Oftentimes as authors, we are challenged on our choice of genre or content. Isn’t it amazing how others have the uncanny ability to pinpoint your strengths as a writer, and often strongly suggest the type of material they’re prophetically sure you should produce? We find ourselves, at times, yielding to the demand of the others.
When I felt the urging from God to write fiction. Moreover, Christian Romance Fiction, I instantly resisted. Not so much because I disagreed with the command from the Almighty. I cringed at the thought of the backlash I was destined receive from my fellow ministers. And receive, I did! …“Why are wasting your God-given talent on fiction?” …”With all your knowledge of the Bible, you chose fiction. And romance at that!” …”And just how do you suppose writing fiction will advance the kingdom of God.” …”You’re wasting valuable time writing romance fiction.” …‘’You’ve grossly missed what God would have you to do.” …”I can’t believe you are going to write that garbage.” …”You’ll lose credibility as a minister of the gospel.”
I will not continue to waste valuable time and blog space repeating the exhausted list of comments from my colleagues. In fact, I could quite possibly fill the whole blog content with them. Rather, I choose to encourage those whom have stepped into the literally field, to follow their heart, and do what feels right to them! You’ll discover over the course of your life on this earth that sometimes you have to ignore the non-legitimate critics. At the end of the day, only you have to be comfortable with the words that have manifested on the pages of your journal. And, after thorough consideration, found themselves in manuscript form.
I knew my imagination was a gift from God, early in my childhood. I spent the majority of my pre-teen years living inside of an imaginary world. No matter where I was, or what I found myself doing, words were forever in my head. Soon, after many trials, tribulations, failures and successes. Christianity and my imagination collided, and I emerged as a Christian Romance author. Christian or not, most everyone loves a good romance or drama novel.
T.O.S.O.T. (The Other Side of Through) Ministries, LLC has a mission to teach romance from the biblical aspect. Love, according to God’s holy word. In short, the series, although fiction, would minster on a non-fiction level. In the midst of the romance, secrets to success in relationships are unlocked. Dramatic accounts of situations, tragedies and circumstances in everyday life is brought to life in the vivid imagination of the reader. The principles of God are broken down and easily digestible. Have you ever sat in church on Sunday morning, only to leave disappointed because you had absolutely no idea how to apply to your life what you just heard? Most often, the message is delivered as a prime cut of filet mignon, when instead, all you were capable of digesting at the time, was a hamburger. Inside, you scream, “Will somebody please give me a simple answer to this Christian walk of life!”
The Other Side of Through series delivers practical, yet exciting answers to the often asked question, “Why God?” The message and parables of the scriptures are delivered without book, chapter and verse. And most often, as though you and your Aunt Mable were having a talk on the front porch. You’ll find yourself caught up the lives of the characters, only to realize that your fascination is arrested, because the story is indeed your own.
I had to trust God and follow his omniscient lead. Moreover, it just plain felt right! As an ordained minister, my first obligation is to the spiritual welfare of others. Through fiction writing, I dared to believe that marriages would be mended. That young girls straddling the fence, would choose to remain virtuous until their wedding nights. That they would desire to be as the heroine characters in the series. Mostly, because the series would be a realistic account of the temptations they faced daily. They would see how precious the flowers are, that bloom inside of them. That the jewels of the treasure box they now have on lockdown, can and should be opened only by the one who possesses the master key. The one deemed worthy to honor and protect them under the vows in God’s holy presence.
Men all over, would be challenged to rise to the occasion of the divine mandate of “mighty men of valor” they have been called to be. They will begin to become the heads of their homes and lead their wives and children after the manner laid out by Gods original design. They will begin to minister to their wives instead of making the choice to throw caution and vows to the wind, going outside of the marriage bed at the first sign that the grass in their own lawn has been overgrown with a few brown spots. They will begin to understand truly how devastated and lost their wives felt when they chose another over them.
My mandate is to show the principles of God’s word through fiction. To uncover the majesty of how God sees love. I don’t usually pray about what to write. But rather, I pray that God will keep my heart and mind on His word. That when I sit down to write, his principles would come bursting forth. That He will speak, and I have the task of writing what I hear. Most often, when I return to reading an excerpt from a previous novel I’ve written. I marvel and wonder, who wrote this? I have no recollection of the words. Those are the times that I smile, look towards heaven, and thank the true source.
No my fellow Christian author friends, you haven’t missed it. Dance to the beat of the drum that resonates deep within your heart. The beat of my heart is exposed in this series. I could have chosen to fall in line with the instruction to use my “gift” to write nonfiction. If so, I would have missed a vast majority of the people who would never have chosen to pick up or open a bible. Some Christian authors fail in the task of writing a book that non-Christians will ever desire to read. I could have chosen, and written along the lines of the vast “Christian way of living” novels currently in print. The ones that list seven ways to spirit living; five principles of the spirit lead man; battling the demons within. (These are not real titles. At least not to my knowledge. They are merely suggested title subjects for imagery, to drive home the point) The point being; if they have the word “Christian”, or “spirit living.” Some people will never open the cover to even view the first page. The reason of course, they feel defeated, out-cast and substandard, in the title alone.
However, with the title “The Other Side of Through.” It matters less if you are Christian or not. If you have been through anything detrimental, your interest is peeked, because your desire is always to reach the other side of it, in victory.
They will then look at the second book of the series, and see the words “I Promise.” They’ll breathe, smile with anticipation, and hope that they too will find that perfect mate. Understanding now that perfect in no way shape or form, suggest unproblematic. Moreover, knowing they are jointly and tightly fit together as one. And through this oneness, can overcome any obstacle. It will give them hope.
After the promise, and unearthing the title, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death”, hope again catches their eye. Upon engaging the third book of the series, readers will realize that everyone faces tragedy. They will understand that the silver spoon Christianity that has been force fed to them, is a vast cover-up for the truth—no one is exempt from tragedy. We all face detrimental circumstances in our lives. Ones that often take our breath away, and causes us to regroup before moving forward. Oftentimes, wondering if you’ll indeed survive, while waiting for the promised “ram in the bush.”
Of course, the title of the fourth book of the series, “Legitimate Issues” will warrant everyone’s attention. People often paint the erroneous picture that the life of a Christian is drama and carefree. They will come to know that those among the believers, do as unseemly things as the “Non-Christians”. They are tested and tried in the fire of life. They will emerge understanding that you may have a legitimate issue. However, it is still not a legitimate excuse.
Finally, they will come to the climatic close to the series with the novel titled, “The Fight For Life.” Everyone, Christian or not face times of enduring hardship after hardship. Often feeling like it is open season on them for trouble and devastation. Finding themselves in a battle for their very lives or the lives of close loved ones.
On the horizon this spring 2015, “The Opportunity for Temptation” will manifest on the stands at Amazon.com. Christian and non-Christians alike, will be reminded that people don’t always do the right things. And yes, Christians, whether they would like or dare to admit it or not. Find themselves angry with God; fall as prey; and willingly step into the hole they claimed to have merely fallen into as they walked by it.
So yes, my desire to the illuminate that no matter your faith or belief, life can hand you a cruel judgment. However, God is waiting for you, on “The Other Side of Through.”
Please, take some time and visit our web page http://www.tosotministries.org. Find and like T.O.S.O.T. Ministries, LLC on Facebook. Find this new and up-and-coming author, on Twitter and Instagram @writtercynt. Follow her YouTube page, Cynthia Middlebrooks Harris, for a weekly “T.O.S.O.T. Tuesday Moments” message, find and connect with her on LinkedIn and blog http://ww.writingfortoday.wordpress.com.