Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Why did I write such an offensive novel? Apologies in advance...

First and foremost, even though my novel is called Exmormon, it is not intended to be an "anti-Mormon" work.

If you've been following my column, you probably already know that I was raised LDS but I no longer believe in Mormonism, nor in God at all for that matter. You probably also already know that I'm not angry and bitter about it, but rather I regard it as just another part of my heritage and background.

I've weighed the evidence regarding God and religion, and I've come to my own conclusions. I think my conclusions are right, but I understand that other people might look at the same evidence and reach a different conclusion, and that doesn't really bother me.

How can this happen -- to be raised in the LDS church and reject it? Aren't you curious?

Perhaps you have friends, neighbors, or family members who have left the church. Or perhaps you've left the church yourself. Or maybe you've never been Mormon but you think Mormonism is kind of interesting. Whatever your situation, you might enjoy a story about the lives and loves of young people in and out of the LDS church told from the exmormon's perspective.

For those faithful LDS who are still reading at this point (if any), I imagine that the suggestion of looking at Mormonism and LDS culture from the apostate's perspective should be setting off alarm bells in your mind. In all fairness, I must warn you that the characters in the novel mention the doctrinal issues and arguments that led them to leave the church. However, the issues mentioned are all points that I would assume faithful Mormons are already aware of. They are real issues in the sense that they're points that people really do leave the church over, however in the novel they are not presented in diatribe format with some elaborate list of anti-Mormon talking points and footnotes. The reader is free to disagree with the fictional characters' position just as he may disagree with the ideas of his real-life exmormon friends.

Plus, the question of whether or not the church is true is hardly the central focus of the novel, fortunately! If it were just a bunch of theological discourses, what a dry novel that would be!

Really, Exmormon is a story about a group of young people growing up, making mistakes, falling in love, learning, and having fun, told with light humor and a dash of drama.

The novel Exmormon is currently available for order here.

Note that I have listed the novel as appropriate for mature readers because of strong language and adult themes including somewhat explicit sex. I might be persuaded to produce a Bowdlerized (edited) edition if there is a lot of interest.

Published in the Utah Valley Monitor March 02, 2006.


Sideon said...

To each their own.

I don't see your stories as "offensive" at all. You're writing about your thoughts and feelings and your truth. If someone has a problem with that, they can write their own damn book and whine about it there.

Most importantly, I don't think you need to apologize. You're responsible for writing, you're not responsible for their one small feeling.

Can you tell I have no patience for idiots today? :)

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks Sideon!!!

Actually, no one has been offended by the novel yet -- I'm just preemptively apologizing... ;^)

Of course I don't think any believing Mormons have read it yet, and I'm not sure what they'll think of it...

But you're right that I'm writing my own truth here in that to me this is a very accurate and realistic portrait of what it's like to be raised LDS.

And those who disagree with this portrait are free to write their own novels... ;-)

Matt said...

Mormonism is offensive. You aint!

Natalie said...

CL, I lost your email address. Please email me. Nataliewrites at aol.com

C. L. Hanson said...

Hi Natalie!!!

I've emailed you.

If it gets caught by your spam filter, you can email me at chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com