Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born-Again Genre

ljx120202webchristfeat3 Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born Again Genre

By Melanie C. Duncan

With its focus on biblical values and traditionally low emphasis on profanity, sex, or violence, Christian fiction (CF) has long been popular with a certain readership, mostly white, female, and coming from an evangelical Protestant background. I’m not sure I’d describe all of our readers as white women of child-bearing years or [suffering from] empty-nest syndrome, says Harvest House publicist Aaron Dillon. But our core demographic does seem to be middle-aged mothers, primarily white. We also have a large contingent of readers who homeschool their children.woundedheart Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born Again Genre

However, Christina Boys, editor for Hachette Book Group’s FaithWords and Center Street imprints, believes the CF audience to be much more diverse than the conservative stereotype held by the secular mainstream. The core readers are said to be women in their 40s who like novels set in the United States. But there are CF readers who do not fit into this demographic, and there are women in their 40s who like to read about a variety of characters and circumstances different from their own.

Preaching to the converted?

Often referred to as evangelical fiction to distinguish it from secular fiction, CF is still erroneously pigeonholed by some critics as simplistic storytelling or gentle reads that can’t compete with mainstream novels for complexity of plot and character development. Bethany House’s 1979 ground-breaking publication of Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly, which combined an evangelical worldview with a historical romance, filled a niche long ignored by mainstream publishers, and is credited with pioneering modern inspirational fiction. However, the CF publishing industry could not have continued to thrive as it does today by offering a steady diet of bland novels under the guise of religious fiction.

Nor could the genre have expanded if it had followed a strictly fundamentalist path. While its early years were described in John Mort’s Christian Fiction: A Guide to the Genre (2002) as having preached to the converted and industry organizations like the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) and the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) continue to prescribe guidelines for authors and publishers, today’s target CF audience has become more sophisticated and demographically diverse. There are more male and younger readers joining the fold and a steadily growing African American market.fallingintograce Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born Again Genre

A faith-based perspective remains at the core of evangelical fiction, but today’s fans are reading these books not just because of the Christian focus. They also love this genre because it quenches their inner thirst for knowledge, spiritual guidance, and, yes, entertainment.

Seeing the genre light

As their readers’ literary tastes have broadened, so have CF publishers’ lists. The past decade has seen houses like Baker Publishing Group’s Bethany House and Revell divisions, Hachette’s FaithWords and Center Street imprints, Thomas Nelson, Tyndale House, and Zondervan push beyond their traditional historicals and inspirational romances to embrace mainstream fiction’s most popular‚ and edgiest‚ genres: mysteries and thrillers, romantic suspense, sf and fantasy, women’s fiction, and even African American urban fiction.

Catching this growing wave, the bimonthly FamilyFiction (see CF on the Web, p. 28), an online magazine that covers CF and family-friendly movies, this month is launching a spin-off title that will cater to CF readers who enjoy suspense, speculative fiction, YA/teen fiction, and comics. The first issue of FamilyFiction Edge features a cover profile of CF supernatural thriller author Frank Peretti.

It’s essential [for us] to publish a wide range of Christian fiction to meet the needs of diverse readers, explains FaithWords editor Boys. Last October, the Hachette imprint launched its first Christian vampire series with the release of Debbie Viguié’s Kiss of Night. Boys notes that there are many Christians who enjoy the fantasy and paranormal genres as evidenced by the popularity of C.S. Lewis’s classic Narnia books and spiritual warfare novels by such authors as Peretti.

Vampires and other monsters are our modern-day versions of demons‚ after all, common weapons against them include crosses and holy water, says Boy. In secular paranormal fiction, most recent series focus on a vampire who fights against his nature and seeks redemption, but Boys points out that in Viguié’s trilogy, the author finally allows the faith element to be openly played out. Who but God could grant such redemption?

Angels and demons

13thtribe Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born Again GenreSpeculative fiction is also trending up for Thomas Nelson, which was acquired this past October by HarperCollins.We see a growing hunger for what I’ll refer to as ‚Äòsupernatural’ fiction‚ stories that take readers to the thin places between the realm of the seen and the unseen, says Allen Arnold, Thomas Nelson senior VP and fiction publisher. These are stories in which angels, demons, visions, dreams, prophecies, and other supernatural phenomena are key elements.

