Francine Rivers authored more than 20 novels, all of them bestsellers.
Rivers dreamt of being a writer even as a young child. In university she moved towards making that dream happen by majoring in English. When she heard that publishers wanted romance novels, she went to work and wrote a few love stories. She submitted them for publication and amazingly, some of her work was published. She was hooked. From then on, writing became her life and her identity.
But then something happened. Rivers’ marriage was near collapse. Desperate, she attended a local church and became a Christian. For the next three years she struggled with writer’s block. The inspiration and the flow of writing simply stopped. During that time, her faith grew and also her passion for writing.
Eventually Rivers started writing again. This time though, she used her writing to get closer to God, to know Him better and to help her work through her own issues and struggles related to her faith—forgiveness, abortion, salvation and unsaved family.
A Different Kind of Love Story
Her writing became a different kind of love story, one that focused on God and His love. Someone asked her once, what she’d like to see in Christian fiction. Rivers told them she wanted “to see Christian fiction speak to the hard and real issues that tear people’s lives apart. We need writers who are willing to ask the hard questions and go through the soul-searching and agonizing to find answers and present these stories with skill.”
Francine Rivers summed up my own desire to write about hard core issues, the tough stuff that people struggle with and which often seem to make no sense at all. The issues that resonate with me are homelessness, rape, violence, addictions, loneliness, loss and grief. These problems are prevalent in our society. It’s what tears at people and causes them to question their existence and the purpose of their lives.
Writing about the Hard Stuff
Through my own struggles, I learned there’s hope even in the middle of tremendous darkness. I know what it’s like to live without hope and I know what it’s like to have unshakable faith in a God who promises victory in every situation. Through my writing, I want to convey that hope.
I realize the ability to write and spin stories is a gift and I want to use that gift to give back. My favorite reads are those that revolve around life issues so that’s what I choose to write about.
Francine Rivers sums up the best kind of writing. “Write what you need to read. Write from your heart. And write truth.”
Nikki Rosen, author of In the Eye of Deception and Dancing Softly