I don't think I even heard the end of my child's question. Perhaps I cut her off. I had to explain to her that she wasn't facing reality, and it was time to learn why I do what I do.
First I had to let her understand why her thinking was askew. She knew it was a big deal for me to be published. She didn't know that, for me, it only affirmed that what I wrote had merit.
The authors she had envisioned were the ones she heard about on the news, who were indeed millionaires, J.K. Rowling, Stephan King, etc. How many other authors wrote books in the library who were not the famous people on the news?
Too many to count.
And they are not my co-workers, they are my competition. I tried to explain it this way. My daughter plays soccer. She loves it, but is on the "C-level" team. Chances of her becoming a famous soccer player aren't great. (I don't say that to be mean. By all means, she can work hard and get better.) Even if she were an A-level player, the next step would be beating out all the other girls for a spot on the school team. Then, she would have to beat all the school teammates for a college scholarship. From the college picks, she would have to stand out to a pro scout. (I don't even know if there is a professional level woman's soccer league, but just saying.) And then, she would have to stand out among her teammates there to be recognized by the public as one of the great ones. Many steps to soccer fame.
And I explained that even if she never made it to the next level, she would probably keep on playing soccer because she loved to play.
Then I explained to her how "rich" we could be this year. Due to the percent of royalties I earn, if I sold 200 books (guessing that I could include the second book in this lot) this quarter, after taxes and tithes, I would net about $30.
That was absolutely shocking to all my kids. We know people who are not rich who make that much in an hour. The kids could pick out video games they want that cost more than that.
And they know I have put in wayyyyy more than an hour's worth of work on my books. The next question was obvious.
"So then, Mom? Why are you writing these books?"
The answer was hard to put into words. While I was thinking, my son started for me, "Because she likes it. Duh!"
Yes, that is part of it. It is an awesome feeling to have complete control over the lives of people and even worlds I have created. I like making up characters. I like putting them in trouble and then trying to figure a way out of it. I like having a way to be dramatic. My personal life has no real life-or-death situations, but I face them everyday in my books. My children don't always listen to me, but my characters have no choice.
But if that were the only reason I wrote my books, I would never have started the painful task of trying to find a publisher.
My books have a message. I didn't want to start writing without a purpose, and there is only one purpose I feel is worth sharing - spreading the Gospel. I was a youth group leader in my recent past, and a youth group member in my more distant past. I know that young people listen best to what is interesting. So I asked God to help me find a way to talk to them that was interesting.
I starting writing the Angelmen series because I wanted a new parable. I wanted another way to show kids what God's love could look like. So, I created a new race of people and showed a parallel plight. (OK, I didn't create them. God created them, and they really did exist. But since I believe they were wiped out long ago, it is completely fictional to have such characters today.) And each book brings Truth from the Bible into hands of my readers.
Would I love to see my books turn into movies? Heck yeah! Because it would make me rich? No, for the people it could reach. Would I love to stand up in front of an auditorium full of listening young people? Yes. (I am strangely blessed to not mind talking in front of large groups of people.) Why? So I could tell them the message.
You don't write unless you have something to say. If you do, it is best to just keep it to yourself.
Passion Under Grace,