Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Discovering your "brand," even at Christmas
We hear a lot of talk in the writing world about "branding" these days--something I resisted for years. I hated the idea of being boxed in, limited in my writing. As a result, I didn't actively pursue the discovery or establishing of my "brand."
And yet, as I explored the passion God had put in me--whether writing, speaking, or otherwise--my agent and I noticed my "brand" rising to the top. I'm a soap-box preacher. Since I was a young girl, I've taken on causes. That natural bent began to emerge in my writing, both fiction and nonfiction, and now I am becoming known for issues-related writing.
For instance, I recently completed/released a four-book series on the persecuted Church (the Extreme Devotion Series) around the world. My new series, beginning with the September release of Deliver Me From Evil, deals with the horrors of human trafficking. But who would have thought I'd end up with an issues-related Christmas book? Aren't Christmas books supposed to be warm and fuzzy?
Not necessarily. Jesus came as a baby--about as warm and fuzzy as it gets. But He came to confront sin and hypocrisy, and to pay a bloody price for reconciliation with God--not so warm and fuzzy at all. So why should I have been surprised when my first-ever (to become an annual event) Christmas novel dealt with the topic of illegal immigration? Does the book have a positive and heart-warming ending? Of course! It's a Christmas novel, after all. But it speaks to us as believers--right where we are.
Fellow author Athol Dickson, who graciously endorsed A Christmas Journey Home, put it this way: "It took a baby in a manger to show us how to truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves." And how did that baby in a manger do that? By eventually laying down His life for others--for us.
And that, my friends, is the "brand" of a Christian: one who loves selflessly enough to willingly lay down his/her life for others. May we seek to model that brand to all who need a Savior--at Christmas, and all year long!