If you’ve read Unthinkable or Seen Sean?, you know that one of my main characters, Ron Penfield, is a Christian. When I decided to make the Penfields share my religion (no term-quibbling here, please), I had to set parameters for how I would and would not allow Christianity to shape my stories. It comes down to a few things:
- Nobody hears voices. (I once listened to a Christian radio mystery, and thought the visions the “detective” had were a Deus ex Machina, literally. Father Brown, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot never had visions, and all 3 were explicitly Christians.)
- Characters must be imperfect.
- Conclusions must satisfy, but they must be imperfect.
- No cuteness.
- Avoid “on-camera” conversions. I’ve seen this done badly in the 2 or 3 Christian novels I’ve read, and I want to avoid it unless I can write it well.
If you’ve read either book, how did I do?