Coming in April is Robert Liparulo’s The 13th Tribe, a supernatural thriller about a group of immortal Israelites who hope to earn their way into Heaven by killing sinners. Senior acquisitions editor Ami McConnell raves, His debut novels with Thomas Nelson years ago [Comes a Horseman; Germ] were applauded for their suspenseful writing, but he’s recently made a switch to more overt Christian content with The 13th Tribe. The difference is stunning‚ and the writing is awesome.

Becky Monds, a Thomas Nelson associate editor, points out that the Christian story is the perfect setup for the paranormal tales that especially draw teenage readers. Authors can explore the interaction of angels and demons among humans and witness miracles performed in everyday life. But while these writers delve into the supernatural side of Christianity, we are careful to make sure [their] characters are examples to the readers of how to live a real life and how to deal with real issues.

Christian sf/fantasy finds its audience

For years, speculative fiction was the stepchild of Christian publishing, a handy category for any title that did not easily find a home in another genre. In 2008, Jeff Gerke, who had worked in the CF industry as a writer and editor for more than a decade, launched his own publishing house specializing in Christian sf and fantasy. I was frustrated that the kinds of novels I loved best‚ Christian fantasy and sf‚ seemed to be getting short shrift…and that the ones that did get published seemed to sell very poorly. It finally dawned on me that this was because the core readership for Christian fiction didn’t want speculative fiction. They wanted bonnets and buggies, not mutant alien vampires who will eat your brains.

There was also the old fundamentalist suspicion of the genre. Christian bookstores and certain elements of the core fiction readership have long had a mistrust of ‚Äòmagic’ in Christian fiction, explains Gerke. If it weren’t for that pesky C.S. Lewis, they’d be able to say that all magic in Christian fiction is of the devil. Narnia notwithstanding, they still shy away from anything fantastical.

Gerke also believes the success of the Harry Potter books held back the growth of Christian speculative fiction. In many genres, what’s hot in secular fiction becomes hot in Christian fiction three to ten years later. But not in speculative fiction. The hotter the Harry Potter and Eragon and similar books got in secular fiction, the cooler became the reception to fantasy and other speculative fiction at Christian publishing houses. That’s when the frustration in me was growing.

That frustration and knowing that there were many Christian readers like him who loved sf/fantasy were the driving forces that led Gerke to start Marcher Lord Press (MLP). Despite its small list (four to six titles annually), the press in just four short years has accumulated an impressive collection of awards and nominations, including a 2010 Christy Award for Jill Williamson’s By Darkness Hid.

High on MLP’s spring 2012 list is Kathy Tyers’s Daystar (Apr.), the fifth and final book of the Firebird saga. Tyers is known for her best-selling Star Wars¬Æ novels, and Gerke describes her CF series as a science fiction retelling of the gospel‚Ķin a world in which [the Virgin] Mary said no. MLP will also debut Morgan L. Busse’s Daughter of Light (Apr.), a fantasy about a young woman who may not be entirely human and who can heal [through touch] and see [into] souls.

prohet Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born Again GenreGerke interprets the growing demand for YA Christian speculative fiction as a reaction to the popularity of paranormal titles, like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, and as a way to provide an alternative on which teens can spend their money. In April, Bethany House, one of the few CF publishers to offer speculative fiction continually over the years, will debut R.J. Larson’s Prophet, the first in a new series targeted at fans of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy. Now is the time, says MLP’s Gerke, when Christian speculative fiction can come out of the shadows and begin to find its audience.

Back in the real world

At the other end of the genre spectrum, contemporary CF’s popularity continues to expand. Tyndale House senior acquisitions editor Jan Stob and senior marketing manager Babette Rea say the sales and reader response they see indicate that this category is gaining strength. Especially doing well, they note, are books with a strong sense of place, like Southern fiction, and stories that strike an emotional chord with readers.

Joining Hachette’s Center Street imprint in 2012 is Charles Martin, whose best-selling novels mix a regional flavor with Nicholas Sparks‚ like sensibility. His latest work, Thunder and Rain (Apr.), is a contemporary Western about a retired Texas Ranger torn between his past and his future. Center Street’s sister imprint, FaithWords, is launching Jane Myers Perrine’s The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek (Apr.), a new contemporary series with a small-town setting that might appeal to Jan Karon fans.

