside its stale narrow box. The truth of Jesus Christ isn’t restricted to the tidy easy messages and quick prayers of light inspirational women’s fiction. It’s vast and wild—reaching through all time and space, deeper and wider than any of us could ever imagine. So much unexplored potential was tantalizing to me.
As I grew up, new facts of life came into my broadening horizon of awareness. The world around me was changing—faster and faster. The future was coming. It was right at the door. It was a strange exotic future, full of horror and hope. I began to realize something about the future. Much of it can be seen in the present. In fact, the closer you look, the harder it is to see the line between the two.
I graduated from high school not really knowing what my personal future was going to look like. All I knew for sure was that I was going to keep writing, and keep following God. Eventually, I chose what seemed to be the path of least resistance to me. I was going to study music at the university in my hometown.