Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Line Between Morality and Reality

by Jeffrey S Savage

As a member of the LDStorymakers, I am often able to take part in literacy events with a panel of other LDS authors. These events are typically presented to Relief Societies, Firesides, and occasionally YM/YW. The idea behind the events is to promote literacy (e.g. the importance of reading with your family, offering good books to your children, the importance of literacy in a financial, spiritual, and emotional sense, etc)

At the end of each session, we are generally asked questions from the audience. This is probably the most fun part. Although I have to admit that watching James Dashner get the kids involved in creating a story about cheese trees and headless bodies was pretty dang funny. Anyway, last week the panel was asked what we thought of Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series. Of course my first thought was that I wished I could sell a million plus books and get the kind of advance she did. But I’m not sure this was the real intent of the question. What the audience was really looking for was whether we “approved” of the series or not.

This is where the ground gets really squishy. I’ve only read the first book. But for the most part I enjoyed it. Of course there were parts I thought could have been better. But what author doesn’t think they could do something better at least in some areas when they read another author’s book? But again, I don’t think the audience was asking about quality. They wanted to know if it was “morally” okay. I remember thinking, this is a teenage romance where despite temptation the couple doesn’t have sex. In today’s morally ambiguous book market that’s great right?

But then I was reminded that although they didn’t have sex, they did spend multiple nights in bed together. And I’ve heard that in the third book she is pretty much begging Edward to have sex with her. What kind of example does that set? Especially when the author is LDS? Wow. There is the crux of the matter.

If I am writing as an LDS author to an LDS audience, my guidelines are pretty clear. If I didn’t stick to them, my publisher wouldn’t stick with me. And actually that is not a concern. I know who my audience is and I know what they expect. This doesn’t mean all of my characters are good Mormons. It doesn’t mean I have to have spirituality in all of my books. In fact my current mystery series has almost no overt religion and as I’ve mentioned before, I am working with Covenant on publishing a mainstream Mormon horror novel. But even then, I couldn’t have a girl and guy jump into bed together and call it good, or my publisher would have a fit.

But what about when I am writing for a national audience, and my protagonist is not LDS? Is it inherent for me to “set an example?” Let me point out here, that for me personally there are many lines I have no desire to cross. I am very careful about the language I use. I try to make a clear differentiation between good and bad, right and wrong, and make sure actions have consequences. But what about situation where a man and a woman, not of the LDS faith, sleep together. I’m not even talking about teenagers this time. Grown up man has sex with grown up woman and they are not married. Not in erotica detail. Just the fact that it happens. In a national book by a non-LDS author, I probably wouldn’t give that a second thought. But when the author is LDS do we have different expectations? Should we have different expectations?

It’s funny. I’ve seen reviews of Meyers’ books that say she is being too Mormon by not having the couple have sex. I’ve also seen reviews that are very offended a good Mormon would write a series where the girl wants to have sex with the guy—even if they don’t end up doing it. In LDS fiction a guy and a girl could sleep together, but you would have to show a negative consequence. (Which in reality there often is.)

I guess where I find myself stuck is that so much national fiction treats intimacy in such a cavalier way, that it’s nice to actually read a book where the people do have standards. I personally think that authors like Dean Koontz have an innate morality that shines through without being preachy. But then I accidentally pick up a horror novel by an author like Bentley Little that is so foul and twisted I actually throw it in the trash. (Which it takes a lot for me to do. I REALLY value books.) And I think how much it bothers me that so many authors believe we all want to read graphically twisted garbage, and I really want to be an author that scares your socks off without all that garbage.

So I guess where I stand is that I want to be able to write and read believable books. I haven’t read Myers’ last two books, but I think the very fact that there is sexual tension, desire, etc, is true. And the fact that for whatever reason the sex does not happen is commendable. Was it necessary for her to have the two of them share the same bed regularly? Maybe not. But walking the fine line between was is real and what is moral is a tough balancing act. If parents read these books with their children and it opens up discussion about the kinds of decisions we should make and why, it is a great thing.

I will say that I don’t think this is a series for the twelve and under crowd that seems to be devouring it. I am really concerned that they may take the wrong message from it. I will also say that I think the world needs more good, exciting, scary, exhilarating books that also have strong values. I had this exact discussion with Shadow Mountain and it made me very proud that they feel the same way and are publishing just those kinds of books for the YA middle grade market. Not that every kid is going to pick those books. But if positive alternatives are available, we’re at least doing our part.


