Monday, April 1, 2013

Guest Post: Christianity and Superheroes DO Mix

Blogmaster’s Note: We’ve got a special guest post today by author Rikki Strong. I think you’ll enjoy her discussion of combining her love of superhero stories with her faith. I do need to point out, however, that the text is hers, but the photos and captions are all mine, because I am incorrigible. That is all. Enjoy the guest post!

The fact that today's post is about superheroes justifies my use of this picture.
I didn’t set out to specifically write a Christian superhero series when I first began writing what would become my My Life as a Superhero series. When I started writing the story when I was a sophomore in high school, I just wanted to write a story I could get lost in that involved my favorite subject—superheroes. Even now, an undisclosed-amount-of-years later, I still get lost in the story and—fortunately for my career as a writer—I am not the only one.

My books follow Tamara Weatherby as she navigates life. For her first 15 years, Tamara grew up in a Christian home, went to church every Sunday since she was very young, was active in her church’s high school youth group, and spent most of her free time hanging out with Christian friends. The story begins in Karis, when 15-year-old Tamara’s life collapsed when her parents and brother were killed in the worst massacre in the history of the city of Kingston. For a while, Tamara turned away from God—as most of us would. What kind of loving God would steal someone’s parents in such a gruesome way? She was thrust into a non-religious household and her new housemates seemed to have done fine without God, so my scared 15-year-old main character believed she could as well.
When does Flash come out?
TODAY! Glad you asked.

She returns—as most of us would—and brings the rest of her household with her in the process. However, there are even more interesting issues to deal with. She must learn how to juggle multiple lives—her normal life and her superhero life—without lying about her secret identity. All of a sudden, she is the most desired girl in the whole world and her desire for physical purity becomes an issue. She has to decide whether or not to forgive the man who killed her parents. In the second book, Flash, Tamara has to not only deal with her normal juggling of lives, but now she has to be able to keep her secret while living in the dorm at a Christian university.

I certainly didn’t set out to write a Christian superhero—just one I wanted to read—but as a Christian, how else could my story go? Christianity is not just something one should be able to compartmentalize. Authors who are also Christians should at least have a small bit of their spirituality permeating the background of their books. Christian don’t, of course, have to only write books specifically for a Christian market—my book are not able to make it into the Christian bookstores because I allow my non-Christian characters to say choice words and phrases—but that doesn’t mean that the story can’t be one of
And Reuben responded, "Oh well! Anyone want to try this
sandwich I invented?"
redemption and of faith.

As Joseph told his brothers at the end of his life, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good, and for the saving of many lives.” That verse applies to Joseph thousands of years ago as well as it does any superhero story, not just a Christian one.

The author herself, in all
her authorshipness.

About Our Guest Blogger: Rikki Strong has always been enamored with superheroes, and started writing the My Life as a Superhero series (currently Karis and Flash) when she was a sophomore in high school. She began writing for fun and profit in 2006 and has since written or ghostwritten more than 10 books and over 50 web articles. When not writing—which is most of the time—she is a stay-at-home wife and mom to a very active 6-year-old boy who is already about 500 words and 25 chapters into his own book. You can find Karis here and her brand spanking new novel, Flash, right here.

Twitter: @RM_Strong

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