First, about the spring sales…out in my neck of the woods in this mountain rural community we have (sponsored by our Community Church primarily to help our volunteer Fire Department with donations)…last year I “broke even” financially with sales of my two printed novels Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band at this event. I have sold some more at the “second annual” spring event and handed out “business cards” with the URL for downloading the FREE PDF e-book FREE PDF e-book The Prodigal Band.
Before I go on to the main topic regarding present-day censorship especially with narratives, political and otherwise, I must say that I have a problem with Christians, including authors, that get on my case because my characters cuss or play rock music. Sorry, folks, but if you really think no Christian ever cusses (and I don’t know a Christian who doesn’t cuss every now and then!) or if you think rock musicians are all “devil worshipers” then you haven’t done your homework or you have bought into nonsense. Plus you have Christians who think all “Christian rockers” are really devil worshipers! Stryper then, Hillsong now, right? Did Stryper sing and play about Christ? Yes. Does Hillsong today sing and play about Christ? Yes, despite the appearance of Justin Bieber (I’m being facetious, okay?), and despite some “symbology” issues some have with Hillsong. Now, why would a non-Christian sing and play about Christ? A joke, right? Harking back to the late 60s and Norman Greenbaum’s hit song, “Spirit in the Sky” about Christ–and assuming Greenbaum is Jewish–why would he do a song about Christ? A reminder–the late 60s saw a surge in a movement called “Jews for Jesus.” Maybe Greenbaum was part of that.
There are people who are Christian authors who believe all “Christian authors” should write a certain way and not have cussing characters or characters who sin before they accept Christ as Savior. All “Christian author” novels should be squeaky clean. Sorry, but I can’t write that way when, first of all, I accepted Christ as Savior after repenting of the following behaviors: dabbling in the occult (as one of my band characters does); having pre-marital sex (as several of my characters did); being rebellious against some authority; cussing (I have dropped the “f” word but occasionally use the “s” word–and it was hard for me to type that “f” word into my novels, but my characters are my characters!); and questioning what has been certain interpretations of the Bible, among other sins. Because of this, my novels are not “Christian adult fiction” but “adult fiction.” My novels are meant to try to get non-believers to consider believing on Christ. Isn’t that what Christ said? “Make disciples of all nations”? I’ll let others “preach to the choir.”
Now, the main point: my novels also include a certain amount of satire and parody of how the music industry works, and it’s not just the “sell your soul for fame and fortune.” It is actually more sinister, what with signing recording contracts whereby the label virtually owns you unless they dump you, and both the label and the distribution outfit (the corporation that owns the label) take well over half of the take on sales (today it is supposedly most of the take) and where the recording artist must pay for recording studio and production and album cover art and even tours, assuming the recording label pays out some “advance” which also must be paid back. (And I thought authors had it bad!). But the really big time acts (as chosen by the moguls, that is) do get more leeway and more of the take–for a price, which is not a “sold soul to the devil” price literally, but agenda-wise. Once you are made huge, you are forced to stick to an agenda that you might eventually discover is laden with evil. And then the crash begins…And, if you start to oppose the agenda…watch out!
But why do a non-fiction book about some band that underwent this agenda years ago that I would have to interview for the truth when the possibility exists that one or more of these band members “suicided” or whatever when I can state what I know to be true by writing a fiction novel?
And then you have politics and the powers-that-be. Take George Orwell, who was somewhat of a socialist but understood the dangers of socialism-communism-fascism. Now, he could have written some non-fiction trope about life in the 1940s Soviet Union or 1930s Nazi Germany, but instead he wrote “1984” and “Animal Farm.” Truth, disguised as fiction. What would occur when censorship reigned. Since I am not political and do not trust any political side, I have no intention of writing fiction about politics. Spiritual is what I do. And take Aldous Huxley, from a very prominent political-socialistic-Fabian Society family and a member of the Fabians as well who knew backwards and forwards what the elites he hung out with planned to do. Most everyone has heard of his dystopian magnum opus “Brave New World” (and some scientists seem to be carrying out the gene-editing designer-babies scenario these days), but where he really tells what he knows is the fiction novel set in 1920s London, “Point Counterpoint,” about various elitists in the scientific, political, social, educational, and religious/atheist circles and their plans to rule the world to their specifications, what with a rebel or two trying to put a stop to these plans (the rebels, of course, are socialists and some working-class patsies.) Since it would have been heresy of sorts for a member of the elites to state the truth in non-fiction, he did it with fiction. Then you have Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451″…Prescient, or what?
If anyone needs a reason to write fiction these days, I’d say telling the truth about something you need to tell the truth about is as good a way as any!