At 9/03/2007 8:39 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Great insights, Jeff. I've read all three and enjoyed them all. That said, similar to Rowling's book, Meyer's books get "older" as they go. In Eclipse, Bella is 18, no longer fitting a YA category book. Of course, the bulk of the audience remains quite young. As with any book, parents should know what their kids are reading. There is quite a bit of obsession going on, but just a tad more than Romeo and Juliet.

At 9/04/2007 1:17 AM, Blogger Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

I've read all three books too and enjoyed them as well. In fact, Eclipse got the same treatment as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - I stayed up all night reading it.

I didn't become as enamored of the characters as everyone else, but I was pulling for them although I thought Bella was a little too whiny.

As to the morality issue, I can see both sides of the coin here. But when I'm reading a national book I'm used to skimming and ignoring certain portion of the book. So I didn't really pay much attention to that part. That's pretty much between Stephenie, her bishop and Jesus Christ. Clearly, since her books fly off the shelves and she's done so well, it doesn't bother a lot of people. Maybe it should.

At 9/04/2007 7:41 AM, Anonymous concerned mom said...

I have read all three books. They are quite the page turners.

The irony here is that if the author was not LDS I would be very happy that they don’t have sex. But she is and I hold her to higher standard. Why? Because the YW of the ward are not only obsessed with this book—they are so thrilled that the author is LDS and so it is “safe” or “clean.” They assume what the heroine does is OK. Their parents also assume this.

The protagonist is set up to be every girl’s dream. She isn’t gorgeous or brilliant, she’s average looking and clumsy but exciting things always happen to her. The most amazingly handsome boy is in love with her! What teenage girl isn’t dreaming of that?

Bella thinks Edward is sooo handsome—it must be love. Edward thinks that Bella’s blood smells sooo tasty—it must be love. There is one drawback, Edward’s attraction to her blood makes him want to suck it and therefore puts her life in danger every time they are alone. He contents himself by sniffing her neck and she is sure (sure!) that he will never do anything to hurt her (they’ll stop before they go too far).

So to keep themselves safe they always double date and tell her dad where they are going and when they’ll be home. Oh whoops, those are our rules. Bella and Edward run off into the forest away from everyone to make out, Edward climbs in her window every night and sleeps with her.

By book three Bella is pushing to have sex. It is not subtle. She says that she doesn’t believe Edward thinks she is attractive because he won’t sleep with her. Every time they kiss he has to pull her off of him. He tells her to quit trying to take off her clothes.

She is also pushing to become a vampire so she can be immortal and stay with Edward forever. She is opposed to marriage, though. (I’m ready to make an eternal commitment to vampirehood but I’m not ready for marriage.)

The last chapter has them planning the wedding and Bella realizing that Edward is right and they should wait to have sex as long as she can still be human the first time so she can have that important human experience. (See, it’s clean!) Two pages out of three books.

Teenage girls think this is the ultimate in romance. We excuse it because it is vampires (not real). But what if Edward is simply the hot guy in the Priest quorum? You want him in your daughter’s bed? Is your daughter sure he would never cross certain lines because he loves her—even when she is trying to take her shirt off?

At 9/04/2007 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually threw the first book awy for the same reasons expressed by concerned mom. I have spent too much time working with young women that I know most of them would kill to be Bella, and that they are all swooning over Edward, and they all believe that if a boy truly "loves" them that he will be able to control themselves. The problem that arises, as pointed out above, is that these young women, and I believe that encompasses all of them in my ward, are ecstatic over the fact that this is an "LDS" novel. therefore,they believe that it is clean and appropriate, and, as a result, they are getting a horrendous message of pushing the line and never facing consequences.

At 9/04/2007 9:59 AM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Mom and Anon,

You make great points. Again, I haven't read the third book, but the scenes with the two of them in bed was what I struggled with the most. I'm really not sure why that had to be put in. I don't think it added anything. Thanks for your input. It's exactly what I was looking for when I posted.

It's really great to get this kind of feedback as an LDS author so we are reminded of what we are dealing with.

