When I announced to the authors and close affiliates of Abednego’s Free, LLC my decision to take my only faith based novel, He Changed the Game out of print and to re-release it in 2011 with new chapters, new dialogue and under a brand new pseudonym … many questioned the motive. I had already announced that I was doing a second street themed Christian fiction book, Street Disciples and even went as far as to catalog and register the book under the Jarold Imes name.
Also, given the previous announcement that I will do two more Jarold Imes teen books and will no longer write under young adult fiction under that name, I have left many wondering and confused as to why I am taking this new direction with my literary career.
It has nothing to do with the negative criticisms I’ve received over He Changed the Game, the nasty comments about my character that I have received on message boards and in emails or the fact that I lack faith in my ability to combine Christian fiction and street lit and write faith based books that can appeal to all readers.
I am not trying to run and hide from anyone … that’s why I admit that I write the books in the first place.
Part of the decision to write under Isaiah David Paul for my faith based books is a business decision. Many schools purchased He Changed the Game and later returned them because of the fact that I talked about a former adult video star … they didn’t care that he got saved, that he struggled to walk the way God would’ve intended or that this book is has the least amount of profanity free book I’ve ever written (I think I say Hell a few times … and damn once … but that’s it). A lot of educators and youth organization leaders saw the words “adult video” and felt that the content was “too adult” for their audience. While I strongly disagree with their assessment, I also understand that many schools and youth organizations have to be cautious in what they present to teens and that for some, even a faith based work crosses an invincible line.
On the flip side, many of the readers who know me for my contributions to THE TRIUMPH OF MY SOUL anthologies bought He Changed the Game, delighted to read more about Donte and his new walk with Christ and using his talents for good. They were disappointed when they bought my teen series, which handles serious issues such as bullying, gang violence, sex and sexuality and suicide and were disappointed that even though the books have Christian characters that persevere through these issues, that my “Hold On Be Strong” teen series is PG-13 and TV-14 MSDL for the most part and not Christ-centered.
So I have successfully managed to anger my strong teen base supporters and my newly founded faith based audience with the release of one book. The readers weren’t the only ones confused because vendors and independent book buyers were hot with me too (some still are).
In my opinion, in a perfect world, I should be able to write what I want or what I’ve been called to pen and be able to receive recognition regardless of the name. But the world isn’t perfect, it has rules and I happened to break a big unwritten rule … faith based writers must use pseudonyms if they are writing in secular genres … especially if the other books contain profanity and other “strong situations.”
I didn’t know that. I thought I could write everything under one name and be cool. I know a couple of authors who write everything under their name … and I will admit, most have bestselling status.
I know better now.
While I know many Christian and inspirational writers that write young adult fiction, romance, contemporary/mainstream, women’s lit and dare I say it, erotica, I also know and understand why many of them don’t admit to the other names they’ve written under on their faith based literary websites or in faith based venues. I also know and understand that this is a business and even in my strong, street inspired faith based works, I cannot mention other non faith based works in them. I cannot market them together and with this audience, its best not to mention if I still do them.
Now that I know the rules … I happen to like this Isaiah David Paul name that has been bestowed upon me. Some of my favorite stories and men in the Bible. I think my faith based works will embody the essence of many of them and other great men as well.
And with no interruptions, I look forward to continuing my literary ministry, writing both adult and teen faith based works under the name Isaiah David Paul … I hope you like the books too and that we can grow in Christ together.