Friday, December 10, 2010

Sick and Tired of the Christian Fiction Argument

Okay...I need a moment to vent. But since I'm using my blog as a means by which to do it, let's just say I need to "blent." Get it? It's a combination of "blog" and "vent." Not a real word, I know. But, oh well. Let me start by admitting that this is not a new annoyance for me; however, it's a growing one, and I think I've about reached my limit. So here goes...
Why is it that we (authors who write Christian books) are always being put in the position to defend our craft? Why are people constantly trying to tell us that the books we write are only for "church folks?" I can't even count how many times I've heard one of my colleagues defend this issue, or the number of times a radio or online interviewer has posed the question to me of, "What kinds of people can enjoy Christian fiction novels?" It's an insane line of thinking, really. Why on earth would one think that only Christians can enjoy Christian books?
The people who can embrace and enjoy Christian fiction and nonfiction are READERS...plain and simple. What I write is definitely faith-based. It's romantic, dramatic, and sometimes it's even mysterious. It's not preachy and it's not saturated with scripture references, but rest assured, Christ is at the center of every book (whether fiction or nonfiction) that I pen. I say that without shame, question, or apology. I will never denounce what I write or the ONE for which I write. However, my audience is comparable to a quilt, not a blanket. It is not comprised of one color or one texture or one fabric. Just like I have, I know many other Christian fiction and Christian nonfiction authors who have received emails and letters from everyday readers who have been able to embrace our writings. They were just plain avid book lovers who read a variety of subject matters, and they counted our books worthy of being in the number. In the best of the best situations, we have received feedback from people who were introduced to Christ through our books. And if they were introduced to Him, that means that they didn't know Him on a personal level prior to reading the book. Thus, they were non-Christians who enjoyed reading our books. So what does that tell you?
Nobody ever says that the authors who write romance are only writing for romantics and lovers, or that the only people who can enjoy crime fiction are cops and criminals, or that the only people who should buy horror stories are zombies and vampires, or that the only people who can relate to street lit are users and abusers, or even that the writers who pen erotica are writing only for the world's nymphomanics. So why is it that Christian fiction is constantly under the gun and made a target for those who wish to pigeon hole it?
Simply put: Christian books are NOT written for Christians only. It is NOT true that only church-goers can relate to books like mine. They are written for readers, and just as readers can appreciate any other genre of books, they can do the same for books that are deemed faith-based. Period.
Vent over....The End. :-)

6 comments:

Yolanda said...

Go ahead and vent Kendra!! I agree with you. I hate when I recommend various Christian Fiction authors and people are like oh I don't read those kind of books. I'm like you're not a true reader then because you really need to read outside of the box. Don't get me wrong I'm not knocking those who read mystery or erotica. I'm just knocking the fact that they're trying to broaden their horizon.

Kendra, keep writing and I will keep supporting by buying, reading and recommending.

Ministry Marketing Strategies said...

Great blent...blog vent...

I can relate. I have had to defend ministry marketing...AS if the internet is all bad etc.

It is a tool for promotion, preaching, writing, and yes, profit.

Provision for the vision!

I love Christian fiction...the ministry of writing fiction!

Karen Kingsbury is one author I'm reading. Her writing ministry has deeply moved me, touched my heart, inspired me to be a better wife, mom, person...

Need I say more.

So dear Kendra...write on sistah...write on....your ministry is changing lives. Don't let the resistance stop you. Use it to build your faith muscles.

God bless you!

Theresa
http://MarketPlanMinistry.com

Cynthia Norman Slappy said...

Kendra, it's just another one of those attempts by people to separate everything and everyone into tight, neat, definable boxes. It's how we get racism, sexism, and nearly every other "ism" you can think of. When you think about it, it's nothing but ignorance and small-minded thinking.

The next time you're asked this, sis, you should turn the question around and say, "Ok, so just because I am black, does that mean that I only listen to "black" music, read books by black authors, wear only clothing designed by blacks, and only have black friends?" It is one of my academic goals to challenge the "isms" because I think it's just this type of social thinking that says to people, "Oh, you only belong here. You can't cross the line and go there." Chile please! Don't they know how great this God we serve is?

Anonymous said...

Your point of view is one shared by many, myself included. I've not seen such challenges placed before writers of other genre. It is not because Christianity is the only religion that has been openly legislated by law. OOOh did I say that out loud?

Currently I'm working on a project that my peers have suggested would be better received if I did not place emphasis on the 'Christian' aspect. I will continue according to the vision given me and whosoever will, let them come.

Linda!

Emily said...

People are afraid of the unknown. They are also afraid of the truth.

They think the Christian Fiction novels may just turn them into a true Christian and they are just not ready to live 100% for Christ.

Some people view success stories through Christ as lame and not as fabulous as worldly success through overcoming the most vile and traumatic situations.

It's human nature to have feet that run swiftly to mischief or evil. So it is easy to say 'No' to this type of novel because they do not believe the characters are as human as they are.

Keep writing, encouraging, and supporting Christian Fiction. As with all things done to His glory, prosperity will soon follow.

Emily said...

People are afraid of the unknown. They are also afraid of the truth.

They think the Christian Fiction novels may just turn them into a true Christian and they are just not ready to live 100% for Christ.

Some people view success stories through Christ as lame and not as fabulous as worldly success through overcoming the most vile and traumatic situations.

It's human nature to have feet that run swiftly to mischief or evil. So it is easy to say 'No' to this type of novel because they do not believe the characters are as human as they are.

Keep writing, encouraging, and supporting Christian Fiction. As with all things done to His glory, prosperity will soon follow.