I am The Writer, I Speak for the Innocence

While trying to study this morning, I was distracted by the Today’s Professional segment on The Today Show.  I don’t often pay much attention to that segment, just because one of the “professionals” really gets on my nerves.  But this morning, the topic of discussion intrigued me.  As a writer, publishing trends catch my attention.  This trend was about teen novels, and as my sons are rapidly approaching their teen years, I was very interested in what might be discussed.

What I heard left me feeling outraged.  I swear, I’d like to get my hands on someone (that “professional” that annoys me, perhaps?) and shake some sense into them.

How can someone possibly think that writing Fifty Shades of Grey-style novels for teens is actually a good idea?

I have never read the Fifty Shades trilogy and I don’t intend to.  From what I have heard from a variety of sources, the book is, at best, “soft” porn.  There is a strong focus on the sexual relationship between the two main characters, including some rather detailed descriptions of their actions.  I don’t know, really, how the term “soft” applies; porn is porn.  Call it what it is.

There is little doubt in my mind that this series of novels I getting into the hands of teen girls.  They see their mother reading it, some probably even see Mom trying to hide that she is reading, and can’t wait to read it themselves.  Thinking it will make them look “cool” to their friends, they probably slip it off the bookshelf as soon as Mom has finished reading it and sneak the books to school.

And now some brilliant mind in the publishing industry has decided that making similar books for teens, apparently books in a new sub-genre called “steamies,” is a good, money making idea.  So how did that conversation go?  “Let’s exploit young girls, take away the last vestige of innocence they have, and give them explicit tales of teenage lust that will completely distort their idea of what love is about. It’s brilliant!”

It’s something, all right.  Not sure that brilliant is the right word for it, though.

As parents today, we need to reach our kids to value themselves enough to just enjoy the gentle, tenderness of first love as it unfolds and to respect themselves and the one they love enough to not give into the lust just because peers and society say it is the cool thing to do.  Not an easy thing to do with the pressures of society and that entertainment choices that are readily available to teens today.  I know a lot of parents who have worked hard to do that, and still have kids who focus on the lust rather than the love.

So maybe it is time for the publishing industry to help out.

No, I don’t think this one blog post—or even a series of blog posts like it—will stop publishers from producing steamies.  Publishers are in it for the money; they don’t often care who might be harmed by the books they publish so long as the sales improve their bottom line.

But this is one author who DOES care.  I am not willing to compromise my children or their friends in order to make a little money.  Yes, it is hard to make  a steady income with writing.  But it is not worth it to me to make money at this career if it means causing harm to someone else.  And porn hurts, in a lot of ways.  Not that I have the time go into all of those ways today!  But it does hurt, and I refuse to be a part of it.

Someone recently asked me to define what being a successful writer means to me.  Success to me is touching one life with my words, making a positive impact on someone with the story that God gave me to write.  Writing a story that emphasizes sex is not something that I can see having a positive impact on anything.  I won’t do it.  No matter how much money a publisher offers me to do it.

I wish other writers would stand up with me on this.  I’d love to somehow build a network of writers who are committed to not only getting young men and women to read, but to giving them books worth reading.  But even if I have to stand alone in this, that is what I will do.

Welcome Susie Hobson

Susie Hobson has heard over and over from people who want more out o life.  In her new book, Loving God with All Your Heart, she gives some insight into how we can get more in our lives.  I’m honored to have her visiting Lynn’s Corner today, sharing a little about her work.



Author Susie Hobson

I Want More!

By Susie Hobson, Author of Loving God with All Your Heart

           Are you one of those who want more?  I worked as a counselor for sixteen years and I continually heard in many different ways “I Want MORE!”  Another way to put this is, “Is this all there is for me in this world!?”  There is a desire in us all for something that people, places, possessions, fame, and fortune cannot fill.  What is that elusive need, that heart’s desire we all seem to crave?   I am convinced that it is a real relationship with God—a powerful relationship! 

         In my book, Loving God with All Your Heart, I encourage everyone, women, men, young and old, believers and non-believers in Christ to re-think the Greatest Commandment and consider changing their everyday life to one more filled with love.  God is love and when we love Him without limit that leads to the fulfillment of our heart’s desire—a relationship with the living God.  A true two-way relationship—not church talk—a relationship that can transform your whole life!

