Friday, April 8, 2011

Guest Blogger Kathi Macias~Do You Have Issues with Fiction?

(If Not, Maybe You Should!)

By Kathi Macias

My first novel had scarcely been out for a year when I was asked to teach a class on fiction writing at a Christian writers’ conference in 1989. It wasn’t that my novel was selling so well, but my women’s devotional that released at almost the same time was selling beyond our wildest expectations and being reprinted as fast as they could keep the presses rolling, so my name was hot at the moment. Unfortunately they didn’t need anyone to teach a class on devotional writing, but Christian fiction? No one wanted to touch it! After all, as I heard more times than I could count, “Why would you want to write fiction? As a Christian, I believe we should write something more serious.”

Now for all you fairly new-to-CBA writers, that sort of attitude is hard to fathom. Everyone wants to write fiction now, Christian or otherwise. But quite obviously it hasn’t always been so. In those days, a lot of people had issues with Christian fiction, and they certainly weren’t positive ones!

However, I accepted the challenge and ended up with exactly two people in my class. Discouraging? Absolutely! With my own passion to write fiction flickering in the winds of criticism and disapproval, I wondered if the trend would ever change. Needless to say, it has, and though I haven’t ruled out writing more nonfiction books in the future, right now my focus is almost entirely on fiction. But does the Christian reading world’s current romance with novels mean that writers—even good ones—are assured of success? Not by a long shot!

Good writing is a given, and great writing should be our goal. But even that isn’t enough if we don’t hit on the right topic/approach at the right time. And our readership can be fickle. Though there will always be an audience for romance books, not all of us do well at that genre. Historical novels run in cycles—in one day, out the next. Chick-lit or fantasy may be the order of the day when you begin your novel, yet completely passé by the time you’re done. And though we all love those sweet stories of the Amish, how long can “bonnet fiction” survive before it too is replaced with a newer and more popular trend?

That’s the problem. We Christian writers like to think of ourselves as being on the “cutting edge,” but are we? Are we really setting the trends, or simply trying to jump on someone else’s bandwagon, only to discover it’s already overloaded and the wheels are coming off?

I enjoy reading and writing suspense and mystery, so I tried my hand at a trilogy a few years ago. It did passably well, but I quickly realized I wasn’t another Brandilyn Collins or Terry Blackstock, so I began to ask myself just who Kathi Macias was as a fiction writer. That’s when I realized that although I liked suspense and mystery, and even some chick-lit and bonnet fiction, they weren’t my passion. I’m an issues person. Whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction, my desire is to minister to people who are dealing with issues of some sort—divorce, loss of a child, betrayal, AIDS, human suffering of nearly any kind. With that focus, I began to hone the stories that had already been birthed in my heart by the Creator who knew and loved me before the foundation of the world.

The result was my current series from New Hope Publishers, a house that never did fiction before—until they heard about my idea for an “Extreme Devotion” series, four novels loosely based on true accounts of those who suffer for their faith in other countries. It turns out they had long hoped for something that would fit their dream of launching a “fiction with a mission” line, and my issue-related proposal fit the bill to a “T.” The fourth and final book in that series, People of the Book, has just released this April. It is set in Saudi Arabia and deals with the very real and heartbreaking issue of honor killings.

In addition, we have just contracted for a second series, this time based on the topic of human trafficking, an issue that both the publisher and I feel strongly about. New Hope and I are also partnering to put out a stand-alone Christmas book this year, titled A Christmas Journey Home, which deals with the issue of illegal immigration.

It isn’t the settings or characters or even the story lines that tie all my new novels together, but rather the very real issues of human suffering, whether as a direct result of our faith in Christ or as a catalyst to bring us to Him. These aren’t light issues and not easily defined or described. The research has been and continues to be intensive and often emotionally draining. But my agent said something to me the other day that strengthened my determination to continue writing tough, issue-related fiction: “You’re writing fiction that matters.”

Exactly. It matters to me because God designed me that way. It also matters to those whose lives my books will somehow touch and change.

And that’s true, whatever direction God takes you in your fiction writing. Forget about the current trends and overloaded bandwagons, and ask Him to help you identify and pursue the passion He’s put in your heart. After all, there’s room in Christian fiction for lots of issues, and when they’re God-driven, they will fulfill the purpose He has intended.

***For a chance to win a copy of People of the Book, please leave a comment. I’ll be giving away two copies. Also, for anyone who’s just venturing into the exciting world of writing and publishing, I’ll be giving away one copy of my writers’ workbook, THE TRAIN-OF-THOUGHT WRITING METHOD: Practical, User-Friendly Help for Beginning Writers, so be sure to specify in your comment if you would like that book. Blessings!

