Should Authors Avoid Controversy

06 Sep

I am about to release my new novel, The Fifth Step. Missy Alcott leads a perfect life. Married to a successful preacher, she plays the role of mother, partner, and lover with submission and detail to duty. However, her dream life collapses when she discovers her husband is addicted to pornography and in an online relationship with porn queen, Jasmine Clyne.

Doug Alcott, the preacher, deludes himself. He never physically cheats on his wife. Watching porn is only a little sin—no harm to anyone but himself. However, when Roy Stone, an enemy of Jasmine’s, abducts Missy and Jasmine for ransom, his world collapses. He learns there is no such thing as a little sin as his indiscretion threatens is marriage, his ministry, and his wife’s life.

As an author, I feel obligated to write an honest portrayal of how people speak, dress, act, appear, and think. You see my dilemma. My basic premise is everyone has a weakness, preachers included. How each of us deals with our flaws either grows us into stronger human beings or weakens us into becoming a servant to our own pride. In The Fifth Step, Missy, Doug, and Jasmine are put to the test. Will their actions under duress prove them worthy of forgiveness, repentance, and trust?

I have voluntarily rated this book NC-17. I have written a very controversial novel, and I’ve written this novel honestly. Some very difficult events take place, before God’s love and forgiveness shows through. I recently received a rejection letter from a literary agent. To synopsize, she loved my writing, but her agency avoids the subject matter.

So my question is: Should authors avoid controversial subject matter? My answer is No. t’s yours?


Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Should Authors Avoid Controversy

  1. John Biggs

    September 7, 2012 at 1:54 am

    As long as your book is no more controversial than the Bible, I think it will be just fine.

  2. radine

    September 8, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I agree with John Biggs! And I think handling controversy is one thing authors should do. (Confession magazines are a good example of handling controversy for the benefit of readers.)
    There are some exceptions where caution must be exercised, of course. Writers need to avoid annoying a majority of their potential readers. And, right now I wouldn’t leap into the political fray unless I was an opinion columnist or editorial writer. Political issues would largely be old news by the time a book came out anyway. But, human condition issues? Yes! Good for the writer who accomplishes this.


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