Zondervan associate acquisitions editor Becky Philpott agrees. I would define contemporary Christian fiction as novels that contain relatable characters and themes of contemporary life, whether they be in the categories of romance, suspense, mystery, literary, thriller, etc., she says. While women’s fiction remains hot, Philpott was not seeing as much chick lit these days. Although she didn’t speculate on the reasons for the decline, there is a sense among publishers that those readers have matured. Now marrying and having children, they are more likely to be interested in novels that deal with family drama, social issues, marriage, and relational topics.

Issues fiction comes of age

These books seem to blur the line between truth and fiction, says B&H Publishing Group fiction manager Julie Gwinn who acknowledges growth in issues fiction that tackles a range of problems, including drug addiction, sexual abuse, depression, and the loss of a child. In February, B&H will release Ginny L. Yttrup’s Lost and Found , a novel that addresses materialism, pleasing others, and emotional abuse. Yttrup’s first novel, Words, Gwinn explains, was taken from her experience as a survivor of 18 years of sexual abuse.

Tyndale House’s upcoming contemporary fiction 2012 list runs the gamut in mood and tone in dealing with complex personal, social, and moral issues. Winner of the Christian Writers Guild First Novel contest, Tim Owens’s The Search Committee (Feb.) is a humorous and poignant novel about seven congregational members seeking to recruit a new minister and is certain to appeal to Philip Gulley fans.

Senior marketing manager Rea praises Susan May Warren’s The Shadow of Your Smile (Jan.) as one of her best for capturing the essence of a family surviving a heartbreaking loss. She also lavishes accolades on two-time Christy Award winner Chris Fabry’s Not in the Heart (Feb.; see review, p. 92), a suspense novel about a journalist investigating the innocence of a death row inmate who wants to donate his heart to the journalist’s dying child. Chris creates a protagonist whom readers will want to walk away from, but in his typical fashion [he] pulls the reader in [for] an amazing reading experience.

Kensington Publishing’s Dafina line consists primarily of women’s fiction targeted at African American readers, and senior publicist Adeola Saul confirms the popularity of titles dealing with such topics as foreversoulties1 Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born Again Genreadultery, financial problems, and loss of trust. Coming this year are Vanessa Davis Grigg’s Forever Soul Ties (Jan.), Rhonda Bowen’s One Way or Another (Mar.), Michelle Stimpson’s Falling into Grace (Jun.), and Griggs’s The Other Side of Goodness (Jul.). While these books are not specifically labeled as inspirational fiction, their characters make decisions rooted in faith that CF readers can use for guidance.

Despite the spurt of new edgier realistic titles aimed at a more diverse readership, the core CF consumer still enjoys a little escapism in her inspirational reading. Zondervan executive editor Sue Brower reports that the core readership of white, middle-aged women is still buying primarily contemporary titles by Karen Kingsbury, suspense by Terri Blackstock, and historical fiction by Tamera Alexander. In Zondervan’s spring pipeline are DiAnn Mills’s tale of contemporary romantic suspense The Chase (Mar.), Blackstock’s thriller Downfall (Feb.), and Kingsbury’s Loving (Mar.), the highly anticipated finale in her popular Bailey Flanigan series.

Romantic suspense rules

Just as romantic suspense is enjoying a resurgence in the mainstream market, it, too, is on an upward swing again in the Christian market. Jennifer Leep, editorial director of Baker Publishing Group’s Revell division, sees the most growth potential for publishers in this genre. With both Irene Hannon and Lynette Eason, we’re finding readers who love that perfect blend of engaging romance and heart-stopping suspense. There’s been a healthy market for romantic suspense for quite some time‚ but it seems there is a renewed energy in this category recently with more new authors entering the genre. And readers seem to be appreciating the new voices.

eason Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born Again GenreRevell’s top spring title is Eason’s When the Smoke Clears (Feb.), a series launch that introduces female smokejumper Alexia Allen. This summer Hannon brings her Guardians of Justice series to an exciting close with Lethal Legacy (Aug.), about a woman determined to prove her father’s suicide was murder. Irene is building a great reputation for herself with stories that are full of high-intensity action, taut suspense, and just the right amount of romance, says Leep.

