"Jesus was a man of His generation. He was not a man of the previous generation.”
Dr. Bunsen the new pastor of Squarespire Baptist Church, in A Year with the Harrisons, has just arrived to a large congregation that includes the title family. He is a sincerely religious man. Despite appearances otherwise, I never intend for you to think he’s not sincere. He might be a bit aggressive, but sometimes religious people are. I know from the inside that they care passionately about their culture. They don’t view themselves as marginalized, but as proudly independent.
Dr. Bunsen’s sermon isn’t funny because his beliefs are being mocked—it’s because he’s SO sincere that he’s getting a little out of hand and firing bullets at the congregation without getting to know them first. His wife, Mrs. Bunsen, has the same strong feelings when she talks to the music minister about instituting a band. (Actually, it’s not hard to imagine Mrs. Bunsen with an actual rifle.) But though she might seem a little hostile at first, Mrs. Bunsen is a loyal and devoted mother and a good friend to people she agrees with. If you’re her friend—probably in that case you have the exact same thoughts about music—you can trust her absolutely, and that’s a great quality as opposed to duplicity. In this aspect, at least, the Bunsens really are living out the Christian message.
At the end we still don’t get to know the Bunsens or many people in the church very well, as the Harrisons decide to go to another church. But we do know they are go-getters. If there’s an old abandoned grocery store, before you know it they’ll turn it into another little Bunsen church like their old one at Rocky Creek. And in a world where Christians are often shown as shy and self-conscious (people would rather say you had a bar mitzvah than that you were baptized!), I wanted to show something more realistic. Church people can be FIERCE.
And there will be more updates.
I had to rewrite these stories about 3 times last year in order to complete a merge of them. I wanted to discard “Alyce” altogether, but I just felt a lingering presence in it that wouldn’t go away. However, I didn’t add much new material, like new characters. This means there are now at least 5 things that could be improved and you only notice these when the two stories are combined.
Not that this makes the book low-quality—I mean, no book is PERFECT. (Except I know many people will vouch for their currently favorite historical romance or YA fantasy author. But aside from that, no book is ever perfect.)
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
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With so many great authors already out there, what do my books offer? Simply put, they are peaceful. While a lot of writers are genuinely telling a wonderful story I can't tell, I also see too many noisy and angry books on the market. Only a few actually examine mature or gritty situations--too many are just noisy with an unpleasant tone. Even well-intentioned books that preach good values aren't always pleasant. If the author is correcting and lecturing me or other people, it doesn't make for a peaceful reading experience.
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.