The religious aspect of Perilous has been an issue of debate from the moment I got my contract. Not so much debate as in, my editor and I fought over it, but as in, debating how much it really fit my novel.
As my novel became less and less of a coming-of-age, inspirational Christian novel, and more and more of a high-stakes thriller, the religion felt like it belonged to a different novel. We started making changes a long time ago. One of the first comments from my editor about the religion was this:
I desperately wanted to argue the point and say that there are plenty of LDS readers out there buying LDS fiction. But the truth is, there isn't. Just that day I had spoken with several ladies from church who said they preferred to read mainstream fiction over LDS fiction. So unfortunately, what my editor said rang true to me.
However, it felt like a betrayal and even fraudulent for me to make my main character a different religion. So instead, we've taken out all direct domination references and just left her a Christian. In my mind, she is still LDS. I hope many young teenagers pick up on that and relate to Jaci even more because of her religious background. But perhaps young people of all religions will assume she goes to their church.
In all, as difficult as it was to let go of the idea of putting a strong LDS character out into the world, I have high expectations that the book will come across as a thriller with a moral main character, whose unidentified religious background will make her relate-able to many people.
In your WIP or published book, what have you had to give up to make the publication become a reality?