Books usually have our hidden beliefs or feelings in them. As writers and authors, our books are our children. The books are a readers inlet to our souls, sort of. That’s just what a book is. The issue still remains of how far can you go in a fiction book to push your own agenda?
I have not hidden my fondness of Susan Elizabeth-Philips, but the woman is rather bi-polar in some of her books. She had some very wonderful light romances while there are a couple of books that break her ‘brand’ or ‘trademark’ in writing. Her newest book The Great Escape seems more like a political stance on racism and lack of military healthcare for veterans. Now do not get me wrong. I am against racism and I certainly think our military needs better mental care for returning war veterans, but are these subjects a little too deep to put into a normally light-hearted romance?
I thought about this long and hard and decided one would fit while the other seems out of place. Her hero was a military war vet, therefore his motivation to sabotage the inevitable relationship had to be part of the story. His mental health and how he gets help had to be his nemesis. But there was a lot of racial awareness in the book, of which maybe one or two comments would have been appropriate. Just not to the extent she went through. It served no purpose. It did not move the plot or define a character. I think I know where she might have been going but somehow dropped the ball.
My point is, is that when a personal belief helps drive our plot forward use it. When the personal belief is simply us getting up on a soap box, maybe you should rethink it. Remember who your readers are – or who they might be. A romance can’t have an unhappy ending just as a war book won’t have a massive amount of romance.