The next segment that I'll be serializing from my novel Exmormon is Part III: Saturday's Warrior. This segment is the main reason why I've categorized my novel as "mature": the story deals with subjects that would probably not be appropriate for (or make sense to) small children. On the other hand, it seems a little ironic to me to label it "mature" since it's not meant to be "adult" (in the porn sense of the word), really it's about teen and young adult relationships.
On the one hand I don't want to be talking about teenagers as if they're not here (on the Internet with the rest of us), and this is a subject that young people themselves should be taking seriously. At the same time, while I personally think this story would be appropriate for mature teens, it's up to their parents to make that call if they're under 18. So I don't recommend to teens to read it without their parents' knowledge and consent. That said, it's a whole lot less explicit than stuff it will take you two seconds to find right here on blogspot/blogger (not to mention the rest of the Internet), so I assume I won't get in trouble for posting this (especially with the appropriate content warning messages). I guess I'll find out...
The novel overall inhabits kind of the same space as Judy Blume's Forever, although I think that Exmormon is somewhat less explicit. As I've said before, I'm basically shooting for "the Mormon Judy Blume" with this novel... ;^)
I hope my disclaimer isn't putting you off from reading this "very special episode" (which will be posted starting from September 18). According to my reader feedback (including from believing Mormons), this is one of the most interesting and dramatic stories of the whole collection. I don't want to bias you in advance by telling you what it's about, but you'll see that in the story something has gone wrong. My goal in writing it was to create a situation that is complex and realistic enough that different readers will have different interpretations in terms of (a) what went wrong, (b) what caused the problem, (c) was the problem solved, and (d) what might the various characters have done differently. From there hopefully thoughts will be provoked and interesting discussion of the relevant issues will insue... ;^)
Also, I hope there won't be a problem regarding the fact that I've entitled this sub-story Saturday's Warrior -- the same name as the play the characters are performing through the course of the story. All of the different segments of the novel Exmormon are named after different aspects of Mormon experience that the characters are participating in. For generation-Xer's like me (and also those maybe a little older), the musical Saturday's Warrior (and the records and later the video) played a huge formative role. In the context of the complete collection, it made sense to give this novella this particular name, but running it (kind of) separately like this makes the title seem a little weird, so I hope it won't cause too much confusion. The original title of this work as a stand-alone novella was "Like a Faithful Girl..."