Last week, I talked about how Maurice Broaddus and I were discussing faith in writing. Maurice picked up the thread in the second part of our series. You can read Faith, Writing and a Horror Author’s Intent Part II on his website.
In part three, I started off by asking Maurice about his writing platform.
While spirituality/religion isn’t part of my platform, it’s a part of yours. Why did you decide to go that route?
MAURICE: Because that’s a fundamental part of whom I am. I could no more shy away from faith than I could shy away from being black. So for me, it wasn’t so much a market decision as much as an artistic voice one. There are some projects where faith is explicitly explored (like Orgy of Souls co-written with Wrath James White) and some where faith plays a minimum role (like King Maker). But both works feature a nearly all black cast, which few even notice or make a point of, I’m glad to say.
Sometimes though, faith is just a part of a character. In my story Pimp My Airship, a steampunk story, I have a character who is a part of that world’s version of the nation of Islam. It was just part of who that character was (and, frt., one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written: (120 Degrees of) Knowledge Allah). So sometimes it’s a matter of which I am and other times it’s a matter of who the characters are.
Are there particular areas or religion/spirituality that you would feel uncomfortable writing?
MLV: I don’t know if its comfort level for me so much as it is interest. I have no interest in sharing my views on religion or spirituality. Not my goal as a storyteller. If I did write about religion as part of the plot, I’d still keep it in the background or make it part of the interpersonal character conflict. It would have to be customized to the setting or the characters. I guess that’s where my real comfort level lies. Typically, when I do write about religion or spirituality, it’s on an individual character level than a global part of the plot, even with the presence of religious-inspired monsters like demons. In that way, that is part of my personality, since I believe that a person’s spirituality is unique.
Also, in order for me to write about a religion I’m not familiar with, I’d treat it like any other topic and research it before I’d jump in.
Maurice, how integral to a plot is your views on faith?
If you’re interested in reading more about what Maurice and I have to say, watch for the last post in this series at MauriceBroaddus.com.