Friday, December 27, 2013

Feel Again

Hi all!
 I haven't written in a while. That's because I've been in India visiting my husband, but I am back home now. Soon, I get to visit him again for our one year anniversary and I am really excited.

This year has been really big for people reading my books -- especially Ember, Obsidian  and Dust. But to be honest, the reviews have been really mixed.
Pretty much everyone likes Ember (except for the typos, which are not my strong-suit, sorry :/).
But lots of people seem to have a hard time liking Obsidian and an even harder time liking Dust.
It's pretty obvious if you read the reviews on amazon that the dislike from Dust springs from "religious" issues.

For this reason (and to help explain Obsidian for those interested), I'd like to go into a little explanation for the path these three books take.

Listen to this song first if you can: (For those of you reading this off my blog, the song is "Feel Again" by One Republic)

Now I'm just going to tell you simply the pattern displayed in the three books Ember, Obsidian, and Dust.

Ember - This starts out with our main characters (and namely, of course Evelyn) in a child-like stage. They're just entering adulthood, and they're alive. They feel a lot, and they love a lot. They get scared, but they don't really think to protect themselves. They just are themselves. And so they all become friends with much love and joy shared!

Obsidian - Now our heroes, and heroine, are older, and they're starting to try and control things for themselves. They are (like a lot of adults begin to do) trying to control situations to stop the pains they've felt in the past. Instead of accepting loss and being abandoned in love, they're trying to create a safe place, and in their own hands, everything is falling apart. That is why Obsidian gets a little dark and very messy. We're witnessing humans trying to take things into their own hands -- even trying to do good on their own. I think this is a familiar part to growing up for any person. And, well... we know how it ends up in Obsidian.

Dust - This book starts out with every character feeling alone, totally defeated, clueless... They've pretty much tried their hardest, and their hardest didn't work. They can't feel anything; they've lost all hope and everything's messed up. Boom! That's when Jesus steps in. And I know that some people don't believe that Jesus exists, but He does. And the life-change, the bringing-back-to-life, and the grace that He brings to a life that has lost everything is what is represented in Dust.
This was the naturally progression for Evelyn, Jaden and Ikovos. Not some strange religious preaching, but a real personal relationship, with a real powerful lover and King that gave His life for us. And it changes people! By the end of Dust, Ikovos, Evelyn and Jaden are in a state of grace, and confidence and peace, that won't be taken from them. That can only come through Jesus; there's no other way to get that.

I want to write books about people who's lives change -- not people who start out awesome, and keep being awesome. Pretty much, I've never seen that once in real life. What I see around me is hard times and mistakes, and then characters rising up like heroes to make a difference in the world. I know that this heroism comes from Jesus. I want everyone who reads my books to experience the same freedom that Evelyn, Jaden and Ikovos do! I know that so many book-readers long for these other worlds, and life-filled stories of magic. I always have as well -- that's why I started writing. I have to tell you this because it's true (I've witnessed it): Jesus is that life and magic, and if you'll ask Him to come and live with you, your life will fill up with light and magic too. REAL life. REAL feelings. REAL magic.

I hope this reaches someone. And please listen to that song Feel Again with this in mind: that Jesus is the magic that brings us back to life after we've lost it all. Let "this life" die to you, and live again in Jesus. That's what happened to Evelyn, Jaden and Ikovos in these books. It happened in my life. It happened to our perfect Jesus. We get so lonely, and cold, and empty. If we call on Jesus, we will end up singing along with the lively and joyous exclamations of this song:
"I'm feeling better ever since you know me. I was a lonely soul but that's the old me. A little wiser now from what you showed me.... I feel again."

"The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." -John 10:10

-Tess Williams