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25 November 2008 @ 10:30 am
write urban fantasy, get kicked out of church  

So urban fantasy author J.F. Lewis has been kicked out of his church for writing an urban fantasy vampire novel, STAKED, and for “committing the sins contained within it”.


Jeremy emailed me a while before STAKED came out to say he was enjoying the Negotiator books, and we discovered we had Chris McGrath in common as a cover artist. We met at San Diego Comic Con this past July, where Jeremy was carrying his son’s toy rat around the con because the son couldn’t come so he’d sent the stuffed animal in his place to see everything. Jeremy had forgotten the rat on Friday and his son told him on the phone that that was okay, Dad, because probably most of the interesting stuff would happen Saturday, but he really needed to remember to bring him on Saturday.

So Jeremy did:

I’m sorry, but as far as I’m concerned anybody who introduces me to his kid’s toy rat pretty much belongs near the top of Good People In The World. I’m just appalled at the entire thing, and if I may make so bold, I kind of think STAKED would make somebody, or possibly many somebodies, a really good Christmas present this year.

Eric’s got issues. He has short-term and long-term memory problems; he can’t remember who he ate for dinner yesterday, much less how he became a vampire in the first place. His best friend, Roger, is souring on the strip club he and Eric own together. And his girlfriend, Tabitha, keeps pressuring him to turn her so she can join him in undeath. It’s almost enough to put a Vlad off his appetite. Almost.

Eric tries to solve one problem, only to create another: he turns Tabitha into a vampire, but finds that once he does, his desire for her fades — and her younger sister, Rachel, sure is cute. And when he kills a werewolf in self-defense, things really get out of hand. Now a pack of born-again lycanthropes is out for holy retribution, while Tabitha and Rachel have their own agendas — which may or may not include helping Eric stay in one piece.

All Eric wants to do is run his strip club, drink a little blood, and be left alone. Instead, he must survive car crashes, enchanted bullets, sunlight, sex magic, and werewolves on ice — not to mention his own nasty temper and forgetfulness.

Because being undead isn’t easy, but it sure beats the alternative.

Buy STAKED from Amazon

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
jacob_dayjacob_day on November 25th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
Is there any kind of online article or page describing the church's actions or position? I don't see it mentioned anywhere on his website, is he trying to keep it professionally out of focus?
kitmizkit on November 25th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
He apparently decided to talk about it some because he didn't like feeling ashamed or embarrassed over something that really wasn't his option, but I doubt he considers it relevant enough to his career to discuss on his professional page.

There's a little about what the church told him he had to do in order to avoid excommunication at ... I think at the Asimov's website in a comments area, but the site I had the link through is currently down. I don't think there's an official church statement, but Jeremy said (paraphrased) that they said he'd need to recant, apologize, and apparently return the money he'd earned for writing it (extrapolation: his phrase was they had a 'financially ruinous' requirement).
Shannachieshannachie on November 26th, 2008 11:29 am (UTC)
They probably would have taken the money as a donation willingly enough.
jflewis on November 26th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks, all. :)

Catie, your interpretation of "financially ruinous" is pretty much dead on, BTW. And yes, I didn't think the whole church issue was something that should go up on my site. Though maybe I should mention it in the "Reviews" section...

~M~je_reviens on November 27th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
What church was it? Was it a Christian church? That seems to be the assumption but no one is being explicit on that. Was it a Mormon church? Catholic? Protestant? Progressive or conservative?

I'd just like to know bc...well I have read a lot of people jumping on the "That church SUCKS" bandwagon but... I don't know exactly what church is being talked about. You know? If I'm going to be criticizing someone I'd like to know who I am talking about. And, what exactly did they say? You were excommunicated in general, or "we don't think our church is right for you, mAybe you'd better find somewhere else to go."

Sorry this has happened, by the way. I did take your novel out of the library and give it a spin.

jflewis on November 30th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
They are a non-denominational Christian church. I've used that term, because if I say, "Church of Christ" that may imply that "Church of Christ" is a denomination and any congregations calling themselves a "Church of Christ" are tied together through a parent organization, formal or informal, but that isn't the case.

Does that answer your question?
rfrancis on November 30th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
A Church of Christ told you to walk because you wrote vampire fiction? That makes me very sad, both for you and for the church, as this just makes all of us look bad (what they did, not what you did, of course!) I guess part of the wisdom of the church's non-structure is that one church overstepping itself is limited and you can find another one, but I am sorry to hear that it's necessary.

Russ, friend of Kit and part-time preacher at a church of Christ, not to mention fan of vampire fiction

~M~je_reviens on December 1st, 2008 07:59 am (UTC)
Yes it does -- thank you.