At 9/04/2007 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think it worse that Edward and Bella don't have sex. Frankly, with the amount of time that they spend in bed together, the amount of time they are running off to far away places, as Bela pressures him, etc. The message is that if you truly love each other you can put yourself in all kinds of dangerous situations, but you wil be able to control yourself. However, reality is, and maybe I'm a pervert, but any teenagers who spend the majority of nights in bed together, go off to the woods together, and one of them desperately wants sex, sex will happen. Unfortunately now there are a lot of young women who have been told what they want to hear, if you truly love each other you will be able to control yourselves no matter what situations you put yourself into. My parents used to tell us when confronted with our protestations of lack of trust, "I wouldn't trust myself in that situation."

At 9/04/2007 11:49 AM, Blogger James Dashner said...

Wow, I never thought Jeff would stoop so low as to sell his blog with sex. I am saddened.

The only reason I am offended by the Twilight Saga is because it has no football in it. Well, I haven't read them, but the covers make me think there's no football in them, so there you have it.

At 9/04/2007 11:58 AM, Blogger James Dashner said...

Okay, I better give a more mature, adult answer.

If you don't like the book, don't let your kids read it. You're the parent, not Little, Brown and not Stephenie Meyer. Other than that, I have no opinion on the matter.

(Except that I snicker every time I think of the concept of a vampire worrying about premarital sex. Gee, I suck people's blood to stay alive, but I better watch my chastity! I mean, certainly, 2 wrongs don't make a right, I always say.)

At 9/04/2007 12:00 PM, Blogger G. Parker said...

Good subject, Jeff. My daughters (over 18) have both read it, and one likes the series, the other is not happy with the third book. I've read the first one, and had no desire to read the others. It was just too...unbelievable. I realize vampires are fiction anyway, but the whole set up is just - well, I think Bella is way whiny and needs to get a grip. And now that I hear the third one she's pushing for sex and vampireess and not marriage...whatever. Definitely not for the younger crowd.

At 9/04/2007 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believing that it is clean and safe to read isn't nearly as damaging as learning what is appropriate and acceptable behavior. If the LDS author characterized the heroine like this, then what she says, thinks and does is okay. If I have some explicit thoughts, they are okay. No need to try to keep my thoughts virtuous. I can have explicit conversations with my boyfriend becuase the LDS author pretty much said it was okay. And what about listening and respecting what YW advisors tell me is right or wrong? No need to listen to them, especially when it contradicts what my LDS Young Women Author says. Oh, the struggles when the kingdom grows and more and more of us are involved in the day-to-day struggles of the world.

At 9/04/2007 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read the books (except the last) and liked them. But I won't in the future be lending them out to anyone who isn't already married.

It's a fine line isn't it? For me, I feel if I never go near the line, I don't have to worry about whether or not I crossed that line.

This is why . .. if you want to be an author, or work in the film industry . . . you need to decide right now, before contracts are ever placed under your nose, what your standards are as an artist. Where is your responsibility as a writer or actor to the people you perform to?

Many say, "Well, I need to write about sex because I'm writing realistically, and realistically people are having sex"

But realistically if a character hops from one bed to another they will either end up pregnant or with an STD. It's a fact of numbers. So if those consequences aren't ever shown . .. how realistic was the author?

If you show a couple, as obsessed with one another as Bella and Edward, sleeping in the same bed every night and putting themselves in dangerous situations, then realistically, the couple would have consummated the relationship, either with sex or a bite on the neck. One or the other will lose control to a point that they cannot help but take things to a level they never intended (or did intend if they're honest with themselves).

I've received enough email from fans to know that the written word is a powerful thing. They get messages from what I write in places I never intended a message to be received. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. As writers we should take care how we wield it.

At 9/04/2007 12:51 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/04/2007 12:55 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Jeff Savage has left a new comment on your post "The Line Between Morality and Reality":

First of all, let me just say that James has never been mature or adult as long as I've known him.

I'm going to disagree only slightly with the last post. "For me, I feel if I never go near the line, I don't have to worry about whether or not I crossed that line."

I do understand you were speaking only for yourself. But I think most authors, regardless of religious faith, do walk that line all the time by the very fact that controversy is what makes interesting stories.

Let's look at Twilight. If Edward and Bella did the smart and resaonable thing, there wouldn't be any story. It's the very fact that they are so strongly attracted to each other (while not being able to get together) that makes the story.

Think Romeo and Juliet as was mentioned earlier. Think You've Got Mail. Any great romance has two people who should get together, but for some reason can't. And sexual tension between a high school couple is also real.

But what if Bella wanted Edward to sleep with her but one or both of them realized that was a really bad idea and they didn't. Or when they did, something bad almost happened (or did happen?)

