YA Fiction and Politics

I realize this blog is supposed to be about my writing life, though I’ve spent a fair amount of time blogging about politics. I would apologize for going off topic, but I don’t really think I have. The books I’ve written so far, have had a lot to do with politics, even if it is just the kind of social and familial politics that I wrote about in “Angel’s Grace.” And I do rely heavily on my religious background as I pen my books. My second novel, “Losing Faith” (which is still seeking a publisher) takes a further dive into social politics with a look at suicide and its impact on the ones left behind. Writers write what they know. And with my first two fiction pieces, I have written about family situations that I am familiar with, ones that sway from the religious and the societal “norm.”

In the current political climate, I have worried a lot about the clashing views of conservatives and liberals. It has been frustrating to sit along the sides, screaming at walls, but never being heard. It is quite likely that another novel by me would incorporate some of my political frustration. As someone with a voice, it is difficult for me to stand idly by while my children grow up in a world of rancor, where the impolite and loud reign supreme, and the simple act of listening with respect, forgotten.

My last two non-fiction pieces, Overcoming Prejudice and Being a Leader, gave me the opportunity to tell some interesting stories to middle school students about what it means to have good character. Sometimes, though, I think fiction drives the point home better than non-fiction. Well-told facts have influence, but facts couched in the allegory of daily life, with a defined character, and a feeling that that person could be me can be far more powerful. I am not certain I am up to the task. I will certainly have to wait until this election is over before I attempt such a book, but I hope that at least if I am unable to find a way to present the obvious dangers of political divisiveness in fiction for our young people, that someone else does. It needs to be done. Fear and bitterness will only pull us all apart, and I cannot watch it happen.

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