Revell’s sister imprint, Bethany House, is also jumping into this category. We are releasing titles now in historical romantic suspense, something that is new to our market, explains Steve Oates, VP of marketing. The way I judge demand in the market is based on the quantity that stores will commit to for a title versus other genres. For example, we know that Amish titles sell better just because of their genre compared to others. A similar dynamic happens with romantic suspense. Forthcoming titles include Nancy Mehl’s Inescapable (Jun.), which sets romantic suspense in a Mennonite small town, and debut author Dani Pettrey’s series launch, Submerged (May), which blends murder with Alaskan deep-sea diving.

The enduring appeal of bonnets

For many publishers, the popularity of Amish titles continues to be a driver for their acquisitions. The market remains healthy, says Revell’s Leep.We’re pleased to have seen those readers embrace Suzanne Woods Fisher. Her [fans] particularly seem to love the twists and turns they find in her novels. The second book in Fisher’s Stoney Ridge Seasons series, The Haven , will release in August.

FaithWords’ Boys also believes that what started as a finite trend has become firmly established as a strong CF subgenre. The publisher recently launched its first Amish novel, The Wounded Heart, by Adina Senft, with the next in the series, The Hidden Life, coming out in June.

Leep attributes bonnet fiction’s attraction to the world many of us live in: increasingly fast-paced, busy, and filled with distractions. These are contemporary stories, but they feature characters who are living without many of the distractions and complications we face in the modern world.

And Zondervan’s Philpott points out that readers are seeking great stories that contain elements of family and faith. Yet her boss, executive editor Brower, warns that the Amish category is becoming a very crowded market and that individual author/title sales are not as high as they might have been two to three years ago when only a handful of authors were writing in this genre.

Anniversary tie-ins

With the April centennial of the sinking of the Titanic rapidly approaching, CF publishers are throwing their hats into the commemorative tie-in ring. This month, Tyndale House releases Promise Me This (see review, p. 90), a historical by two-time Christy Award winner Cathy Gohlke. Along with book giveaways, Tyndale plans a host of social media promotions in April, including having Gohlke blog on their website about her research.echoesof titanic Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born Again Genre

In March comes Tricia Goyer’s Titanic-themed historical romance, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, from Barbour Publishing, while mystery is represented by Echoes of Titanic (Harvest House) by the husband-and-wife team of Mindy Starns Clark and John Campbell Clark. We are very excited for this book in-house, says Harvest House publicist Dillon. Promotional efforts include a book trailer discussion featuring the Clarks (ow.ly/8y2tl). Last but not least is Yvonne Lehman’s family saga about the ship’s survivors and their descendants, Hearts That Survive (Abingdon Pr., Mar.). While specific marketing plans have not yet been announced, Abingdon is investigating media outlets where anniversary specials may be planned.

Is CF crossing over?

While some evangelical writers‚ most notably spiritual thriller author Ted Dekker‚ have enjoyed a crossover appeal to the mainstream market, CF publishers are changing marketing strategies to appeal to secular readers. Although Dekker’s books are now targeted to both mainstream and Christian readers, Harry Helm, VP and associate publisher for FaithWords and Center Street, stresses that the Hachette imprints create distinct messaging appropriate for each of the markets. Many Christian writers can certainly build a readership in the mainstream, but it is essential that the publisher continue to speak directly to the Christian market in vehicles and language that resonate with that segment of readers.

Rather than the genre becoming more secularized, Jennifer Leep of Revell notes that many Christian novelists like Steven James are simply writing excellent stories with rich characters who strike a chord with a broad range of readers. His books, she explains, don’t contain explicit Christian messages as much as they implicitly explore spiritual questions such as the nature of good and evil in a way that’s consistent with Christian faith.

Bethany House’s Oates credits the increased availability of what once had been a niche genre sold mainly to Christian bookstores for its growing success among general readers. Christian fiction is now the third top-selling ebook fiction category, and Oates believes the expanded audience has become more tolerant on content. I would not see that as being more secular, just more in touch with the values of the readership, he adds.

Still, the Christian worldview remains front and center when editors are building their lists. Thomas Nelson’s McConnell explains, While we often find new readership in folks simply looking for inoffensive content, the thing that makes Christian fiction so appealing and what engenders reader loyalty isn’t what a book lacks‚ it’s what it offers: a distinctively Christian viewpoint. Zondervan’s Brower does not encourage her authors to dilute their message in order to reach a mainstream audience. When they do, they lose their most ardent fans, the Christian consumer…. Keep in mind that we focus on the Christian fiction reader no matter where they pick up their books‚ Christian bookstores, libraries, mainstream stores, or digitally online.