Wouldn't that be even more real? Several of you have said that same thing.

At 9/04/2007 2:16 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

James: Bella's father spends 99% of his free time watching football. Does that count? And vampires play baseball! Gotta love that. :-)

Jeff: You know what really scares me? (It's not the werewolves, though they ARE pretty frightening.) What scares me is that people ask these kinds of questions of us at public presentations -- as if we are experts on every genre of fiction (and the Kingdom of God as a whole) just because we write LDS fiction.

What's with that? My grandmother was a professional artist. I attended dozens (possibly hundreds) of shows with her -- formal, informal, etc -- and never once did I hear anybody ask her opinion of another artist's work. Never did they say, "Hey, you paint still-life and landscapes. What do you think about so-and-so's portraits?" Just didn't happen. I wonder why.

And I worry. I don't have a writing-related presentation upcoming for a month or so -- and maybe "Eclipse" will be older news by the time I do -- but I have a Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow afternoon. What if somebody asks what I think about Shandra Covington? I do so hate to criticize/make fun of Jeff in public. (Oh, wait. I guess I don't.) Problem solved.

At 9/04/2007 2:24 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Yeah, I'm always nervous when people ask me about other author's books. At that same presentation, a girl came up and asked me how old you have to be to join Storymakers. I told her there was no age milit, but you had to have published a book. Then I suggested some other groups and pointed out that Paolini was only 15 when he started his Eragon book. She commented, "His writing style sucks." I couldn't help laughing.

Be careful of making fun of me though. I have your address and now I know when you go to Weight Watchers. I can send you a cake!

At 9/04/2007 3:43 PM, Blogger James Dashner said...

Jeff, what exactly is an age milit? I find that word very fascinating.

Kerry, I love it that you love baseball. I've been a die hard Braves fan since I was a baby (having been born and raised in Atlanta) and still consider my most cherished moment (non wife and kids related) to be 1995, when they won the World Series.

Oh, sorry, off topic. I, uh, think it's bad for vampires to have premarital sex. And they should only kill people for their blood, not out of anger.

At 9/04/2007 3:46 PM, Blogger Tamra Norton said...

James--you forget, The Cullens (Edward's family) are "vegetarian" vampires. They don't suck the blood of people, just mountain lions bears, etc. So, yes, they are good vamps! :)

I've read the books and enjoyed them. But as I read, I had that little LDS editing angel on my shoulder saying, "you could never write a scene like that in your LDS YA novels." In discussing this with my friends who are also authors, I think we all feel a tremendous responsability in the words we put out there.

At 9/04/2007 4:34 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Don't listen to anything James says about this series. He hasn't read it. And he hasn't watched Pride & Prejudice (another entirely different topic). I think we need to be careful in making Meyer responsible for writing national fiction that's akin to LDS fiction. They are two different beasts. We need to keep her religion out of it. Bella isn't LDS. We should congratulate Meyer for writing the cleanest YA vampire novel in history. We haven't even touched the subject of writing about vampires in the first place. LOL :)

At 9/04/2007 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I understand, part of the problem with Stephanie's series is that she has been having a very difficult time with her publisher keeping her ideas in the story more than what they want in the story. I understand the first book was almost a no go, but the struggle continues.

At 9/04/2007 5:59 PM, Blogger James Dashner said...

I applaud Heather's comments and agree completely. You nailed it. It's like all the people who thought Steve Young was evil because he played on Sunday. I say go back to your self righteous lives and keep to judging your next door neighbor.

And I don't mean you guys, who are sincerely debating whether or not you and your kids should read them. That's great. I'm talking about the people who stand up and scream "I'm holier than thou!"

Nothing bugs me more than that.

Wow, I'm being really opinionated today. Someone shut me up.

Tami, thanks for the vegetarian vampire clear up (he says as he walks away, snickering).

At 9/04/2007 6:05 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I agree with the girl on Paolini. =P (I applaud his achievement - it's not like I've published a book or two - but I just could not get into his first book.)

Also, sad to hear that about Bentley Little - he was on my list to read from a recommendation by Stephen King. One of his others that I did enjoy was Kate Atkinson's Case Histories. (um, some vulgarity ensues)

At 9/04/2007 6:34 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

I have no comment about Twilight's morality, since I haven't read the books. But I do have some comments on the nauseating romance of it all. My wife read me some of the lines from the book--she kept breaking down in fits of helpless laughter at the corny melodrama. Stuff like seeing Edward's six-pack through his tight shirt, and "his sweat glistened like diamonds". We were waiting for one of the vampires to be "half-Apache and all man".

