I started writing Inclination, under the working title of His Way, a full year ago in January. It is finally scheduled for release with CoolDudes Publishing’s YA imprint, YoungDudes Publishing, on February 25th of this year. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this book’s release. And if you want to read about my motivation for writing Inclination, you can find it in my interview with CoolDudes Publishing.
**Look at the bottom of this blog post for full interview- Mia with CoolDudes
I think I worked harder on Inclination than on any other book so far. I started last winter by doing a great deal of research. I read several books about gay Christianity from cover to cover, and many others I used for reference. I studied online gay Christian websites. I learned the Biblical arguments for and against the acceptance of homosexual behavior in Christian life. I learned a lot about Christianity in my effort to confirm my conviction that God dearly loves gay Christians.
It was important for me to read the specific arguments, the precise Biblical passages, and to search for the intention behind the words. I wanted to be fully convinced that my decision was not based only on my emotional belief that God’s main concern is that people love Him and each other, or my gut feeling that the Jesus I know would not judge a person based on who he/she loves. I wanted my conviction to also be grounded in rational fact; that scripture does not prove God opposes homosexual behavior. But more importantly, I realized that if any of Inclination‘s readers worried over specifics in the same way Anthony did, they also would want to be fully convinced that a same-sex relationship can be blessed by God.
After completing my scriptural research and reconfirming my conviction, I watched videos of real teens who were currently struggling with the dilemma of whether or not a gay Christian could be devout. And I read accounts of adults who struggled their entire lives to find where they fit with their religion, as LGBTQ people. I witnessed their pain and frustration and loneliness, and it was intolerable to me. That’s when I started to write.
At this point I was so incredibly moved by the plight of these people that I often cried while creating my main character’s painful journey. It is ironic that, as a romance author who uses angst as a tool to elicit emotion from my readers, the most angst I experienced while writing was when 16-year-old Anthony Del Vecchio left his church because he no longer felt worthy of God’s love. The scene was intense; Anthony (and I) were devastated.
Just after I submitted “the perfect YA manuscript” to a small publisher last summer, I went to a Writers Digest conference in New York City where I attended workshops on how to write “the perfect YA novel.” I promptly withdrew my manuscript from submission and rewrote Inclination, which was still called His Way, at that point. And I rewrote it again and again and again. For lots of different reasons. (In between two of those agains I renamed it Inclination.)
In fact, I continued to rework and reshape and (hopefully) improve Inclination throughout the entire editing process with a very PATIENT CoolDudes Publishing.
I am happy with my final result. I am thrilled that my beta readers and pre-reviewers love it. I am satisfied that I have accomplished what I set out to, and put a human face on this struggle.
Inclination is an important book. I hope many of you read it, review it, and get the word out about it so people who need a story of hope like this can find it.