***Kathi Macias ( ; ; ) is an award-winning author of more than thirty books, including her most recent release, People of the Book, available now at most online venues as well as Christian bookstores nationwide.


  1. Wow, that is quite the journey God took you on! For me, fiction speaks to me more than a non-fiction how to book. I think many people discount the power of a story based on reality, but without the trauma of knowing the person in the story was totally real. I just ordered your book Red Ink and would love to enter to win People of the book. martha(at)lclink(dot)com

  2. Martha took the words right out of my mouth.


    I can't begin to imagine the research that goes into something like this. Wow.

    I'd be in for any of the giveaways.

    /big deep breath/

    On a lighter note...

    I've got cinnamon rolls for breakfast and chocolate chip cookies to munch on later. There's also lots of caffeine.

    And DH brought home frozen custard for me to either rejoice or weep with after the Genesis semis are announced. I'll share ;).

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  3. Here's plenty of coffee to go with Carol's cinnamon rolls and cookies.

    Kathi, I'm intimidated by the amount of research and accuracy required for the kind of books you write. I admire the kind of work you do.

    But since we're bombarded with so much unwholesome entertainment, I think there is also a need for work that's geared simply to wholesome pleasure.

    May Christian writing fill needs in all areas.


  4. Hi Kathi:

    I would think it is very difficult to write hard issues in a novel. I appreciate you coming today. This is new to me.

    Do you think your readers are reading for the issues or are they reading for the escape and entertainment value?

    Do your readers know what kind of book they are getting? That is, a book that is issue oriented.

    What is your goal with an issue series like “People of the Book”? Is it to bring issues to public awareness? Is it to educate readers about the issues? Is it to provide solutions to the problems you raise with the issues?

    In other words, is it teaching by example? Do your characters face the issues you cover and by how they react do you demonstrate how a Christian should deal with the same issues?

    I’m trying to determine if I would enjoy this type of book.

    I’m curious about “People of the Book”. I would expect that each book is about one of the people: Jew, Christian, and Muslim. Is this what you did and what is the fourth book about?

    This is very interesting.


    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

    I'd like to chance to win: THE TRAIN-OF-THOUGHT WRITING METHOD.

  5. OH MY GOSH, KATHI you just gave me an idea for a book.

    I'm NOT telling.

    This could be BIG

    Ignore me.

    Great post.

  6. Kathi,
    Your story is inspiring. I'd like to be entered to win either book- your novel or your Train of Thought Writing Method.

    laurarussellromance at gmail dot com

  7. Elizabeth from New ZealandApril 8, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    Hi Kathi,
    I loved what you wrote, "Forget about the current trends and overloaded bandwagons, and ask Him to help you identify and pursue the passion He’s put in your heart. After all, there’s room in Christian fiction for lots of issues, and when they’re God-driven, they will fulfill the purpose He has intended."

    I have wanted to write for years and I have all sorts of reasons why I haven't started yet! :/ Anyway, I've just felt some stirrings again over the last week and a subject that I am passionate about. It's based on some of what I've experienced in my life and when talking to my hubby this morning he said he think I should write it in story = novel form.

    So, yes, I would love to win a copy of your book for beginner writers! I shall keep an eye out for your novels too!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Elizabeth e[dot]johnsen[at]clear[dot]net[dot]nz

  8. Hello Kathi,
    This is an interesting take on how you tie a series together. Great idea!
    Please enter me in your book draws.
    Thank you,

  9. This really spoke to me, because I've heard from friends and family that a novel I truly loved (and love still) is too 'heavy' and 'serious'. It's very difficult for me to write a story without some life issue, not just relationship drama.
    I would love a book or the beginning writing book- thanks for the great post!
    P.S. I one wrote a (okay,very bad) chick lit book trying to jump on that band wagon. I'm just not that into shoes, hahaha!

  10. a remarkable story, kathi...thanks for the opportunity to read your latest novel.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  11. Kathi, so nice to have you here! And what a beautiful, soul-stirring post. The series sounds heartfelt, and congratulations on the new contract as well. God bless New Hope for seeing and acting on your vision and a smack from the Holy Spirit. Lovely.

    Like Helen, I love that Christian fiction has grown from mustard-seed beginnings to a multi-branching tree, sweet and shady. And if the historical branch goes dormant for a year, there are so many other living branches to help fulfill our dreams. Writers need to flex with the market to a certain degree, right?

    Or mope.

    And moping just isn't healthy.

    Carol, thanks for breakfast. I'm adding crepes to the list because it's Friday and Friday is, well...

    Friday. ;)

    And I brought fresh creamers. And a tea service to go with Helen's coffee.

  12. I don't know if I could do the heart-wrenching kind of research to write that type of story. That takes a very special person with a deep passion.

