November 18, 2021

Suite T Nostalgic Moment: A Fine Line by Fay Lamb




Monday, November 21, 2016  

A Fine Line

By Fay Lamb

I didn’t plan it this way. The thought never occurred to me, but somehow the stories in my Amazing Grace series happened to be written by season. With the release of the third book, Everybody’s Broken, what better setting for what I call a modern-day Christian Gothic than the Western North Carolina Mountains in the fictional town of Amazing Grace in autumn? Add a character named Abracadabra (Abra for short) and give her a birthday of October 31, and everything is set for the book to cause an ember to spark divisiveness for a reader.

With all that in play, how could I, as a Christian writer, walk the thin line around, you know, Halloween, and avoid debate with my readers?

Fiction writers who stand so strongly on one side of the line or another on issues such as baptism versus immersion, grape juice versus wine, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, and Halloween are going to diminish the true message behind the story. When I wear my editor’s hat, I step in and ask an author how important those issues are. In most cases, we delete the matters that can cause dispute and nothing in the novel changes. All that is lost is the author’s intrusion into the story, which should be shown by the characters.

Sometimes, though, the issues or the events are important to the story. What does a writer do when that is the case?

With Everybody’s Broken, the message being conveyed is the ability of lies and deceit to shatter lives even when those lies are told with good intentions. Most of the novel takes place during the month of October. Writing the book without a mention of All Hallows Eve would feel stilted whether the reader is a Christian or a non-Christian. In this story, the avoidance of the issue would be counter-productive and distracting to the reader.

In such cases, a writer should draw a fine line and tread as carefully upon it as if it were a rope stretched over Niagara Falls. Tip a little too far to the right or to the left and debate will be sparked and the message lost. Balance is all-important. When the issues are unavoidable or truly necessary, the characters should be used to keep that balance. When two or more characters stand on different sides of the issue, the reader will connect with the one who supports their side of the debate. The reader will fill justified and not agitated.

In Everybody’s Broken I balance carefully. Although the life of each character has shaped his or her viewpoint about the event, the characters are not allowed to stand upon a soapbox. Instead, the actions, the thoughts, and the mentions of the event are subtle. In the end, October 31, the day, becomes more important than Halloween and brings a twist to the hero and heroine’s tale and what I hope the reader will think is a “perfect” last line.


Fay Lamb is the only daughter of a rebel genius father and a hard-working, tow-the-line mom. She is not only a fifth-generation Floridian, she has lived her life in Titusville, where her grandmother was born in 1899.

Since an early age, storytelling has been Fay’s greatest desire. She seeks to create memorable characters that touch her readers’ hearts. She says of her writing, “If I can’t laugh or cry at the words written on the pages of my manuscript, the story is not ready for the reader.” Fay writes in various genres, including romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary fiction.

If you’d like to catch up with Fay, visit her at her website, on Amazon, Goodreads, and Twitter. Also, Fay has become a “novel” gardener, and she shares her adventure in her newsletter, Tales from the Azalea Garden. You can sign up for her newsletter here.

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