So, we are starting a book club and were deciding on books. We all agreed we did not want any doctrinal books, but then the one lady said she did not want any Christian fiction either. i did pick out a couple that are not the typical "Christian fiction" types..... and at least one is on the list.
Have you run into this often? People tend to think of christian fiction as either badly written books, not controversial enough, or too preachy....
What things do you do to combat that?

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I feel the same way... that's why when I wrote my novel, I tried to steer away from the status quo. Many who have read Barriers say it was refreshing and better than the typical Christian fiction... That's the Lord! And it's what I'm keeping in mind as I write the second in the trilogy. When we write, we need to remember there is nothing new under the sun as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes...But...we can approach the "same ole same ole" with a new perspective and creative writing, so that we capture our audience and guide them through spiritual principles without preaching to them.
Be blessed, I'm sure the Holy Spirit will lead in your decisions!!
Great perspective! As "A Speaker Who Writes" I approach my speaking the same way! I want them to see and gain knowledge of God's principles without the chapter and verse, and then when they ask, I can share. We have to earn the right to be heard, and today we have to let God show us how to be creative and accomplish that! Keep writing!
Since Christian fiction is one of the fasted growing market of readers, I see people want to hear about hope without the chapter and verse throw at them! One of these is an awesome fiction read called "Rooms" by Jim Rubart. I host a writers group that we named the Inspired Writers Critique Group some time ago. Not every one writes inspired or Christian writing, but they still can come, critique and be with those who do! What you want in your group are mature people who want to experience all there is and love people! Have fun!
As a writer of Christian fiction, I suppose I'm a bit biased, but I've run into this attitude quite often. Christian Fiction has changed dramatically during the past decade. There's something out there for just about every taste. Suspense, Romance, Science Fiction, even some vampires. And the writing is exceptional in most cases. Sure, there are some not so great authors, but that happens in the secular market as well. As far as controversial, we have those too. Ted Dekker's new book, Emanuel's Veins is highly controversial and has been banned in some countries, (Making me want to read it more!) There are stories that are sensual and edgy, others that are squeaky clean, stores that are comforting and sweet, and others that keep you on the edge of your seat. Some Christian Fiction tends to be preachy while others barely mention God. My books are historical romances that are filled with suspense and always contain a spiritual theme. I'm told my stories keep people up at night (in a good way) and my characters are memorable. I always give some message about God but I try never to throw it in people's faces. It's always a natural part of the character's arc. So, I would say there's really something for everyone in Christian fiction. The one thing you can count on is a clean story without gratuitous sex and bad language. And let's face it, don't we get enough of that in today's world?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who think the same about Christian Fiction. Even Christians... They won't read my books for that reason, even though I don't think I'm preachy or a terrible writer. People who read my books would agree with me. And some I've managed to get to read them are surprised. But people have a hard time adjusting their thinking. I'm sure I do on certain levels.

Maybe you do a secret book pick ... say three or four. Set a standard that disallows certain things as far as sexual, violence or whatever... and pull your resources. Pick an excerpt from each and let everyone pick the book to read from that. Then give the name of the book and genre only after the choice is made. The person might find they don't mind the Christian Fiction as much as they say they do. I don't know. just a thought. Which, of course, might not work at all.
I have heard this opinion on Christian Fiction over and over again. It does feel hard at times to find a good quality piece of fiction without that "preachy" aspect. I did eventually find some though! Here are two I especially recommend that have been raved about by everyone I've given them to.

The Missionary (Moody Publishers,‘09) written by William Carmichael & David Lambert

David Eller and his wife, Christie, work to help rescue impoverished children in Caracas, Venezuela, but for David, that isn't enough. When he is given an opportunity to do something more, little by little, he falls into an unimaginable nightmare of espionage, ending in a desperate life-or-death gamble to flee the country with his wife and son. This novel is full of suspense and plot twists, desperation and passion that mesmerizes its readers until the very end. GO TO SITE

The Heavenly Host: The Testings of Devotion (VMI Publishers, Oct. 2009) written by Cheryl Dellasega

Book 1 of a three part series called The Heavenly Host, this novel is full of suspense! What The Shack did for the Trinity, The Testings of Devotion does for the heavenly realms, shedding light on the spiritual battle waging continually around us. It brings readers to the front lines of the war between Lucifer's ever-present force and God's devoted servants guarding heaven's gates. GO TO SITE

If any of you are interested in either of these, let me know.

If it's at all like The Shack, I won't be reading it.  We read The Shack in our book club, and nobody liked it.

Christian Fiction can be viewed with disdain because one of the two words happens to be Christian.
This leads us to what is "Christian" Fiction?
Is it a book written for Christians?
Or is it a book written with an agenda to evangelize or "make new Christians"?
OR is it a book written BY a Christian?

In my mind, when I pick up a fiction book written BY a Christian I have a pretty good sense that it will be a "safe" book to read; no cussing; it will not cross lines I would not want to cross etc...

I look to the classics: Lord of The Rings was Christian fiction!
CS Lewis with his fantasies like The Witch the Lion and the Wardrobe.
And so on...
Today I read so many great stories and have a long list of favorite authors.
ALL are Christians who write fiction...

So if there is an issue starting a club, where there is a prejudice about "Christian" anything, just call your club a Reading Group and sneak up on them? OR have the discussion and pick and author of quality, who in not going to preach at you and have fun...

I have to agree with you. I'm tired of all the foul words. We certainly don't talk like that at home and I don't like reading it.

May I suggest my Grace in Africa historical fiction trilogy? It has received really good feedback from secular groups. Beginning in Africa in the days of the slave trade, it is religiously low key. Little faith in book 1 (The Call of Zulina), no conversions, and true examples of how Christianity was perverted to achieve financial and political ends. (Hmmm.... a bit timely?) In book 2 (The Voyage of Promise) the change comes through reading the only book available--the Bible. Book 3 (The Triumph of Grace, TBR in Feb) is where we see the power of a Christian message. (Abingdon Press) Book 2 just received a place on American Library Association's Booklist Top Top Inspirational books of the year.

I used to agree that Christian Fiction were badly written cheesy type books, but around 2006 that seemed to change drastically. The stuff that is published today is vastly more entertaining that before. Now almost everything I read it Christian Fiction because there is so much and many genres to choose from.
I wish I understood how to use this site but I am so busy marketing my first book and writing my second book. Manuscript is due to publisher by December 1, 2010.

This is probably an inappropriate post, but may I suggest my book, "A Heart Like Mine, Finding God's Will for Your Life" as your selection. It is a Christian non-fiction book that appeals to secular and Christian readers, contains story, humor, unbelievable events, and intrigue. You can search my name, Cindy Scinto, on Google and find 10,500 websites about me.

The responses are amazing. Click here to read reviews:

And you can read the first 25 pages free online:

If you are interested, I will send you a complimentary book for review. I live in Spokane, WA and if you are within four hours drive time, I'd be willing to bring the books to you for your club.

The current price on my website is $15.99 no tax and it retails for $17.99. If you order directly through me for your group, I will offer the book at $12.00 each, no tax or shipping.

Let me know if you are interested. or 509-220-5243

Cindy Scinto Offering Hope Through a New Heart


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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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