Why Write Fiction from Old Testament Bible Stories?
I chose the story of David as the base for my first book purely by accident; well so I thought anyway. I knew I wanted to write but self help books just seemed egotistical to me, so fiction made perfect sense. The only problem was I struggled to think of material, what to write, where to start. I can’t exactly tell you why or when I decided David would be a great character for my story, it just happened.
Little did I know that David would actually become the subject, more than the lead character for my writing. David is a very interesting biblical figure. He was a fanatic, not unlike the fanatics we associate with terrorism today. He was an adulterer and a murderer. He turned his back on his daughter’s rape to protect one of his sons, only to see another of his sons kill the rapist, his own brother.
I really wanted to show David’s mistakes and fanaticism as much as his triumphs and faithfulness to God. In order to do this, I needed to surround him with a group of purely fictional characters because there was no one in the Old Testament story who really challenged the King.
I also wanted to challenge our modern perception of religion and faith. Even the Catholic Pope of today understands that we are in a changing world and that religion has failed to keep up. In fact the religions of today, be they Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or anything else; all are being severely judged for their past and present transgressions.
Both Destiny of Kings and Seed of Hope develop a narrative around the conflict between faith, the understand of God, indoctrination, fanaticism, sexism and the early institutionalising of religion. I have blended a range of characters into the story to challenge us all on what we think we believe. Personally, I found reconciling some of what David did in the name of God very difficult and maybe this is why I was lead to use the Old Testament story to start with.
At first, while writing these books I found it difficult to really classify the genre and who my reader might be. I knew what I wanted to say, I just wasn’t really sure who I was saying it to. I was worried I might offend my friends in the church because some of my motivation had come from a deep sense of betrayal which I had carried with me from my work within the institution. Additionally I was acutely aware that I didn’t want the book to be categorised as Christian or Religious Fiction as alienating non religious readers wasn’t the point. The stories have elements of mysticism, magic, faith, prophecy and destiny; none of which are under the umbrella of religion alone, yet there is no doubting they have a spiritual and religious focus. I have now come to realise (from some great feedback) that I have not offended anyone and that if anything, I have opened up the conversation; which was my intention and motivation for writing in the first place.