THE STORY BEHIND THE STORIES
So...are they Christian books?
Yes, yes, and no. It’s a complex question. :) I’ll start with the no.
No. They are not overtly Christian. They are adventure stories, start to finish. They’re not preachy (because, seriously, I don’t like that, either). And they are meant to be fun, entertaining, and very, very happy. I tried to write the kind of stories that a person from any faith background—or from no faith background—could enjoy.
But yes. The symbolism and imagery are Christian. And the more familiar you are with such things, the more you will see. :)
And, finally, yes—because of the story behind the stories.
People have tended to respond to my news about the books by saying something like, “Oh! Writing a book must have been a dream come true!” But the truth of the matter is that it was not. It wasn’t a dream of mine to write. Writing was always just a fun distraction from whatever “real” work I was doing. I was happy keeping my hobby as my hobby, and I still think of writing as just that for me. I only wrote these books after my life plans were derailed by a series of difficulties that included a lengthy illness. The books are my response to the grief and loss and trauma of a very difficult time in my life; they are a monument to the mercy and faithfulness of God, a monument built in the midst of wreckage and rubble, a monument built through tears. The story behind the stories is that this book and its sequels are my act of declaring that God is supremely and infinitely good, even when everything falls apart and life really hurts.
But I also classify these books as Christian because of the story behind the story behind the stories. :) I am convinced that the books are the good that have come from this time of incredible pain, and so they are echoes of the fulfillment of a distinctly Christian promise...beauty for ashes.