going out on a limb with this book because I am talking about love and marriage and reflecting on the beauty of marital life as a husband would.
“This book is very romantic. These characters are married. I had fun writing that within biblical parameters.”
However, there are risks, he admits.
“When you are writing for the Christian culture, there is a whole gamut of expectations. You have folks who are very sensitive about any mention of sex. They are very sensitive about language. And of course, depending on their denominational background, they may be looking for other things – such as an altar call in the middle of the book. There are a lot of folks who expect that to be in there.
Peretti enjoys writing for kids
“This book is not blatantly evangelical. When I first started out writing the Darkness books, there was, at least in my mind, a certain sort of rulebook we had to follow. However, Christian fiction has really progressed over all those years. There are folks exploring all kinds of things and really being a lot more honest about life.”
Not all of that has been good, he admits. “The last book I wrote with Ted Dekker was so violent, I kind of exceeded my saturation point. I couldn’t do that again. I said to myself, I can’t write any more books
that are going to go that far into guns and shooting and killing and all that stuff. I kind of turned the corner on that.”
Hence, he has penned a romance.
“This book has good guys and bad guys and danger and suspense,” says Peretti, “but very little violence. It’s more a book of the heart. The conflict is more inner. It is a character book. The main flow is what’s going on in their hearts and minds. That was fun. I really liked that. It becomes really intense emotionally writing a story like this.
“A good book or movie or screenplay should be emotionally satisfying. When they’re done, you want people to breathe a deep sigh and say ‘Wow.’”
Peretti and a fan at a book signing
But, he admits, he had a deeper purpose: “I wanted to write a story that reflects in an allegorical sort of way my love for Christ and my longing to be with Him. And how while we’re on this earth, we’re estranged from Him, particularly when we’re still lost in sin. Yet, there’s an inner longing in our heart to find out who we are and where we belong, which cannot be satisfied until we find out who we are in the Lord Jesus.
“We have a God who loves us. We are in the palm of his hand. He doesn’t leave us and He doesn’t forsake us.”
And so it is in a good marriage, says Peretti. “Look at most love stories. The typical love story is about two people who never met each other, who encounter each other and through various trials and often comical situations and misunderstandings finally come together. In the end, they kiss and he carries her away on his white horse and that’s the end of the story.”
But it’s really just the beginning.
“What is interesting about this love story,” says Peretti, “is that these are two people who have already been in love. They have been married for 40 years. And they are rediscovering their love all over again — two married people who have been lovers for four decades. And here is this whole experience of rediscovering it all over again.
“I just get a real big kick out of that twist. It gives me a whole new, fresh view of love with my wife!
“What a wonderful gal she’s been all this time!”