Okay, I'll admit it. Long ago, I signed off from inspirational novels. Why? I often found them trite, preachy, goody goody, and lacking in artistic excellence. Maybe I was a little hard on them, but at some point I kind of felt like: you read one, you read them all. Francine Rivers was the exception in my mind, and she alone gave me some hope.
Well, that certainly isn't true any longer. Three years ago I started writing my own first novel. I assumed I would have to pursue a secular publisher because no Christian publisher would print something as honest, real, and edgy as what I wanted to write. Fortunately, a fellow author assured me that Christian publishing had changed drastically in the last few years, and that I should give it another chance.
He was so right. Since that time, I've read some amazing books. I discovered Christian fantasy, science fiction, and chic lit. I found amazing new historical authors. I had the pleasure of enjoying a romance about a professional Christian ballerina. I even read my first Christian thriller this summer. All I'm waiting for now is a Christian vampire novel :) Think I'm kidding? Watch someone figure out how to do it.
I've read books that have broken nearly every supposed Christian publishing taboo, books with flawed characters, real life drama, and deep spiritual themes. My conclusion is that our incredibly creative God is giving Christian authors all sorts of creative ways to share their faith that no one would have dreamed of twenty years ago. Christian authors are no longer second-rate, they are becoming some of the finest at their craft.
The beauty of the inspirational novel is that while it entertains, takes you to a different time and place, allows you to enjoy the romance, the suspense, the drama, it also uplifts you spiritually. Recently my Bible study group was discussing the importance of filling your mind with the right sorts of influences. I recommended a goal of trying to have at least half of messages we receive come from the right sort of spiritual sources. Novels are perhaps the best way to accomplish that goal.
I hope to expose my readers to new genres and authors and novels within the inspirational category. Many of them will be "awesome," but all of them will have some sort of merit. I will focus on the positive aspects of each book and what sort of reader will appreciate them. Enjoy!