Since today is the launch date for my third novel, Stealing Jenny, it might be appropriate this month to write a short article on “Catechizing Through Fiction.”
I’ve been a novelist for ten years. My second novel, In Name Only, (a Catholic historical romance) was the first Catholic novel to win the Gold Medal in Religious Fiction at the 2010 IPPY Awards and has been an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller for four months.
So what’s different about my novels?
Well, for one thing, they are unabashedly Catholic. There are many who don’t believe in evangelizing or catechizing through fiction. But I’m not one of them. After all, Jesus used parables to teach, didn’t He?
My first novel, Emily’s Hope, is the fictionalized parallel stories of myself and my great-grandmother. It illustrates the Church’s teachings on sex and marriage and why it is so important to obey these teachings. One young adult sent me a “fan” letter saying, “Your book has helped me to understand the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage more than any textbook.”
My second novel, In Name Only, is a romance which takes place in the 1870’s in Philadelphia. It is different from secular romances because it does not contain graphic sexuality. However, it does include teaching on the Theology of the Body, so sexual issues like promiscuity and pornography are dealt with tastefully. It was challenging to illustrate the Theology of the Body since that term was not coined by Blessed John Paul II until the early 80’s. However, Church teaching on marriage has remained constant. In Name Only has been my most popular book thus far, and continues to be an Amazon Kindle Top 100 bestseller in Religious Fiction.
With my latest novel, Stealing Jenny, I wanted to illustrate why it is so important to be pro-life, especially in our current culture.
From the back cover of Stealing Jenny: “After three heartbreaking miscarriages, Tom and Jenny Callahan are happily anticipating the birth of their sixth child. A neighbor, however, is hatching a sinister plot which will find Jenny and her unborn baby fighting for their lives.”
Advanced reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. “Stealing Jenny is a gripping novel filled with engaging characters, a compelling mystery and a message which underscores the precious dignity of life. I literally couldn’t put it down and give Stealing Jenny my highest recommendation,” says Lisa M. Hendey, Founder of CatholicMom.com and author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. Author and Blogger Sarah Reinhard writes, “Stealing Jenny will keep you on the edge of your seat and probably destroy your sleep pattern as you stay up to find out what happens. But beyond being a great suspense, it’s also anexcellent example of morals in action and family life redeemed. As a fan of Ellen Gable’s work already, I’m now officially getting a t-shirt!” Therese Heckenkamp of Traditional Catholic Novels.com says “Stealing Jenny is a smoothly written, chilling tale of gripping suspense. There are terrifying moments and heart-wrenching moments. Catholic faith and hope are tested. Above all, the sacredness and privilege of precious new life is made indisputably evident. I never wanted it to end!”
Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach