So, I'm pretty active in my church. It's really the only relatively social event I participate in. I'm on some committees, in some groups, and I attend every Sunday. I'm facebook friends with my Associate Pastor, and I read his thought-provoking blog posts and usually comment on them. He's a friend of mine as well as a spiritual leader.
I also write romance novels. With sex. Not too much sex. There isn't sex every chapter, like some of the novels I read (and my preacher preaches against, I'm sure it's based on media hype surrounding Fifty Shades). But the sex is explicit, mostly because I enjoy writing it. And I also feel that sex is an important part of romance books. I know not a lot of people feel that way about Romances. They feel the chemistry and emotions can be portrayed another way, but personally, I like books with sex in them, so that's what I write. I think the emotions and thoughts that run through peoples' heads during sex are a great way to get certain aspects of the story out there. Because that's a really pivotal part of relationships, and romances without the sex seem lacking to me in some way.
I also write characters that are dealing with Faith-based problems. This doesn't necessarily make my books Christian Romance, because that's not what they are. But I think lots of people go through these issues in life, and I want to include them in my attempt at writing real characters.
So, when I'm having a Facebook conversation with my associate pastor, and it comes up that one of my characters is having issues with her faith, and overcomes those issues though a loving relationship (there was more to the conversation than that, but in the interest of brevity, I'll gloss over the details), he expressed an interest in reading the book when I'm finished.
So, now I've got a conundrum. I actually lost sleep at night over this a couple of times. I don't want him suddenly adding me to his prayer list for my "sins" but at the same time, I've been working really hard at "owning" my writing. I've blogged about it in the past, and it mostly had to do with people at church, and how I downplay what I write for them. So, I'm asking you guys this question:
Do I give him the original copy of my book to read? Or do I give him an "edited" version, where I take out the sex? It's about Human trafficking and has a lot of deeper thematic elements (at least I'm hoping it will, when I finish it). I'd be really interested to hear others' opinions on this matter, if you'd leave me a comment and let me know. I'm torn on the issue and would like some constructive feedback.