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A Problem With “The Keeper”

August 22, 2010

I noticed a couple readers remarking that the religious angle put them off the book. I’m not sure why. Not to mention, I didn’t really view the book as religious. Yes, the main character is a religious icon, and the religion itself was the backdrop that allowed him to exist, but… I don’t know.

I’m not sure I understand why this bothers me. Most likely it’s because I am most assuredly not Christian. I’m a pagan. I have been for most of my life. I chose to write The Keeper after reading The Gospel of Judas. There was a section in it that told of how Judas’ betrayal of Christ wasn’t actually a betrayal, but a favor done out of love and submission to a savior. It also mentioned Judas being cursed for many generations, and I took that a step further from just verbal cursing to a literal curse, and used the various references to blood–from the Old Testament and the New Testament–to be an aspect of the curse Judas was given.

The religion hadn’t been my focus when I wrote it, just the backdrop to the story itself. It was the foundation, the path that let Hadi and Judas meet. I thought there was only one ‘preachy’ moment in the book, when Hadi goes to confession, but that wasn’t meant to be preachy. It was meant to be Hadi having an internal crisis, a moment where he questioned himself and all he’d been taught to believe about himself, his religion, and his God. While I am not Christian, my character–Hadi–was. He was Catholic with strong beliefs, and to disregard them would have done him a grave injustice.

Maybe I’m overthinking it, but… I certainly never thought anyone would think the book was religious. *chuckles* That was my screw up, and it makes me reconsider The Keeper’s Heart and all we had intended for it, because it’s even more religiously based, I think, because of how the love story is formed and grows.

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