Life is a journey filled with self-discovery. (If that isn't a well-known quote, it sure sounds like it could be, doesn't it?). Without getting specific about my age--ahem--I'll just state that I feel I've got enough years under my belt now to have a clear idea of who I am.
Yet, just the other day, I was caught off-guard by a question posed to me in an author interview regarding the launch of my new free short story about the Estilorians, The Prophecy. The question observed that the story has a strong theme of faith (in oneself, in friends, in the unknown) woven throughout, and the interviewer asked if I had planned it that way. (If you'd like to read the interview, please check it out here).
This might seem like a straightforward question. The interviewer read the story before drafting the questions, and this particular theme caught her attention. Simple. What surprised me, however, wasn't that she asked that question...but that I'd had no idea that theme was so prevalent in the story. Wow.
It got me thinking. And I've since come to realize that this theme of believing in oneself as well as others and using that faith to overcome obstacles isn't just in The Prophecy. It's in nearly everything I write.
How did I get through thirty--er, we'll leave it at that--years without knowing this about my writing style?
Don't get me wrong. I'm a positive person by nature. In fact, I tend to drive my more "realistic" family members and friends nuts by always pointing out the bright side and rarely focusing on the negative. So the fact that my books present characters who overcome challenges is understandable. Indeed, that's the basis of writing most fiction!
But I'm not a gal who attends church every week; in fact, I'm not religious at all. At best, I could be considered a "spiritual" person. Thus, reading the interview question asking about the theme of faith in The Prophecy (yes, I'm now aware of how even the title ties into this theme), made me scratch my head and wonder just how well I really know myself.
The bottom line is that the theme of faith IS in the short story. It's also an under-riding theme in my Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the forthcoming Firstborn trilogy. And I was absolutely unaware of that theme when I wrote them. It was an "Aha!" moment, to say the least.
I'm curious to know if there are any writers out there who have experienced this. Is there a subtle theme to your writing, maybe one of which you were previously unaware? What is it about your various works that unifies them? Are you surprised by this?
And readers, are there any books that you feel contain secondary themes the author(s) might not have intended or realized? How did this impact your decision to read other books by that author?