In the Spring of 2012, I will be releasing my first full length novel set in the European Theater of World War Two. No pun intended but many will say that this is no novel idea.....Specializing in researching World War Two, I have found innumerable books on the subject of this theater of war, from Historical work, Reference, Primary sources and other Novels. Some say adding to the mix of books on this subject will end up on as a bargain book in a bankrupt bookstore.
This book grew out of love for the era and a desire to understand man's nature in War and how that intertwines with a person's religious faith. Two commandments people usually remember, Thou shalt not kill and thou shalt not commit adultery. Murder and Sex are no-no's. The era of the 30's and 40's in America was a time where church attendance and knowledge of the scripture was very high. The boys sent off to fight a European war had moral quandries about pulling the trigger on people that looked like them and often times might be distant relatives.
A popular phrase over the 20th century was WWJD? What would Jesus Do? That is always a perplexing question because, well....its Jesus. Would Jesus rush a machine gun nest or finish off a wounded man who would not surrender? I think not. Yet today we see that religion and war are very intertwined in the American psyche. In my research, I questioned chaplains, soldiers, and the regular Christian about this dilema. There are varying answers to the Just War theory to simply, no Jesus would not serve in the military and neither will I.
Most people don't realize that not every single American rushed to the recruiters office after Pearl Harbor. Certainly the conscientious objector was in a very small minority but they existed. Hence the story of Private Billy Rucker who we find summoned before the draft board and his journey through the battlefields of Europe and the constant struggle of reconciling himself as a human, himself as a Christian and himself as a soldier.
What makes this unique, why bother reading it? There are well known best sellers who tell historical tales of world war two. This book does not fall into a publishable category through traditional means. I grew very frustrated with the Christian Book Association and their attempts to tell true stories or anything resembling reality. I bought a series by the acclaimed christian military storyteller hoping to find something worth reading. I never finished the book. It was full of cliche's both Christian and Apple Pie. Left out was the filth, grime, fear, hatred, blood and action that takes place in the real world of warfare. Capable authors are stuck with the restrictions put on them by Christian publishers. CBA's attempt to market military/mens adventure books is quite literally- Holy Shit. There is no home for me there and men have nothing of value to read in christian fiction.
On the flip side, a secular publisher cant be bothered or offended by a book that deals with Jesus Christ and his followers. A plot that revolves around the spiritual struggle. It will be rejected as too religious to be sellable to readers. Edgy Christian Fiction usually revolves around bedroom scenes and forbidden romances. Basically women based product.
I think its time that at least one book is available to those who love military fiction/history and are spiritual people to be able to enjoy and leave them with questions, not set answers that are sermonesque. No, weak sermons disguised as 'christian fiction'. This novel was meticulously researched and deals with hard issues whether you are a sinner or saint. This novel will not convert anybody but it just might make you think.
I will be posting more about the novel as the time draws near to unleash it.