On Thursdays, I feature authors who are committed to writing clean or inspirational fiction. Shawn Pollock has done both with his debut novel, The Road to Freedom. I asked Shawn why he is committed to writing clean books and his reply made me smile. He includes a great quote from one of America’s best selling and revered authors. He said:
“I see no need for wall-to-wall profanity or smut to make a story good and compelling. I can’t imagine anyone finishing a book and saying, “It was good but they could have cussed more.” I also want to have characters come out better than they were in the end; after all, isn’t that what we all want to accomplish in life? Better to tell people it can be done, than try to be edgy and depressing. I take a lot of my own inspiration to be a clean writer from Louis L’Amour, who said, “I’ve written all these stories without any pornography, without an obscenity…I can make them real without that. I think much of that kind of writing is a cover-up for lack of real skill.”
I sincerely agree with Shawn. I haven’t wished for more cussing. In fact, I have returned books to stores, after only reading one or two pages, for content that wasn’t disclosed on the cover and got very old, very fast. Isn’t Louis L’Amour’s quote spot on? It took skill to write about war the way Shawn did.
Shawn Pollock grew up in Cache Valley, Utah, served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan, and graduated from Utah State University with degrees in Professional Writing and Instructional Technology. He works as an instructional designer in the software industry. His short story, “Hats,” won first place in The New Era magazine’s fiction contest. Any time not devoted to work and family goes to cooking, reading, and participating in the League of Utah Writers. The Road to Freedom is his debut novel.
The Road to Freedom by Shawn Pollock
In 1945, World War II is ending but not in Germany’s favor. Hans Kohler is a young Mormon German who knows more about farming than being a soldier. A worn copy of the Book of Mormon is the only thing that brings him comfort.
Captain Christoph Meier seems to be the perfect German soldier. His pristine Aryan features and strong family ties to the Nazi Party should have placed him at a far better post than this unit. Instead, he’s leading broken veterans and inexperienced greenies.
When the Russians attack their unit, Meier and Kohler are trapped behind enemy lines. To get past snipers, the Nazi SS, and the Russian Army, they need to use all of their skills, including believing that God wants them to survive.
I’ve read Shawn’s novel. Who knew you could write about war, and do it in a way that draws the reader in, inspires, and uplifts, without focusing on the gore? In true Louis L’Amour style, Shawn does it all without obscenity.
Find the Road to Freedom at Deseret Book, Barnes & Noble
Get to know Shawn Pollock on Facebook
And all you serious readers can find Shawn Pollock on Goodreads!