I think it was Lewis who said something like: "The book cannot be what the writer is not." What you are will shape your book whether you want it to or not. I am Christian, so that conviction will pervade the book even when I make no conscious effort to teach or preach. Grace and hope will inform everything I write... Self-consciously Christian (or Jewish or Muslim) writing will be sectarian and tend to propaganda and therefore have very little to say to persons outside that particular faith community. The challenge for those of us who care about our faith and about a hurting world is to tell stories which will carry the words of grace and hope in their bones and sinews and not wear them like fancy dress.
I think this quote is absolutely fabulous and helps explain why I like U2, Over the Rhine and others so much. Thanks to blogger Katherine (who also has some good music postings!) for posting it. She writes "I think Katherine Paterson's stories will make me a better preacher and a better writer." I'm pretty sure we have a copy of Patterson's Bridge to Terabithia downstairs because Laura has a fine collection of older children's literature. I think I'll have to read that.