In the meantime, one thing that mildly discouraged me from working on my books further was a letter that I received in response to an interview I did in a Christian magazine. This letter accused me of producing occultic material for young adults. It additionally said that I was baffling them with false gods.
It's difficult to know how to respond to these things. I am genuinely trying to write something worth reading, something that will be both enjoyable and helpful to others, including Christians. However, sometimes there are those who interpret the books in a more negative light.
Nevertheless, I have thoroughly thought through why I write fantasy. I've read whole books on it to help me gain a better understanding of the genre (In Defence of Fantasy was a personal favourite). I suppose one of the important things to remember as an author is that belief is sometimes all we have. We might not have contracts coming out of ears. Most of us certainly don't have money coming out of ears. At the end of the day, we have to truly believe in what we are writing. It has to mean something to us, and we must have a purpose for it beyond ourselves that enables to keep going, even when times (or criticisms) get tough.
That is my thought for the day as I continue to edit Wielder of the Rod, my seventh and final Fledgling Account book. Belief is crucial for all our writing endeavours.
“They mean to destroy you," Rafen whispered.
The Phoenix reared his head, and the ringing cry of laughter assailed the roof of the Miowa ki na Feni. “Do you really think so little of me, Rafen, that this scares you?” He lowered his head until the blood red neck was on a level with where Rafen hovered, a mere mist on the air, a mere breath of his god. “How little you know me. I have the power to take you on an odyssey of a lifetime, of an era – to show you more of myself. It will be the most glorious and empowering journey you have ever taken. You have made fires for me in the North and South and East and West. You have travelled far and done great things. You have settled the hearts of men and saved many from death with the other Eleven. Yet this journey, this task will surpass them all. Do you wish to truly know me? To truly know your God?”
Uncertain, Rafen shifted, his whole being stirred with intolerable longing. Could it be that after these thousands of years, he had not known the Phoenix at all? Could it be that he did not understand every facet of his Lord’s power? And what would their communion be like when he did?
“Yes,” he answered, because he had never felt anything as deep as this, any longing as strong as this before.
“You wish to know me truly,” the Phoenix said softly. The words filled his spirit, thrilling him. “And if you wish to know all that I have given you and all that I am, then I must save you. Only in salvation can a child know the full power of the One he trusts. In salvation, I will show you my glory.”
“Save me then,” Rafen implored, quivering with delight. “Save me now.”
“Watch carefully, Rafen. And listen to all I say. Your journey begins.”