The Mission Continues

…let no man put asunder. (Matthew 19:6)

There is a popular disco song that Mary J. Blige remade with the release of her 1999 album, Mary. A lot of people don’t know that the saying is biblical in nature. If God brought it together (specifically referring to marriages and has deeper meaning to everything else), man CAN NOT tear it apart.

I’ve been saying that I was going to blog under many of the pseudonyms that I have written under and for a while, when I was graded for the content in my blog under the JaroldImes.com brand, I did. I had made a decision two years ago that I would no longer write under that name because originally, I wanted to focus on my Christ-centered street tales and I wanted to expand my offerings to other genres. Also, I planned on doing more non-fiction work under that name since I had become just as known for my controversial views on publishing as for having one of the very few teen series written with our young black men in mind. As a result, when you go to JaroldImes.com now, you will find a couple of business blogs about my experience as a self-published author and the articles correlate with the topics given to me by my graduate professors and very little content on the ten books I published under that name. My blogs for my “adult content” as some would call it are still up, but I couldn’t commit to them on the regular because spiritually, God was moving me in a different direction.

I originally started this blog/website over a year ago so that I could blog about my faith-related issues and promote the fact that I was the equivalent to a gospel rapper. I was born into a family where we didn’t go to a physical church every Sunday so fellowship with Christians was almost nonexistent. We were more of a Joel Osteen/Fred Price type of family. I moved around a lot, so communication with people on a regular was a challenge. It wasn’t until I discovered writing by ghostwriting rap lyrics for classmates that I found that I was a strong communicator with the pen. I found the power and the vehicle I was looking for.

When I began the audacious task of self-publishing my teen series after losing the deal I had, my way of seeking help for things I didn’t know was to bring my thoughts, opinions and facts to what I did. I can’t lie, my connection to an urban literary magazine, coupled with my becoming a graduate student in an education program gave me many of the connections I needed to make my teen series a success. But I noticed that something Kanye West said was right in the realms I was seeking attention, “they say you can rap about anything except for Jesus.” I started talking about Jesus in my works and then promoted the publication of my first Christ-centered novel and eyes started rolling and tongues started flapping. I was confused because while my teen characters had flaws, many of them boldly professed that Jesus Christ is Lord throughout their works. Some teachers didn’t like that—neither did one of my former employers. How could my characters be Christians if they were caught up with “worldly problems?”

The answer for me is simple…Christians aren’t perfect. We were brought together in union with God so that we can do one of his ultimate commandments “go out into the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). So my reasoning for writing Christ-centered street stories (or street themed Christian books) is because many in the African American literary world are reading street fiction and they either have something positive or something negative to say. Also, I can count on one hand how many of these authors talk about Christ positively and I want to add to the number. I had been running from this assignment for use, but this is what God brought me to do and no matter who well I succeed by the world’s standards, I will not part from this.

I can identify with prostitutes, drug dealers, murderers, homosexuals, pimps and other “worldly people” who have a hard time gaining acceptance. So my first novel, now titled Love Him Like I Do talks about a former adult video star who gives his life to Jesus to go out into the world and make disciples. He can’t tear away from his past, but he is working to make sure that the rest of his days are Christ-centered and dedicated to his mission. He refuses to let man pull him apart from his ministry by reminding him of his sinful past. I would be a more powerful writher if I were able to do the same thing—stick with Jesus no matter the consequences or alienation I may feel because of the audience I’m trying to reach. And maybe—just maybe, Kanye can change the lyrics to being “able to rap about everything including Jesus.”

Love Him Like I DoAvailable now in Kindle & in Nook

Print version coming January 2012

Love Him Like I Do available in ebook

Love Him Like I Do

Love Him Like I Do
Isaiah David Paul
GITUS/Tinsley Phelps/Abednego’s Free
978-1934195-58-1
240 pgs
$14. 95 US paperback
$3.99 eBook

Internet sensation Donte Speaks gives up the fame and fortune for salvation and becomes a disciple for Christ. With the help of his friends, Donte works hard to stay on the path of righteousness and to encourage others to become saved. When an opportunity arises for him to use his spiritual gifts to help a friend win a campaign, so do the demons of his past who seek to destroy the new life he has built. Will Donte find solace, grace and forgiveness in God’s everlasting arms or will he go back to the ways he knows and be the man his former fans want him to be?

Unfortunately, my publishing company is in the middle of restructuring so they’ve re-issued my debut Christian fiction novel as an eBook with plans of releasing the print version of this novel as well as the second book, Street Disciples January 2012. Please support by going to the following links.

Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/Love-Him-Like-Do-ebook/dp/B0056VBICW/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1317428657&sr=8-5

Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-him-like-i-do-isaiah-david-paul/1103844632

 

Why I’m Writing as Isaiah David Paul for My Faith Based Works

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.

IDP