Several young ladies have told me they are in love with William the Third from The von Strassenberg Saga. They wish they could find a man like him.
They doubt he really exists.
Somewhere he does exist.
William the Third wasn't just pulled out of my imagination, he was subconsciously modeled after my husband.
Like a lot of things with the saga it wasn't something I intended to do.
When my husband and I started kind of dating again he was drinking, smoking, cussing...typical construction worker behavior. I say that because, at the time, he was working in home construction.
I, on the other hand, was on fire for Jesus, a Bible thumper walkin' the walk and talkin' the talk.
We fortunately had a mutual agreement: I would not try to change him and he would not try to change me. He would put up with my God-speak and I would put up with his construction workerness.
Even during that time, out of respect for me, he acted the gentleman and would not cuss or be crude around me.
And even though we were both divorced and I was the single mom of three kids, we withheld from certain activities until our wedding night. This was never something I had to argue with him about. He was actually the one who brought it up, "I don't want to do anything to interfere with your relationship with your God." And he didn't. And he wouldn't let me. Lol.
Just this week he was offered a big promotion at his place of work (he's now a chef). When he started there in June of this year he negotiated to have Sundays off (because you see, my husband did accept Christ and without any preaching from me). This promotion to sous chef would involve Sundays and he would have to go back to nights. Meaning: he would rarely have time with the our boys.
He turned the promotion down.
In his words, "I took this job with the stipulation that I would have Sundays off. I'm not going to waffle on that just because I'm offered a promotion. And I just got my time with my family back, I'm not giving that up."
I tell you this not to just toot my own horn but to let you know that there are men like that out there.
You just have to be patient and trusting.
I went through a lot of heartache for many years because I was impatient.
And I didn't trust.
Two points I am still working on.
All that being said, I never intended to incorporate any Christian elements into The von Strassenberg Saga. All I wanted to do was write something other than another bandwagon book because readers deserve more than the overabundance of recycled plots that are out there. It wasn't until nearly the end of Filter that William III revealed to me that he is a Christian. I actually fought him on this point because I didn't want to write an ambush book.
That's what some non-Christian readers call books wherein the author sneaks in Christian theology.
But then I got to thinking about it.
I am a Christian.
And I write to you out of my own experience.
And most Christians are misrepresented in fiction. Even Christian fiction. We are often portrayed as two dimensional and overly sentimental. Fluffy characters. The requirements for a book to be considered as "Christian fiction" only perpetuate this. And, let me tell you, going by Harlequin's Love Inspired Romance guidelines, Filter is too racy. Yup.
This is why I am reluctant to list The von Strassenberg Saga as Christian fiction. It is dark and riddled with sinful behavior and it isn't all tied up with a pretty bow at the end. God doesn't always deal in happy endings. But He does always work things out....eventually.
The other reason that I do not list the saga as Christian fiction is that it is not written to teach or preach. William is a character who happens to be a Christian. It is unrealistic to assume that everyone walking around in a story is an atheist or agnostic. It is unrealistic to pretend as though religion is not a factor in the lives of some of the people around you. At least William is written honestly, with all his flaws (you'll see more of that in Bluestocking). He doesn't always do the right thing. He doesn't always think the right thing. He struggles just as any Christian struggles.
Just like my husband. Who is a real man. Not a two dimensional cut out.
So take heart ladies, men like William III do exist.
I promise you.