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. :-)