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Thursday, 28 May 2015

God From Behind the Words


Guest post by Annmarie Miles

It’s great to have the opportunity to share some ponderings with this wonderful group. Having moved from the Republic of Ireland to Wales in December, I was eager to connect with Christian writers in the UK.I’m delighted to have found you.

A couple of weeks ago a lady in church asked if she could buy a copy of my book. I hesitated before answering and had a moment of plummeting confidence, combined with sheer panic.

Inwardly I said,“Book? Me? I didn’t write a book. Who told you that? OK, yes, I wrote a book, but... you want to read it? Well, you can’t. OK you can, but you won’t like it. And even if you like it, you won’t approve. Please don’t make me give you a book. Why did I do it? Why did I even write it? Who’s stupid idea was it anyway? I want my mummy!”

Outwardly I said, “Oh thank you. I’ll bring one next week.”

Now I love my book. I’m immensely proud of the finished product, and am besotted with a number of my characters. It is a collection of short stories about family life, work situations, love, loss and second chances. It is not, however, what I would call a Christian book.

Since I started taking writing seriously, I have been writing in two streams: Christian non-fiction and general fiction. I don’t have a flare for writing Christian fiction. I’ve tried it; it’s just not something I’m good at. When writing fiction, I feel my strength lies in taking everyday situations, memories and experiences; crafting them in to tales of hope and humour. These stories flow so much easier for me, and though they need plenty of editing, the 1st drafts are always stronger.

Written into the fabric these stories are themes of redemption and forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the humour that has been given to me by the Creator. My hope is that everyone will see God in the writing.

I’m always tempted to tell Christians who are about to read it, “Don’t worry, He’s in there. I might not mention Him specifically, but He is on every page.” I don’t want to do that though. In fact, if the writing is good enough, I shouldn’t have to do that. It should be obvious that He is there in every story, because we know He is there in every situation.

I fear disapproval and the bruising of my writer ego. (I think we all have a touch of that - or is it just me?) My hope is that whether my reader believes in God or not, they will see Him in there somewhere. He is woven through every story, because He has woven himself through me. Maybe it is a Christian book after all.

About the Author

Annmarie Miles was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. Instead of getting her mother's classic beauty, she says, she got her father's high forehead and sense of humour.

She blogs at www.auntyamo.com and www.annmariemiles.com/blog. She is a regular contributor to two Irish print publications and American Writer’s website. In 2013, her first collection of short stories was self-published in conjunction with Emu Ink Publishers.

She lives in South Wales with her husband Richard, in a house full of books, gadgets and musical instruments.

2 comments:

  1. I really liked your stories, and I enjoyed listening to you read one of them on your website. You brought the story alive by reading it so well and in that lovely accent of yours!

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  2. Dorothy Courtis28 May 2015 at 10:01

    The book of Esther doesn't mention God either but He's definitely there! I've been struggling with my latest first draft, worrying that it's not as 'Christian' as the previous one and could disappoint readers - your post really encourages me, AnnMarie. And I want to read your book!

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