I AM A TURTLE
I am a turtle. Curiosity prompts me and, in time, my little, green head will inch out from its protective shell, and I will sense my surroundings. If all is fair, forward momentum is called for; if not, the safety of my shell is sought once again. You see, I suffer from phobias. In many cases, doing something that would be simple for another person is hard for me. And I don’t think I am alone. Everyone fears something. At times the fear is rational but at other times, like in my case, it is irrational.
Now, you might be asking yourself, what is she talking about? And what could this possibly have to do with writing or reading—or Hope, Hearts, or Heroes for that matter? As an author, everything. As a reader … everything.
Please allow me to explain. I will start with a question. Why do you read? Reading nonfiction is usually done to gain information, knowledge. But fiction, why read fiction? Why do we enjoy fables, romances, historical fiction … fantasy? Well, let me ask you another question. Why did Jesus teach in parables? The answer to both questions is the same. Because we humans are wired for story; that’s how God made us. From the time we are toddlers, we seek out and enjoy stories. Even the creation itself came about through God’s Word. Speaking life into lifeless emptiness, God spoke the first story, a marvelous, fantastical love story made real.
So, what does this have to do with me being a turtle? I will admit the truth with blunt words. I am a coward. Yes, it’s true. Writing is fun, fulfilling, and creative. Reading reviews, not so much. Oh, don’t get me wrong, most of the reviews for my books have been uplifting and positive. But not all. And, of course, those few negatives are the ones I dwell on. I moan, cringe, and retreat into my protective shell while bruising my already deflated ego with harshest words of a negative nature. I vow to pull all my books from Amazon and to never expose anyone to my horrid writing again. (Delusional negative self-talk be gone!)
The ability to write is a gift. Writing well, however, requires one make efforts to improve her craft. Learning things like “showing” rather than “telling,” POV, Deep POV, avoiding head hopping and a host of other topics provide fodder for the beginning author. Books, conferences, and classes abound. And when other authors review a piece of work, they can be brutal in pointing out every failure to follow the “rules” and the “pseudo-rules.”
The turtle inside me is learning, however, not to retreat. Not everyone will like what I write. And that is okay. We have different tastes for what we read. Like what we eat. Can you believe some people don’t like chocolate? But I digress…
Back to the point: why do I write said novels, short stories, and flash fictions even if my inner turtle is afraid? Let’s revisit my original question, why read fiction—and for me, specifically, fantasy? And here is the core of the apple. Despite my cowardice in real life, I long to be a hero. Deep down, I think most of us do. I love stories where I can feel one with a character who faces overwhelming odds, stands up to his fears, and prevails.
I write what I want to read. My hope is there are others out there, like me, who want to read the same kinds of stories. Novels that honor God, pit light against dark, good against evil, truth against lies. I write novels without unnecessary sex or foul language, and most especially where the Lord’s name is NOT dishonored; novels where romance is worked into the larger story and love is the deep and everlasting kind.
In The Seven Words series there is darkness. Demonic evil is real—just read the Bible—and there is demonic evil in that series, but there is light as well. Like a candle calling a traveler home, light shines in the darkness. The deeper and darker the well, the brighter the light.
Writing and reading touch my heart and give me hope. More than just entertain us, fiction can lead us into truth and hope and faith. I pray my heroes will touch your hearts with hope as well.
Blessings. C.S. Wachter
C. S. Wachter lives in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with her husband Joe, a German Shepherd named Rin, and two cats, Shadow and Auggie. She and Joe have been married for more than forty years and have three sons, one grandson and one granddaughter.
Ms. Wachter earned her degree in Performing Arts and English Education from Rowan University in 1975. She compares developing a character’s perspective to preparing for an acting role. As a life-long lover of books, she has read and enjoyed a variety of genres. However, after reading J. R. R. Tolkien in middle school her favorite has been, and remains to this day, Fantasy with a Christian perspective.
The Seven Words Epic Fantasy series
The Sorcerer’s Bane (Indies Today 2020 award winner in Religion)
The Light Arises
The Deceit of Darkness
The Light Unbound
Demon’s Legacy: A Worlds of Ochen Short Story (based on The Seven Words series)
A Weight of Reckoning (sequel to The Seven Words series)
Stone Sovereigns YA Fantasy duology
Various Flash Fiction pieces for Havok and in their anthology Stories That Sing
MeWe: : https://mewe.com/i/chriswachte