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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Christian Fiction--Uplifting or a Waste of Time?

I'll admit that I'm one of "those Christians" that read more fiction than non---less of the self-help books, less Christian living, devotionals, or study guides, than I do fiction. I've had some people look askance at me and wonder why I waste my time.

Of course, now I'm helping add to the mix by writing Christian fiction, as well. But for years I simply read it. No...devoured would be a more accurate word.

Why, you ask? A friend recently told me she'd never read much of any inspirational fiction until I asked her to become an advance reader for my books...prior to them hitting the bookshelves. She's now read three of them, and is loving each one more than the one before. In fact, she told me a few days ago after reading my most recent, that I'm making her into a 'believer' in Christian fiction.

She used to believe that only secular fiction would be well written...that inspirational fiction would probably be cheesy, preachy, tame and boring. Sigh. Unfortunately, for people who haven't experienced it, that's often the belief.

Or, the other side of the coin--those who will ONLY read non-fiction, because that's "real life" and fiction is simply a bunch of make believe that has no relevant use in our lives.

Not so. Take my first book, The Other Daughter. The story line revolves around a married couple who are unequally yoked spiritually. On top of that, add the crisis of broken trust, a child out o f wedlock showing up on their doorstep years after the fact, and a friend who doesn't trust Christians who's trying to destroy the marriage. Do you know anyone in even one of these situations? Maybe someone dealing with a step-child issue, or with foster children? A marriage in crisis because one partner is a committed Christian the other isn't interested? Or one that has cheated in the past, and the truth has just been revealed. Sound like real life, or just make-believe?

Much of Christian fiction now-a-days is realistic and drawn from much that happens today. The suspense/mystery thrillers could fit in with any episode of CSI, only clean and free of the smut and language. The romances can stand up with the best on the secular market, without the sex and titillation, but with all the tenderness and heart pounding romance. The historical fiction will teach you a thing or two about the past, and draw you into the fabric of yesteryear.

Do I support Christian fiction? You bet! And I get to be a part of one of the biggest Christian booksignings that's ever been undertaken. Saturday afternoon, Sept. 20th at the Minneapolis Mall of America, I'll be gathering with over 100 other published authors. Check back here in a couple of days and I'll post a list of all the authors attending. If you're anywhere near the city on that day, I'd love to have you stop by and say hi...or let me sign your book if you have a copy, or point you to one of the other awesome authors you might enjoy.

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