The Story Behind EVOLUTIONHarley Austin
One of the things being a fiction writer affords is the superpower of being able to explore people outside of the cultural norms we grew up within. I do this a lot in my stories on purpose. For one, it gives me as a Human being the chance to try to see things from the perspectives of people who are not my culture; and second, it’s fun and often very revealing (if not somewhat shocking) to introduce the reader to something they may have never ever seen or thought of before.
As Human beings we tend to live life in our own little bubbles of culture and we seldom, if ever, get exposed to anything unusual.
I really do try to pull stories and events from actual Human culture and experiences, and not just make them up out of my imagination for shock value. What is interesting to me, some would say my “kink” if you will, is inserting things from my own personal experiences and cultural studies into a story that people from most mainstream or so-called developed cultures would find different, strange, immoral, or even anathema.
I’m not the first writer to do this. I won’t be the last.
For me, the goal is not so much an attempt to educate someone, but to make the story interesting. I often do this within the context of intimate relationships.
Allow me to expand a bit: I believe in God, but I am not a fan organized or corporate religion. The imposition of these “corporate” faiths has left Humanity with a cookie-cutter belief system that all too often leads people further away from a deeper understanding of God, the Universe and everything, instead of closer to what should be the logical reasoned observable truth.
Nowhere is this dichotomy between rational reasoned truth and man-made corporate beliefs more pronounced than when discussing intimate relationships. For some reason, corporate religion has made sex into something “dirty”, and in some places, even illegal. You’re not even allowed to read about sex unless it’s been heavily purple-prosed within the Bible (or some other ostensibly holy book). “This is not what God intended!” gets preached fervently from the pulpit, as if the pastor has been texting God about it.
At the end of the day all we’re doing is listening to corporate religion’s opinions that then get preached as “the will or Word of God.” And if you know anything about a corporation, which I have plenty of experience with, none of us is ever quite as stupid as all of us. I’m dead serious here. And that is what corporate religion has become—a kind of cookie-cutter group-think, instead of a reasoned logical personal search for God.
Because of our corporate manufactured faiths, too many of us, including myself, were raised to believe that anything outside of our learned cultural bubbles was aberrant. That anything outside of our narrow personal experiences was some level of “sin”.
As I have matured in my faith and understandings of God, I have come to judge every belief by the Golden Rule: “Don’t do anything to others you wouldn’t want them doing to you.” It’s a very simple rule that guides my faith in everything I do.
Ironically, what following the Golden Rule has done is expose many of corporate religion’s nonsensical doctrines or “laws” or commandments, if you will, as just that—nonsense. I dare say that religion has created more “sins” than God ever thought of. The Golden Rule helps us to see these non-sins for what they really are, man-made and not really “of God”.
All of this is a long way of saying that just because some religion says something is a “sin”, doesn’t meant that it is.
A Harley Austin novel is often more than just a romance; but an exploration of the Human experience as told through the lives of the people in the story. Sure, I have my soapboxes, we all do; but at the end of the day all I am asking of the reader is to be entertained and maybe inspired to think and wonder and explore.
Without a doubt, religion and faith all have their place in our lives. But as I look around, there is a reason Romance is the number one selling genre of book the world over. As people, as Human beings, we crave certain kinds of fulfillment in our daily lives. Faith fills some parts. Romance fills another. I try to combine some of both within my stories. And then, of course, I like to toss in a measured dose of the unexpected.
I hope you enjoy reading Evolution. It was a lot of fun for me to write.
As always, I wish you all the best.