Tomorrow marks two years since the release of Razed. More than one author has compared producing a book to giving birth, and the books then become like your own children. Razed is one of those kids that I worried over more than the others. It had a very tough job, starting a new series and trying to follow the success and popularity with readers that Contingency and the rest of the Covenant of Trust books enjoyed.
Razed was a little different. Some readers didn’t like it. One reviewer was critical of my portrayal of Christians, even to the point of questioning my own conversion. The reviewer missed the point. The book wasn’t about Christians. It was about Doug. In Doug’s world, that’s how the Christians appeared. Regardless of what may have been in their hearts, they came across as harsh, dismissive and judgmental towards him. I know Christians like all those portrayed in the book – black and white types like Paul Hammell, ones like Judy and Mark who have a hard time with credibility because of their past attitudes, shrill ones like the babysitter who accused Doug of being an alcoholic and unfit to care for his grandson, and ones like Debbie Hammell, whose kindness and grace connected with Doug.
In Razed, I wanted you to sympathize with Doug, and with his frustrations because it’s worth considering whether there are people like him in our lives. Are there good people around us who are put off by the name of Christ because we’ve met them first with judgment instead of compassion? Would the unbelievers around us, maybe in our own families, characterize us more like Paul, or Judy or Mark? What would it take to be more like Debbie? In a culture where Christians are best known for what they oppose rather than stand for, those might merit a second look.
I really like Doug, and I’m very happy to celebrate sharing his story with you.
(If you’ve not read Razed, I invite you to check it out. You can preview it at the Razed website or grab a copy. If you have read it, and haven’t left a review, I’d really appreciate it if you would do that for me. It will only take a couple minutes of your time and two or three sentences. Many thanks!
Also, you can read the first ten chapters of Resolute, Book 3 in Doug’s Foundations series at the Resolute website.)