No offense to all of you romance readers/writers out there...

At 9/04/2007 10:08 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Okay, so here's my take on it.

This is a very difficult area for me right now, because basically my role models in the national market, LDS women who write romances, are ending up being pretty explicit in their writings. People like Brenda Novak and Christine Feehan let it ALL hang out and then some in their books. I've been wondering how you reconcile the two. How do you believe what you believe and then have these worldly characters doing very, um, worldly things? Their books can be very, very explicit. Like I have to hurry and turn the page explicit.

But then on the other hand, I do think it's a little ridiculous that LDS romances are often floating heads with no bodily reactions. In my second novel coming out this fall, my main character falls in love at first sight. He absolutely loves the heroine who can't stand him. And as part of that loving her, he's completely physically attracted to her. Which made one of my publisher's readers say it was obviously just lust. No...when you really love someone, there is a definite physical component there that is natural and normal. I actually dislike it when those butterfly-in-the-stomach feelings get ignored. So I put those in. I do hold back some because I'm considering my audience, but I do have people that are falling in love being physically aware of one another and wanting to actually, you know, kiss and stuff.

But on to Eclipse...I was really disappointed. I think usually Meyer is a fantastic storyteller. Twilight and New Moon totally sucked me in. I've never been able to figure out why. One of my favorite agent bloggers, Kristin Nelson, asked the same question in one of her blogs at:

It's hard to put your finger on what made it so great.

But I can say that I was thoroughly disappointed in Eclipse. Not just because Bella is begging for sex but refuses to get married (which bothered me to no end because as someone pointed out, she's ready to make an eternal vampire commitment but not marriage?), but I felt like Meyer took everything that made the books special to me and destroyed it.


It's how I felt about the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. After the first movie, I wanted to run out and buy tickets to watch it again. I never feel like that. I adored the movie. The second one, blegh. A mess. I haven't actually seen the third one, but read about the ending on and was beyond mad.

The writers took what made the movie so special for me, the love affair of Elizabeth and Will, and decimated it. Her having feelings for Jack? Kissing him? Driving Will and Elizabeth apart? Keeping them apart for eternity with ten year get togethers? Ack!

Meyer did the same thing. She took this relationship of Bella and Edward and decimated it. Bella discovers she's in love with Jacob. She kisses him. She sort of chooses Edward in the end, but only because she can live without Jacob but can't live without Edward. Not because she loves Edward more or anything like that. I've never much liked the character of Bella in the first place, but she became such a whiny, wishy-washy hag in Eclipse that by the end of the book I out and out hated her. I felt like Meyer kept trying to have Belle justify her behavior and beat herself up enough so that the audience would think it was okay, but I was ticked. It didn't appease me. I also wonder just what it is Edward sees in her. He could do so much better.

Instead of being in love, the Bella and Edward relationship has now devolved into an obsession akin to drug addiction (which peripheral characters keep mentioning). The beautiful love story, like in Pirates, has been destroyed.

I don't know if this triangle was at the publisher's insistence so as to drag the saga out even longer, or if Meyer always intended this to happen, but I was so thoroughly disappointed. I'm also a little tired of being strung along over whether or not Bella will get vamped out. Holy heck, have it happen or have it not happen. This will she or won't she has been going on too long for me.

I will say this, I won't buy the next book. With the first two, I absolutely couldn't put them down and with Eclipse I found myself putting it down over and over because it really wasn't holding my interest (and I'm still grossed out about the teen werewolf imprinting on the 2-year-old chld. Ick).

At 9/04/2007 10:11 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Jeff, Don't read the rest of the series it isn't worth it. Sure it's cool, addicting, and full of romance but, come on it's not your whole life.
I've read all of them and the first one was okay untill Bella was being a love freak then it wasn't so good then New Moon wasn't so bad. Then the third one. I was so mad about that book the only part I liked was the end when the bad lady came and started fighting with Edward it was awesome! but the whole sex thing was really stupid! I skiped through all that.
Kerry and James: The baseball thing is sooooo cool! I loved that part.
And anyone who likes Bella has problems. I hate her- no I Despise her. She is so sick and such a brat. And just because Edward leaves her she goes and uses Jacob as her Band-Aid.
But just for the record Stephanie Meyers has a gift for writing, book is really thrilling she just needs to moral it up a bit.( that sounded really nerdy I know). And while I'm saying nerdy things what does LOL stand for?

