Thursday, February 23, 2012

Buried Beneath Christian Fiction

I’ve always considered myself a Christian. However, changes and events that have occurred in my life in the last few years have caused me to reevaluate, reexamine, and rediscover what being a Christian really means. In the process, I’ve grown stronger in my faith. 

A desire to incorporate Christian beliefs into my fiction grew from this rediscovery, and set me on the path to writing my third novel, Footprints of a Dancer. I’m in the process of editing the manuscript, which I hope to finish soon. My publisher keeps reminding me that the book is overdue. A plethora of reasons exist as to why it has taken me so long to write Footprints, one of which is – I want to get it right. I want the book to be Christian, and it is certainly written from a Christian point of view, but at the same time I want the theme, the message if you will, to be subtle,  an integral part of the story, neither heavy-handed nor just a bit of icing. 

In research of the matter, I’ve been reading more Christian fiction, both on my own and as a book reviewer for Tyndale House, ( a well-known publisher of Christian literature. In addition, I’ve sought out Christian writing blogs. Mike Duran, a writer of Christian horror fiction, has a good example of this type of blog. All of Mike’s posts are well written and thought provoking. However, I’ve included a link to a particular post, which illustrates the emphasis of this post: What qualifies a work of fiction as Christian? 

As with most subjects, opinions are plentiful. However, with respect to what is and what is not Christian fiction, it all pretty much boils down to two schools of thought; those who believe the message should be explicit, and those who believe a work of fiction can have an implicit Christian theme and still be considered Christian fiction. Good examples of the latter would be the works of writers like Frank Peretti, and Ted Dekker, both New York Times best-selling authors whose fiction, which some describe as Christian, crossed over into the mainstream market.

It is this type of blueprint, exemplified by books like those of Peretti and Dekker – not to compare myself with such great writers, but to illustrate a point – that I hope to follow with Footprints of a Dancer.

I believe that both types of Christian fiction – Explicit and Implicit – fulfill a need within the Christian literary arena. 

I discovered something else during my research to determine if I was indeed writing a Christian novel with Footprints of a Dancer. Based on a novel being implicitly Christian, I’ve already written one. The

 second book in the Detective Elliot series, Beneath a Buried House, was written from a Christian world view, and it definitely has an implicit Christian theme. I’d like to know your opinion. If you’ve read Beneath a Buried House, let me know if you agree. It’s only $2.99 on Kindle. Here’s the link:

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