Sunday, 3 January 2010

OK, so it's time for the other me to put in an appearance

When I started this blog expected that I would keep my two personae separate. But it doesn't work, of course, because a lot of the inspiration for my fiction comes from my experience with religion. It's a major theme of my current novel. Abusive religion. Lurking in the background of the Snig's Foot where most of the action takes place, is the family from hell and my novel is basically the story of how two very different young women escape from an authoritarian sect on the fringe of Christianity.

Melanie is nineteen and looking for her father because she wants him to get his come-uppance for all the hurt he caused her and her mother. And Susan is the former girl-friend from thirty years before, of Tom, my central character. When the story opens we do not know whether she is still living.

But that's enough of my story-line for now. I guess that in view of my own religious background and my earlier published work (Counting the Days to Armageddon) some folk will assume that the sect which I describe is the Jehovah's Witnesses. It isn't. It's the Gilead Fellowship, a fictional creation. Not dissimilar from the JWs, but also, like so many sects and cults, having some characteristics in common with disturbing elements within the mainstream churches. Really, that's why I don't like identifying the fringe movements as sects. It too easily gives the impression that all the harmful aspects of religion are associated with these groups. The rest of us are Ok. Perhaps we should reflect upon how easily we can allow room for what is unhelpful or even harmful and give it a cloak of respectability.

I guess maybe I ought to blog once in a while about the kind of thing I have in mind. Well, ok then, I will. As a minister coming up to retirement, I'm beginning to think it's time to be a bit more outspoken. So watch this blog.

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