At 9/04/2007 10:14 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Right on Sariah! Just what I was saying.

At 9/05/2007 11:39 AM, Blogger Christopher Bigelow said...

I think one of the main things limiting our Mormon literary culture may well be this widespread concept of "holding LDS authors to a higher standard." By this reasoning, Shakespeare could never have been a Mormon, and many parts of the scriptures could never have been written by a Mormon.

The social pressure and conformity of Mormon culture is really, really tiresome and I think needlessly hurts a lot of people and holds them back in the gospel. I don't think our literature should glorify sin, but I think it should show more messy human reality, dramatize more of the problems that the Atonement will solve, including the fact that many Mormons are quite imperfect and fallen. I like fiction that reflects reality rather than trying to promote some sanitized, idealized notion of LDS wishful thinking.

At 9/05/2007 2:21 PM, Anonymous marlene said...

No matter how much we want to control the standard to which other authors write, we can't. But there are a few things we can do.

1)We can mention to our teenagers that certain writers are not writing to an LDS audience and therefore, that they are not always using LDS standards. What a great starting point for an indepth discussion of standards! I remember an example from a Relief Society lesson where a father would not allow his daughter to go with her friends to a movie with questionable scenes. Instead, he took her with him to the show, then afterwards, they talked about the standards within the movie together and whether she wanted to see that kind of movie.

2) Here's where we who write can step in and make a big difference by providing enough other material with high standards and still authenticity that those who want to maintain high standard have something good to read.

But we ourselves have to make some judgments as to how we interpret the rules. One of my publisher's readers said that my main character was being untrue to the man she was considering marrying although they were not engaged because she had interests in two other men. I modified the relationship to appease the reader partly because I needed to get the book accepted for publication, but I think single women should still be considering all possiblities until they are engaged.

I personally think life offers us enough types of adversity that there are some good, realistic plots still ready for writing that do not hinge on sexuality for interest. Teenagers need some exposure to that theme and perhaps Bella attracks the attention of some readers who would otherwise go to a harder core read.

As writers, here's our chance to put our talents to the test. We choose are audience and we hold our personal responsibility for the use of our talents. We can give alternative to our audiences.

At 9/05/2007 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your book is coming out this fall? Is it being published by Covenant? I haven't heard anything of it and I work in the Mormon bookselling industry. To be honest, I am VERY happy for you to have a book published in the fall. That is an EXCELLENT sign that the publisher likes your work and it will boost your sales tremendously. I am sure you already knew that though. What is the title? What is it about?


At 9/05/2007 7:39 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Dear 4:43 anonymous -

I do have a book coming out this fall and it is being published by Covenant. It's entitled "Desire of Our Hearts" and it is speculative fiction (and very much a romance) on the life of Alma the Elder.

I also just found out today that my third book, based on Ammon, was just accepted. Yay!

I'll be coming out to Utah from October 4 - 6, and so if you're a bookseller in that area and would like me to drop by your store to say hi and possibly sign some books, please drop me an email at sariah at sariahswilson dot com and I'll make sure that I do.

At 9/05/2007 8:56 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I'd give my right arm to read your book about Ammon!

Brooke: LOL = Laugh(ing) Out Loud
This link might help with some others, FWIW:

At 9/06/2007 3:53 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Thanks Jon, I thought it was Lots Of Love or something.

At 9/07/2007 1:58 PM, Blogger Worldbuilder Robin said...

If you're looking for a book by an LDS author that does "show more messy human reality, dramatize more of the problems that the Atonement will solve, including the fact that many Mormons are quite imperfect and fallen" then read Vernal Promises by Jack Harrell. The main character, marginally LDS, leaves his wife for an extended drug binge that... well, let's say he's certainly not a good boy. And yes, many (but not all) of the consequences of his actions are shown. It has a powerful message about the Atonement at the end, but good grief there's a lot of worldliness to slog through to get to it. I've read it twice now (required for classes), and I still don't like it, but I can see the message.

Oh, and I'm only about a third of the way through Twilight. It's amazing how popular those books are (at our library, Harry Potter 7 is available on the shelves but none of Meyer's books are).


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