 

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Comments

  1. Interesting insights on this increasingly more popular genre. As an author of Christian fiction and a member and past president of the 2500-strong American Christian Fiction Writers organization, I appreciate these thoughts. Our gratitude for the author/library/reader connection runs deep. ACFW’s fictionfinder.com offers free and easily accessible data about hundreds of Christian fiction titles and authors in a wide range of genres with search options by category, topic, content, and other points of interest. It’s our hope that through this and other resources, we can partner with libraries to get great books into the hands of eager readers. Thanks for the mentions about ACFW and our Carol Awards.

  2. Cliff Ball says:

    I’m an Indie Christian fiction author, but after 5 novels, I finally wrote a Christian fiction themed novel that’s an End Times thriller, mixed with politics. I have noticed there’s a lack of Christian-oriented novels that men can read, while there’s plenty of Christian romance. There’s not a lot of Christian related thrillers, action-adventure, or sci-fi that the “Big 6″ or the Christian publishing houses publishes that men will read, and probably wouldn’t have started publishing if it weren’t for some of us going out on our own and proving there’s a market for it. The whole fantasy market is over-saturated from both traditionally published and independently published authors.

  3. I loved this article. I am a Christian fiction novelist writing for Bethany House Publishing–my newest release is In Too Deep. I write romantic comedy with cowboys. I loved reading the names of some of my favorite authors.
    I’ll will draw the attention of my local librarian to this article. They have a nice Christian fiction section but they could use this to expand their collection

  4. I love the valuable content of this article and the proclamation that Christian fiction is alive…and well…and growing by leaps and bounds! As the Publisher and owner of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, and as an author of Christian fiction, I can attest to the ever increasing quality of our products. The scope of Christian fiction crosses all genres and all issues. There is something for everyone who likes to read! Thank you for your dedication to our CF market, and thank you for the mention of our magazine and organization.

  5. Great article. It is wonderful to see the diversity that is coming into being with publishers of CF, especially the “Issues” driven books. Although not published with a CBA publisher, my novel, The Visionary deals the the healing process from severe child abuse found in a relationship with Christ. I pray God’s blessings on every writer who strives to touch lives for HIM!

  6. Dee Stewart says:

    Thank you, Melanie for featuring Christian Fiction Blog in your article. Our blog is almost eight years old now and we have covered Christian Fiction for quite some time and have watched it change into what many of us were hoping for some five years ago. I believe it will continue to evolve as Christian publishers and those who publish Christian books learn more about the readers who enjoy these books. Moreover, I hope ECPA begin to include publishers who are not traditional CBA like Kensington’s Dafina line, but share the same writing aesthetic and guidelines. Also thank you for spotlighting my publicist Adeola Saul and my wonderful writing buddies in the Dafina line: Rhonda Bowen, Michelle Stimpson, and Vanessa Davis Griggs.

    Please continue to stop by CHRISTIAN FICTION BLOG there are many authors we spotlight there.

  7. Great article. Historical Christian fiction is alive and growing. My tenth book in three years will be released in the fall. I am a senior citizen who writes historical but loves to read Christian suspense thrillers and mysteries. Some of my favorite authors were listed here and it was great to see them get the recognition. I will be attending a Church Librarians Conference next month, and I’ve found these librarians eager to buy Christian fiction. I’ll be sure to mention this article to them in case they haven’t already seen it.

  8. Dani Pettrey says:

    Fabulous article. Thanks so much for featuring my debut in it. My art team at Bethany House did such a tremendous job with Submerged’s cover. Hope readers will enjoy Submerged as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    Best,
    Dani

  9. Lynn Dove says:

    Fantastic article. As an author of Young Adult contemporary Christian fiction, I am seeing more and more youth are wanting an alternative to the paranormal, horror, and other teen novels currently available to them. It is wonderful to see a great group of authors recognized and listed here!

  10. Great article, emphasizing the continued growth of Christian fiction, both in numbers and breadth of material.

  11. Kate Dolan says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve shied away from much of the CF market because I’ve read some books that were really bad and I know some publishers had very restrictive guidelines that to me seemed guaranteed to make the characters unrealistic. I’m happy to see that I’m wrong and that the world of CF is much broader than I’d realized. Time to give it another try!

