Bestselling Frank Peretti’s “Illusion” is a love note to his wife of 40 years

"If I can awaken people’s admiration for the joy and sanctity of marriage, then I have accomplished my purpose,” says the author of "This Present Darkness"

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One wonders while flipping through the pages whether it is tough writing to evangelicals – Peretti’s biggest and most faithful audience. “It used to be a lot more strict than it is now,” he admits. “I may be

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

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“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.

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