Time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by our fearless leader, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Today, I have a question for you. First, a bit of background. My first published novel, Three Daves, is a mainstream, college-age, chick-lit/romance. Early on in the story, two of the students have a brief discussion about King David and the Bible. Soon after, the main character tosses the Bible into her bolster, never to be seen again for the rest of the story, but I cap off each chapter with a relevant Psalm, offset from the main text and easy to skip over should a reader choose to do so. If you haven't read the book, you're just going to have to trust me that it's done in an entirely non-preachy manner.
Well, every once in a while a review will pop up in which the reviewer leaves a comment to the effect of "I almost stopped reading when they started talking about the Bible" or "I was afraid when they started talking about the Bible." I don't understand this. Real people do discuss Biblical figures and scriptures from time to time, and isn't college a time when minds are extra curious and exploring all manner of topics? Would anyone almost stop reading or be "afraid" if the characters instead talked about an historical figure like Abraham Lincoln or if I quoted Shakespeare at the end of each chapter instead of King David?
Actually, that question I can answer---I do quote Shakespeare and Abraham Lincoln in the text, and I've not gotten one single comment about those bits. So here's my question for you: why do you suppose that a small, non-preachy reference to Biblical figures and scripture in a mainstream novel scares some people to the point of them almost putting the book down?
And by the way, the reason I chose King David wasn't a religious one at all...anyone care to take a stab at why he, of all historical figures, would've been appealing to me for this particular book?