So I just found out about the writing conference/festival "Festival of Faith and Writing". And shortly after finding out about its existed, was saddened by the fact that I couldn't go (mostly because I found out about it the day before it started).
I had assumed for a long time that because I am a horror writer, that I had to separate my faith and my writing. I had assumed that once you decide to put Faith (capital F faith) in your writing it should then be uplifting, and too much then turns it preachy.
But as I was going through the calendar of events I saw this:
"The Enduring Appeal of Cults Anbara Salam The success of novels like The Girls, Survivor, Gather the Daughters, and The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly demonstrate that fiction readers still have a healthy—or unhealthy—interest in cults. Why do people find cults so fascinating? Anbara Salam, who earned a PhD in Apocalyptic prophecy belief while writing a novel featuring a cult, explores what popular fiction about cults reveals about our own relationship with the uncanny valley of faith."
Okay, there are so many things I love about this. 1. I would attend this, as I am one of those people who have a healthy - or unhealthy- interest in cults, 2. She has a PhD in Apocalyptic prophecy which is like my dream PhD and 3. although she doesn't identify as a horror writer...cults are scary (and I've read The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly and that book is pretty horrific).
And that made me think "wait, religion and faith play a HUGE role in my book". By current project is basically The Babysitters Club meets The Exorcist. Possession itself is inherently a religious thing, and exorcism is also inherently a religious thing. You can't have either of those things without having a basis of faith to make the threat real. Now, there are more secular reasons that possession is scary (loss of ones mental and physical control is one, and one that I will tap into a lot as it is one of my biggest personal fears, more so than possession), but for the characters involved, it is religious, and ultimately its going to be their Faith (and some combined traits from all the characters involved) that will allow my characters to gain victory.
Apparently, my Faith and my writing are a lot more entwined than I thought.
And going to the Festival of Faith and Writing is now on my bucket list.
What realizations have you made about your art? Feel free to let me know!
Until next time,