So, a funny thing happened….
Many of my colleagues were shocked when I came out as a Christian, and told everyone I was going to stop writing erotic romance, and instead write inspirational romance. Rachel Kramer Bussel, who has published four of my erotic stories written as Shoshanna Evers, interviewed me about my conversion for Broadly/Vice, an online magazine with a feminist, liberal bent that isn’t shy about.. well, vices.
When the article was posted today, I knew there would be Christians who might be interested in reading it — especially for those of us who have loved ones we’re worried will never come to Christ. If Jesus can turn my heart to Him, He can do it for anyone.
Here’s the problem:
There was a risque photo at the top of the article. I wasn’t sure it would be a good idea to link to it because of that. Neither I nor the journalist, Bussel, have any control over the artwork, but when I pointed out that not everyone will feel comfortable clicking the link, she asked Broadly if they could change the main image and tone it down a bit.
Unfortunately, since they’ve already used that image with their social media postings about it, that one had to remain, but they moved it to the body of the article. They did change the header image, to um, well, another risque photograph (slightly less risque, I guess?). Basically I shouldn’t have said anything, because now there are not one but two images you may want to scroll past quickly. Sorry. :/
I’m going to post the link to the article, with a WARNING that you may want to look at it on your phone or not at work because of the two images accompanying the interview. I’ve included on here some screenshots from the article, you can click them to make them bigger and more legible. If you want to read the whole article, it’s here.
These bits from the interview are only a taste, so with the image warning in mind (and knowing that those images were not my choosing or Bussel’s), I think you’ll really love the Broadly article. Bussel asked some very good, insightful questions to get to the heart of why I had to change, for God!
14 thoughts on “Interview in Broadly”
I did blink when I saw the suggestive photo, but reassured, I’m made of sterner stuff. (My only thought was: Darn, I wish I had a butt that firm.)
I read your story on Broadly I have to admit I have mixed feelings about your decision.
I am a Christian, but I don’t have any qualms reading erotica. However, I have to admit, lately I found most erotica fiction to be really empty and hollow, and have tossed a few away in disgust.
So I’ve been turning to historical romance writers like Mary Balogy, Jess Michaels and Lisa Kleypas because they seem to write romance with characters in mind rather than bed scenes. I don’t mind sex scenes in my novels at all. Sometimes I feel they enhance the story. I’ve also read some godawful ones that I wished I could unread.
I’m a writer too, and while I wrestled with the idea of writing inspirational books at the early stage of my faith, I’ve come to conclusion that while I cannot write erotica (because it portrays relationships in unhealthy ways) that God wants me to minister out there in the fringes and in the world, so I write “secular” fiction.
I wish, wish, wish Christians would stop shelving books into “inspirational” and “secular” categories. Books should just be books. And writers should feel free to write stories that reflect the truth in their hearts and portray the world as fallen if it needs to be.
I find most inspirational fiction unreadable because writers are trying far too hard to be clean, pure, and to not offend its Christian readers. I’m still looking for one that can still be truthful about the world, but not be too gratuitous. They call it “edgy” apparently lol.
The thing is, there are so many types of Christians, and Christians like me can’t stand a lot of inspirational fiction because the writers portray life as they WISH they would like it to be rather than life as it IS.
I think readers – Christians, and non Christians, want to see Christ coming through DESPITE life being messy, sinful and evil.
Far be it for me to dictate what kind of fiction you’d like to read, but whatever you do, be yourself and stay authentic, and don’t feel pressured to conform to a certain standard in telling a tale.
Best luck in your journey, Shoshanna 🙂 I’ll be looking out for your work.
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