My current youth series is Legends of the Vengeance– a story within a story and full of good old-fashioned revenge. Why on earth would I write about such a thing? Why would I think that is a good subject matter for young people?
Well, there’s a whole lot angst out there these days. I listen to kids in stores, online, and in books and movies and revenge is there–everywhere. Whether a joke or dead serious, it seems as if vengeance is becoming a virtue in the eyes of the twenty-first century. Now, I know this isn’t new. It’s been a big deal in the past and it will be a thousand years from now. I know this.
However, I wanted to show it for the hollow victory that it is. When God said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” He meant it.
So, I write. I have a plan. I pray I can pull it off. It’s hard to write a story about something so wrong while still making the characters sympathetic. I want you to root for the main characters, but they’re pirates! That’s not the kind of people you’re supposed to root for. It’s wrong. Am I hoping my reader will go, “Get ‘im! Take over that boat! Steal their supplies! Kill that captain!” Um, no way. That’s not the point at all. I want the reader to love the characters enough that they are screaming, “What do you think you’re doing! Can’t you see how wrong that is? Why can’t you yield to the Lord? Why don’t you see how hollow your anger and bitterness is? Can’t you see how it’s eating at you? Can’t you see that your son is paying the price for your ridiculous desire for revenge?”
I just pray I can pull it off. Otherwise, I am wasting a lot of hours and even more pages of “paper” to write what I can’t use.