Dr. James Dobson, author of over 25 books on marriage and family, recently released his first novel, Fatherless. With his co-author Kurt Bruner, Dobson portrays a dystopian future in which foundational family realities, taken for granted for eons, grow increasingly marginalized. Dobson recently answered questions about this new work in an interview with Religious News Service. Here are some highlights:
Q: Why did you venture into fiction after writing about real-life parenting for so long?
A: This is my first novel, but not my first foray into fiction. I have always believed in the power of narratives to influence thought and shape the spiritual imagination. While with Focus on the Family I challenged the team to create a radio drama series called “Adventures in Odyssey.’’ My co-author, Kurt Bruner, led that team for several years. We couldn’t be more excited about the potential of this new trilogy to embody themes on which I have been writing, speaking and broadcasting for decades.
Q: What are some of the real-life issues today that made you write this future fantasy?
A: The single threat to our future is the trend away from forming families to begin with. Marriage is in drastic decline. For the first time in history more women are single than married. Raising children is now considered an inconvenient burden rather than life’s highest calling. For the first time in our history there are fewer households with children than without. The most basic human instinct, forming families, is in dramatic decline. And the implications of that reality, as we’ve depicted in these novels, are breathtaking. That’s why we chose the looming demographic crisis as the backdrop to these stories.
We're hopeful this creative storytelling approach will engage people who otherwise wouldn't have heard about these pressing demographic trends or may have glazed over seeing them presented outside of a narrative context.