The Rebel of Christian Fiction

by Nicole Gusto
Nicole Gusto Lawless Author

Applying for Lawless was a wild journey for me.

The first time I saw the call for author applications, I was hooked. The cover was so cool! But what I loved more was Alli and Brad’s vision.

Lawless is a faith-based anthology that doesn’t shy away from the harsh reality of darkness, but dared to thread light into it. Lawless is a rebel in Christian genre expectations. So, when I was accepted into this project, I was ecstatic—but I was also worried.

When I’m not writing, I’m a grad student in a scientific field unrelated to the arts. The first draft of my short story was due on October 25. Unfortunately for me, I also had a major research paper that was due on October 26. And this was on top of work. It was tough making my brain switch between academic writing and creative writing.

My story also had its challenges. I wanted to write about a found family, a deaf character, and a morally challenged bounty hunter with a dark past.  My main character struggled with intense guilt, and I wanted to show what could happen when a person does (or does not) open their heart to the mercy of second chances.

I ended up tossing 20,000+ words from my initial drafts. Writer’s block was ruining me.

“I need help.” I ended up praying. “How do I write this, God?”

Miraculously, inspiration came from staring at that same cover of Lawless and bouncing ideas off a friend. I finished my research paper ahead of time and managed to submit my polished first draft to Alli five minutes before the deadline (It felt like I was living on the edge!).

The whole process was humbling and thrilling. When I first held a physical copy of the completed book, I was relieved! All the writing sessions before sunrise paid off! Plus, it felt like an incredible honor to be amongst other talented writers.

Some of my favorite stories from the anthology were “The Bramble King” and “Primal Network.” I enjoyed the suspense, action, plot twists, lore, and world-building those stories presented.

I also loved “The Deliverer” and “The Stars Stand Witness” primarily because of their characters. The characters embodied the journey of experiencing grace and light in the midst of horrific abuse and tragedy.

Reading the anthology was akin to beholding pitch black and then being surprised by a flicker of light daring to shine in it: the profound reality of hope.

And the story of hope is worth telling.

The whole anthology is a good read, and I’m glad my little short story could sit alongside these epic tales. In the end, I learned that creating art was never meant to be a lonely work. Writing was always an invitation to co-create something beautiful with the greatest Artist.


Lawless anthology book cover

Get your own copy of Lawless and see what all the buzz is about on AmazonLawless is available in paperback and e-book, and available for free to members of Kindle Unlimited.

Released January 18, 2024, Lawless quickly became a #1 bestselling book on Amazon. Join the community of readers ready for a new era of Christian fiction. Grab your copy today, read it, and leave an honest review.

Produced by The Company, Lawless features 14 short stories inspired by the biblical book of Judges, each written by an emerging Christian author.

Nicole Gusto

Nicole Gusto is a dreamer and storyteller from the Philippines. She often writes about broken things--mostly robots, oftentimes human hearts. When she's not writing, she's a speech pathologist who loves helping kids tell their own stories. Nicole is an Academic Teaching Assistant for the Young Writer's Workshop, has been publishing in One Voice Magazine and The Rebelution. You can visit her website at www.NicoleGusto.com.

Nicole Gusto

Nicole Gusto is a dreamer and storyteller from the Philippines. She often writes about broken things--mostly robots, oftentimes human hearts. When she's not writing, she's a speech pathologist who loves helping kids tell their own stories. Nicole is an Academic Teaching Assistant for the Young Writer's Workshop, has been publishing in One Voice Magazine and The Rebelution. You can visit her website at www.NicoleGusto.com.

1 Comment

  1. Alli

    Such good insights! Love it!

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