Some people might wonder if fantasy is a legitimate way to provide spiritual inspiration. Today I am posting a few samples of messages I have received over the years along with category headers. My motivation is twofold: to provide speculative fiction readers with evidence they can pass along to those who doubt the value of the genre, and to encourage aspiring writers to press on, seeing that their work might someday have similar impact.
Influence at a secular university
“Dragons in Our Midst” was a birthday present some seven or eight years ago, and I’ve loved your books ever since. It took longer for me to love the Book they pointed to, and longer still to give my life to the One that that Book points to. Still, the Lord seems to delight in pouring His mercy on the blind and stubborn-hearted, so here I am, at long last: nineteen, and a Christian, at Yale University, watching God work miracles and He grows more and more servants out of one of the most historically anti-God campuses in the country. All praise be to Him! – Tom
Influence on an unbeliever
I am a huge fan of the Dragons in our Midst series and Oracles of Fire. I have been reading them for the past 18 months and just got to the end of Oracles of Fire. It made me laugh, cheer, and cry. It was one of the best reads I have ever read. Even though I am not Christian, I found the books by chance. It made me reconsider everything I thought about God. You’re a great author. – T. M.
Encourages sibling love
I must begin by saying that I am a huge fan of your books! I have most of your works on my kindle and I just finished reading “From the Mouth of Elijah.” I am truly enjoying Matt and Lauren’s story as well as revisiting the stories of past characters. I have seven siblings, (five brothers and two sisters) and I am very close to one of my brothers so, naturally I love reading stories about a brother and sister who really care for each other and act like a true family. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I can’t wait to continue reading your books! – Theresa
You may not remember me, but I am Seth (last name removed). You met me in Bolivar, TN at First Baptist Church for the Bethlehem Walk about three years ago. You talked more with my parents than with me because I was a part of the Walk. After hearing that I had read a couple of your books, you sent me the whole Dragons In Our Midst series signed with your autograph. Anyways, what I wanted to tell you is just how much those books inspire me in my walk with Christ. Bonnie Silver is my favorite character, besides Sapphira, because of her spiritual purity. There is no question about her faith and the way she lives it out in her life is simply astounding. I want for myself the faith that she so easily demonstrates in all situations. She has taught me that loving God is not only the confession of my lips, but also obedience to His will. Obedience is tough, yet Bonnie never shies away from danger. I know that she is a fictional character, but I pray that I will one day believe as she does. Thank you so much for writing your books. They mean a lot to me. – Seth
Deters from depression and suicide
Eight years ago on my sixteenth birthday I was given a copy of you book “Raising Dragons”, I loved the book and I sent you an e-mail letting you know how much I had enjoyed your book and how I could not wait to read the next one, You could have sent a short reply thanking me, but you didn’t, you had taken the time to reply, and every e-mail I sent you after that you answered.
I don’t know if I told you how much that meant to me, I didn’t have an outreach for youth where I lived and my church’s Youth Minister was my mother, so you can tell why I did not enjoy Youth Group.
But your e-mails showed me the type of person I wanted to be,not just an author but I leader, I went into Youth Ministry because you modeled the type of Christen I wanted to be.
Looking back, in my youth I was in danger of loosing a hard battle with depression and suicide, I didn’t think anyone would ever want to hear my questions and ideas, but the day I received your reply to my e-mail was a call back for me. I found the Christ I lost.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
Thank you for your gift of words. – Sara
Encourages reading in New Zealand
My name is Mirjam. I am 15 years old and currently live in New Zealand.
I felt obliged to write this e-mail, to thank you for your books, they have literally inspired my love for reading.
I was maybe nine or so, and at that point in my life I still had to accompany my parents everywhere. One day, while I was sitting in the car during my little sisters net-ball game, my mum gave me a book, Raising Dragons.
As I started reading I couldn’t stop, I think I broke my personal record for reading a book the fastest, which was impressive since English is my second language. I believe my mum started to regret ever giving me that book, cause at this very moment I have about 15 of your books on my shelf, and a few hundred more from various other authors, we before the most I had was my Bible and kiddie books. Dragons in our midst, oracles of fire, 1&2 of children of the bard, starlighter and tales of starlight. I have read ALL these books multiple times, and can I just say, you’re a freaking genius!!! I have lent these books to all my friends and they love them too. If I’d never read your books, I’d never have learnt to love books the way I do, the only downside of this is that I’ve gotten in trouble for reading during class, though I think that the teachers were more impressed with the size of the books than the apparent disturbance to my learning curriculum. – Mirjam