          One chapter around the end of the book brings us to the subject of happiness.  Here is an excerpt from that chapter:

          “All Christians have an abiding life-long joy in our hearts that cannot be removed by anything in or of this world.  In good times and bad times Christians have the joy of Jesus Christ inside of us by way of the Holy Spirit.  However, as a counselor, I know that when people start talking about having more, a part of the more that they want is to be happy.  Yes, happy—an emotion that is situational, based on circumstances, and not an all-the-time-enduring feeling.  Yet most people do want to live what could be considered a happy life. 

           Just a few years ago I sat in on a group of young adults and the question was asked, ‘Who is happy this morning?;  One young man raised his hand.  Then the question was asked, ‘Who wants to be happy?’ and everyone raised their hands.  I think that today’s standard of what ‘happy’ is has become unrealistic.  Happy is not fireworks, thrill rides, and entertainment.  That’s excitement, not happy!  Happy is . . . “

           Now, if you are interested you will have to check out my book to see how keeping the Greatest Commandment could be a life-changing way of living for you and your family.  In my book I deal with topics such as surrender, sin, the Bible, what pleases God, as well as my personal testimony (this book is not about my journey but I do share my testimony to show that God is real and He is in the people changing business!). 

           Are you one who wants more?  This book is for you.  It takes you deeper into your heart’s desire for a real relationship with God—a powerful and active relationship! 

           Thank you, Lynn’s Corner, for this opportunity to share about my book!  I’ve enjoyed visiting with you. 

 Susie Hobson is the author of the newly released book, Loving God with All Your Heart.  Her book was published by Nordskog Publishing and is available from amazon.com and through her publishing company (www.nordskogpublishing.com).  

Susie Hobson has a B.A. in Special Education and an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from The University of Alabama.  She worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Alabama Dept. of Rehabilitation Services for sixteen years managing a deaf/hearing-impaired and blind/vision-impaired caseload.  She retired to spend more time with her family and to write as God has called her.  She and her husband Rich have two daughters and live in Montgomery, Alabama.

Welcome Donna McDine


Author Donna McDine


Children’s author Donna McDine is familiar with the “downside” of being a work-from-home writer.  Today, she takes a few moments to share her thoughts on this unique employment environment.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for a review of her latest book The Golden Pathway.  And there just might be something special in store for that as well….





Donna M. McDine


You dream of the days of no commute to a 9-5 job and you finally give your writing aspirations the chance that they deserve.  You have stocked your office or any small writing space that you designate in your home with all the essentials; computer, paper, pens, pencils, books and research resources, etc.  However, the responsibilities of mother seem to intrude every moment of the day. 

Now that you are home, everyone thinks that you are accessible all day long.  The kids feel that since you are home that you aren’t “really working”.  You’re not sure when it happened, but responsibilities that were normally delegated, somehow have become all your responsibility.  A writer’s life can easily become frustrated when the creative juices are without fail interrupted by the most mundane questions or needs.  You know how that goes.  Cleaning the sticky keyboard.  Mom where are my soccer cleats? What is there to eat?  Can you put the movie in for me?  The list is endless.  When did my family become so helpless? 

We all love our families, but how does one carve out that special and much desired writing time without the feeling of neglect on the family?  It is important to reset boundaries as quickly as they disappear.  Let your family know that writing is indeed work, but also a passion that you want to achieve.  Teach your children the importance of uninterrupted writing time and that they will get your undivided attention once your writing session is completed.  Hopefully they will come to understand that what is important to you should be respected.  Just as you respect what is important to them.

            Although there will be times and sometimes it will feel like many, where interruptions are a necessity.  Such as, when the school nurse calls to say that you need to pick up your child that has a fever.  Like any mother, we quickly grab our car keys and head to the school.  If you attempt to balance your writing and the care of your sick little one it will tend to leave you both feeling frustrated and neglected.  At this point, you are much better accepting the fact that your child needs you and that your writing can wait for another time.  Even if that deadline is on the horizon, you will not do your best work, just leave it. 

            Grab any time thrown your way, especially when the little ones are asleep.  When the house and telephone are quiet it tends to be a great time for creativity.  These little pockets of time may not feel like much, but the time over a week to a month will accumulate and you can get quite a bit accomplished.

            Keep a handy pocket notebook with you at all times, you never know when your next inspiration will come to mind.  It could happen anywhere, such as that crowded doctors office you just brought your sick child to.  Like anything in this life, this too shall pass, but we hope not too fast, since they do grow up quickly.

Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions. Donna’s stories and features have been published in many print and online publications and her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Her second book, The Hockey Agony is under contract and will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes, moms and is the Publicist Intern for The National Writing for Children Center and Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Musing Our Children.