  12. I love this article, especially since I wrote a Christian Romance/Suspense novel coming out this summer. I wrote what I like to read without the sex, without the hardcore violence and have an underlining born-again-theme. There is a real evil in this world and they are not vampires and werewolves. :-) At least our ‘demons’ are a real concept. :-)

  13. I love this article! So much great information, letting people know that Christian fiction is not only alive and well, but soaring high in all genre areas of the literary world. As an author of more than 13 novels, I’m thankful to the publishing houses who have allowed me to do what God has given me to do, in the way He’s given it to me to do it. To God be the glory. For me, it’s all about Jesus and spreading the Good news! Yes, we may deal with life issues, but we’re more than conquerors because we know that no matter what we face: Greater is He that is in me, than he who is in the world.

  14. Thanks for this article. A great overview of the industry. As an author of Christian fiction (One Smooth Stone and its sequel, A Tumbled Stone about to be released), it’s gratifying to see the work of so many good writers being recognized.

  15. Jo Ann Snapp says:

    My passion is writing. I tried all the main houses to publish my work. Got ‘good’ responses to my writing ability but length, or subject or genre didn’t fit their bar. I was always encouraged to keep marketing my work. I appreciate the fact that this article brought up the point that there are authors of clean fiction, not neccessarily inspirational that are good storytellers. They may not ‘fit’ into what a big publishing house is looking for; yet, I am a writer who worked hard and came to the point where I needed to get my work out to an audience. I did what I said I would not do. I self-published with Amazon.com and I have not been sorry. I don’t have to stick to one genre and my writing is finding a readership. My only concern is that many of the e-book authors that have worked on their craft with pride are lumped with writers that can’t spell or write a clear sentence. I don’t mean to be hard since they may be like me. I’m getting too old to wait for a publisher to recognize me and my writing style. Thanks for an uplifting article.

  16. Dana Bell says:

    A couple of facets are missing from the article. The number of Christian Speculative writers working through other small Christian presses like Splashdown Books and the Digital Dragon’s new imprint. And those of us whose Christian Speculative have been picked up by secular houses.

    My own book ‘Winter Awakening’ was published by WolfSinger Publications, a secular house. My publisher is now waiting for the next two in the series, along with a paranormal. They already have my next book ‘God’s Gift’.

    I’ve also heard of other Christian Speculative writers getting picked up by other secular houses despite the Christian themes and characters in their books.

    There is a market for this genre and it’s exploding!

    • Dan K. says:

      Thank you for your comment Dana. One of my biggest fears is getting my novel published in the CF genre and it not reaching people who need to hear it the most (since it is labeled ‘Christian’.)To hear the CF being published by Secular Publishers is very encouraging.
      I’ve just submitted my Young Adult Sci Fi to WinePress Publishers and have been excepted by the publisher and am now finishing negotiating before the process of publishing begins.

      Thanks for your encouraging word and trying to change the world for Christ.

  17. Great article with wide coverage of the CBA market. I found this an interesting article and one I will refer back to. Thank you for the amount of work it must have taken to produce such a comprehensive article. Blessings!

  18. Molly says:

    Would have loved to see some mention of middle grade Christian fiction–there are some great titles coming out for ages 9-12 that are awesome reads for parents and kids to read together or for kids to read alone. If that 9-12 age group doesn’t learn to love fiction and reading and Christian fiction now, it will leave far fewer readers in the future….

  19. Camille Eide says:

    Thank you for reporting on the growth of Christian Fiction. Well done! I am glad to see the branching out and popularity of so many genres, bringing a wider variety of fiction for a growing diversity of faith-based readers. As a both a Christian writer and a reader, I find it refreshing and encouraging to see the Master Artist’s hand of inspiration at work in modern music, art, and literature. Exciting! Thank you for sharing the helpful links.

  20. Connie Mace says:

    Wonderful article, Melanie! I co-ordinate the blog for Northwest Christian Writers’ Association and I linked back to your article on today’s post : http://nwchristianwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/christian-fiction-birth-of-a-genre/

  21. Dan Walsh says:

    Wow, read about this article from reading Christian Fiction Online Magazine (CFOM). Thanks Bonnie. A great survey of the CF landscape. My 5th Christian fiction novel releases in a couple of weeks. I write for Baker/Revell, a super group to work with behind-the-scenes. So good to see how CF is not only growing in size but, just as importantly, in the quality of writing.

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