by Christa Allan
Noticed in a Busy World by Michael
Hyatt. And, believe me when I say that anyone who stands 4’11”
(um, that would be me) absolutely needs a platform.
the universe is not what Mike means. He defines platform as “the means by
which you connect with your existing and potential fans.
about as much as my children, so we could ponder this idea of connectedness. In
a rare display of sympathy, they led me to a quote by Annie Dillard that
I’d underlined ages ago. Her suggestion for new writers is (from the
introduction of In Fact: The
Best of Creative Nonfiction by Lee Gutkind. . .just to
prove I didn’t make this up:) “Follow your own weirdness.”
some–okay, maybe to many–I’m slightly off center. But, I clearly don’t want
to stand on the stage of weirdness. Or, in any way, weirdly connect with my
present and future fans.
weird path I am following, though, is one that leads me to write
“not-your-usual Christian fiction.” My first three novels deal with
alcoholism, homosexuality, and race. When you’re the
once divorced, twice married, recovering alcoholic wife of a Jewish husband,
mother of twins (one of the two has Down’s Syndrome) plus three other children,
a daughter whose husband is black (and she’s not), and sister of a gay
brother…well, just where are you going to go with that?
write about what we think makes us different that readers most connect with us.
weirdness because, let’s face it, it’s hard to go back in once you’ve been
outed. We’re experts at concealing our insecurities, doubts, fears, yearnings,
regrets, resentments…But, just because others can’t see them doesn’t mean they
ourselves (not in a Bourbon Street stripper way, and not even in a navel-gazing
way), but in a way that acknowledges our own “weirdnesses.” Those places where
we say to ourselves, “If I say this out loud, I will be placed on a lifetime
regiment of drug therapy.”
And when they do, there will be readers out there nodding, saying to
themselves, “I didn’t know anyone else felt this or thought this or said this.”
1841. Ever since her parents died of yellow fever when she was a child, Charotte LeClerc has lived with her grandparents, who rarely speak of their son and his wife. They are on the verge of negotiating a marriage contract with a suitor, a man Charlotte loathes, when they discover that she enjoys the company of Gabriel Girod, a young Creole man. Charlotte’s future hangs in the balance as her grandparents consider whether to stop keeping secrets and reveal the truth that they’ve known since before her birth — a truth that will make the difference between a life of obligation and a life of choice for Charlotte.