"So you're not really close to your dad, are you?"
I had to stop and think about it. I mean, we live in the same house. How can you not be close to someone who lives in your house? But I was forced to answer that the answer to that question was "No, not really."
A recent college assignment was to write a page or two about stereotypes--list a person who fits a certain stereotype, then describe how they don't fit it completely. The goal of the exercise was to see how people are three-dimensional and should never be reduced to a job, ethnicity, or fad.
(I argue that "flat characters" like Dr. Watson are very important--their exaggerated characteristics and refusal to change over the course of a book or series makes them quite enjoyable and almost cozy. But I digress.)
That said, I chose to talk about my dad. I rambled on for two and a half pages about how he watches TV and yells a lot and works hard and likes pasta, but doesn't drink red wine. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And Mom asked to read the paper.
"I don't think you'd like it," I told her.
But you know what? That's a writer's job. To be brutally honest about things. It doesn't matter if you're talking about politics or family or the evils of technology, writers call it like they see it. It doesn't even matter if you offend people. You need to get the truth, or at least the part of the truth you're capable of seeing, out to your readers.
In Where the Clouds Catch Fire, I was brutally honest about Catholicism. Lots of my extended family is Catholic, and I was able to see things they weren't able to see. Like my grandmother on her deathbed, not sure if she'd been good enough to get into heaven. Like the stories I've been told about abusive nun-teachers and my maternal great-grandmother crying because my grandmother became Protestant, which meant she was going to hell.
We're all God's children, and I'm extremely grateful to Catholicism for keeping Christianity alive throughout the Middle Ages. I've even met some Catholics who love Jesus more than anything--and good for them! But there's a reason that my dad, and now my aunts and uncles, are slowly turning Protestant.
It's hard, being brutally honest and knowing that not everyone's going to be happy about it. There's a reason books get banned from time to time.
That said, dear readers, what's something you'd like to be brutally honest about? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to review us on Amazon!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.