    I would enjoy reading any of your books, but I'd love more instruction on how to write. Please enter me in the drawing.

  13. Welcome Kathi,
    Your post was inspirational. What a wonderful way to view the novel journey.
    Please enter me into the contest: pepperbasham(at)yahoo(dot)com

  14. Kathi,

    It's so wonderful that God led you into writing fiction with a purpose, and that makes a real difference. What a blessing.

    I think fiction can reach people in a way non-fiction can't at times. Enlightening them to issues and struggles they never even realized exisisted, and hopefully inspiring them to examine the issues and themselves at a deeper level.

    Please put my name in the drawing for People of the Book.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.


  15. Would love to win and read your book People of the Book. However, I'd like to win The Train-of-Thought Writing Method also and give it to my daughter - she's trying to write a book.


  16. This looks wonderful. I love a book with a non-traditional setting(and Saudi Arabia definitely fits that). What things do you do to take a culture that is unknown to most of your readers and make it accessible?

    In for all of the drawings and also the critique drawing on Saturday.


  17. And, yes, I'm sitting here with my cell phone, drinking coffee. However, I doubt the caffiene's effect on my nerves will be noticeable.

  18. Thank you for sharing your writing journey with us, Kathi!

    I've never understood the opposition to Christian fiction - as long as the story is told well it will ring true and touch the reader's heart. After all, we have the parables of Jesus as our example.

    And I think you're right when you said that Christian fiction isn't just about "the current trends and overloaded bandwagons". It's following God's call to tell His stories in ways that honor Him - whether in an entertaining romance or a story that causes the reader to consider issues that they have no personal experience with. My own goal is to write fiction that goes beyond the "Christian" label to reach the secular reader who is looking for a good story.

    I only have two more days to prepare for the moving van that's scheduled to show up on Monday. Today I'm packing the kitchen, so I went to Panera's for my contribution to breakfast - bagels for everyone! And to my dismay, there is no Panera's in Rapid City :(

    Please enter me in the drawing for the writing book!


  19. Kathi, great post! I think the point you have hit on is that if we are called to write fiction, God will make it happen. Whether that means a multi-book contract or an article in a small magazine. There are stories to tell - stories of HIs amazing love and grace. They will be told. I'm so glad He chose you as one of those storytellers! It sure is fun, isn't it?!

  20. Kathi, welcome to Seekerville!

    What an inspiring post! I love reading issue books, what an incredible resource to sustain conflict.

    I'm fascinated by your research process. Could you tell a bit more?

  21. Kathi will be going on a virtual book tour in May with this book and there will be more chances to win a copy. I hope your readers will follow her tour @ and try to win a copy if they don't win one through this giveaway.

    I have been blessed to call Kathi a dear friend for the past few years. Her writing is very powerful. I hope your readers check out her work.


  22. Kathi!!!

    Woman after my own heart!!! I'm so excited. God continues to give me these "pings" here and there as encouragement.

    You wrote: That’s when I realized that although I liked suspense and mystery, and even some chick-lit and bonnet fiction, they weren’t my passion. I’m an issues person.

    Yep - that's the line. ME TOO ME TOO!! (Vince can attest to this I think.) But I'm in the secular children's world - or will be shortly.

    If you have a good story, though there might be difficult times and the topic might be serious, the Lord will use it to His glory for just the right readers.

    It sounds like you have a way to engage them and make them think. And that leads to prayer and if called, action.

    Good on ya!!!!!

    Congratulations and thank you for being faithful to what God called you to do. As with anything else, it's sometimes not easy to follow His leading, especially when you feel like you're out on a limb, over a canyon...

    Sounds like Deep Trouble to me... (Hi Mary!) or perhaps on a swing set on a cliff (can you tell where I am in Rocky Mountain Hero?? Too fun Audra!)

    **Nodding to Seekers is always fun...

    Thanks for being here today!!!

    My hubby worked on a project that led him frequently to SA. So I'd especially love to read your latest! Thanks for the chance to win!!! may at maythek9spy dot com

  23. WOW, Kathi ...

    And "WOW" seems to be the consensus today about what it takes to write soul-stirring slice-of-life fiction like you do! As a woman who is not overly fond of research, I am amazed and humbled at the depth of digging and devotion a book like yours must require.

    Like Elizabeth, I especially love the quote, "After all, there’s room in Christian fiction for lots of issues, and when they’re God-driven, they will fulfill the purpose He has intended."

    "The purpose He has intended." Amen to that!! I tend to be a "Calgon, take me away" type of writer and reader rather than "slice of life," but I must say that the books that have impacted me the most are those gritty, gut-wrenching women's fiction pieces that force me into a place that's difficult to go, but then make me glad I did. Names like Patti Lacy, Myra Johnson and Susan Meissner come to mind, and now you too.

