Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Are the Sam Harlan books Christian novels?

When I wrote Come What May, I was in love with the criminally underappreciated movie, Near Dark. I also wanted to see if I could write an Elmore Leonard-inspired genre novel. I wanted to write a story set in the Midwest. All that is true, but I had two other things I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to write a story about the worst thing I could imagine, and I wanted to explore my feelings about Christianity.

When Sam Fisher’s wife is murdered and his daughter abducted, it was the worst thing I could imagine. I wondered what a normal man would do if presented with something extraordinary, like a world with vampires. How far would a man go? What would he do to get his daughter back? And, what if it involved a family member?

I have mixed feeling about Christianity. I wasn’t baptized until I was in my thirties, and I try to believe, but I’ve never really been strong in my faith. I have questions about God, about His plans for us, or whether He even exists. I wanted to explore those things in Come What May. Why does He allow bad things to happen to good people and good things to happen to bad people?

I’ve read a lot on the subject but Come What May was my way of working out some of the answers for myself. It’s not a Christian book, per se, and I’m still a little uncomfortable when people ask me about the Roman Catholic elements in the book.

If Come What May was about God allowing bad things to happen to good people, Hard Times was about whether a simple man could make peace with God. Sam doesn’t have a clue about fighting vampires, but he tries. His act of free will costs the lives of those he tried to save.

In Damned Cold, Sam finally starts to understand what God’s love truly means. He learns about free will and its price. Sister Callie’s faith remains unshaken throughout the books, but Sam is finally learning about his place in the world and what he’ll do to protect the one person left he cares for.

3 comments:

  1. Do you think an atheist would be able to enjoy your series despite the Roman Catholic elements?

    Do the individual books stand alone?

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    1. The notification set-up has the wrong email listed for me.

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    2. Eleanor, I do think an atheist would enjoy them. I try to follow a 3-act structure most of the time, with a hint of the monomyth to spice things up.

      Do the books stand alone? I try to write them so that you can pick up any book and get enough back story so that you don't need to read the others.

      If you try one of my books, I hope you find it entertaining!

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