    I have heard your name A LOT the last few years, and it is SO good to learn who you are and about the type of books that you write ... or maybe I should say the books that you "bleed onto the paper," because I suspect that's what you do, given the research and emotion you have to pour into each piece. This was a wonderful post -- thank you for sharing with us today. May God bless you and your ministry.


  24. Kathi, thank you so much for being with us today! A fantastic post. And such a great reminder to keep writing the stories God has put in our hearts. To keep pursuing the themes we're passionate about.

    Your books sound amazing! I love your new cover.

  25. Jan, good luck with the move! I hope all goes smoothly.

  26. Kathi...thanks for sharing your story:) It's helpful to a newbie writer like me, to really pray and think about what exactly are the passions that God put in me to write about and not worry about the latest trend out there:(
    I would love to be entered for either of your books. I would find your writer's workbook very helpful as I'm still learning the process. And of course to read a novel of yours that deals with issues today would be very moving!

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

  27. Kathi, thanks for offering us a unique perspective of Christian fiction. I've been struggling with how to fit a serious issue into fiction without it being offensive to readers. It sounds to me like "issue-driven fiction" is a much needed element to the Christian fiction market.

    I would love a chance to win either of your books. Thanks!


  28. Now it's my turn to say "WOW"! You all have blessed me so much with your thoughtful and encouraging comments. I wish I could respond to each one! (If you email me via my website, I promise to do so.) I love connecting with readers and writers, so this has been a great experience. May God's blessings overrun you at every turn!

  29. I remember telling someone once about how much I loved Jan Karon's Mitford series about Father Tim.

    I love those books. So delightfully fun, heartwarming and wholesome. They've had a spot on my keeper shelf since I first discovered them.

    That person told me that they'd never read anything with the word "priest" in it. EVER...

    Oh my stars.

    Fast forward a couple of years and I mention to someone else that I'm writing Christian fiction and that person straightens his back, his chin, the cords in his neck and I think even his fingertips and said,

    "I only read the Bible. There's not room in my heart for any word but God's."

    All righty then, a good lesson to me to BE QUIET.

    Be still.

    So I love that more Christians are embracing solid fiction, and open to the gift of imagination.

    I love my imagination. I love how weird I am.

    My family would, perhaps, vote differently. ;)

  30. That's the problem with trends--it's nearly impossible to start them on purpose! It sounds like your success has come as a result of following your passion and God's leading. Now that's a trend I can embrace. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Hi Kathi,

    Loved your article and your mission. I too have written a book with Muslim characters and enjoy anything on this subject. Please enter me dina dot sleiman at gmail dot com

  32. Hi, Kathi!

    How exciting! I'm an issues writer, too. Only mine are about those people around us, the hurting we don't see. Yes, even the ones within the church suffering from things that stay hidden in homes and hearts. So I suppose yours would be considered "foreign missions" and mine would be "home missions." :D

    I'm currently revising my first WIP and am anxious to get it done! I have and interested agent, though not a signed one, yet. Lord willing, that will be resolved soon.

    Thank you for your post. My heart hears what yours is saying!



  33. Mary Bailey, I love your profile pic. ;-)

  34. Since I'm not a non-fiction reader, I'm extremely grateful that we've come out of the dark ages concerning Christian fiction. I cut my reading teeth on Grace Livingston Hill.

  35. Ruthy -

    I love your imagination too.

    And God gave it to you.

    How else are you supposed to share it with us?

    You could come sit at my house and I'd ply you with chocolate chip cookies and frozen custard. You could tell me your stories. I'd listen.

    I won a Seeker book from Sandra the other day. All the choices were wonderful though I already had most of them. Made to Order Family should be here sometime soon =D. I can't wait.

    So yeah. Your imagination rocks.

    And Julie! How can you write historicals if you don't like research?! It's why I don't every plan to! The research for more light hearted modern fare is more than I want to do!

    Thank you again for being here Kathi. And for writing what you do.

    AND Dh ended up with the day off so he's keeping my mind off of... something? What was it? He's mowing now so I bet I'll remember until it's time to go shopping... ;)

  36. What is Christian Literature?

    Ruth’s comment about loving Jan Karon's Mitford series just stopped me in my tracks. I also love this series of books. I not only have read them, I also have listened to them all on tape. Hearing a book is a different experience than reading a book. If I really love a book, I will often listen to the book on tape as well.

    Here’s the thing: until right now I have never considered this series as being Christian fiction. I’ve always read this series as mainstream fiction that has a priest as a central character. These books are best sellers. They are sold in stores in the mainstream sections.

    I would think that it takes more than having a Christian central character for a book to be classified as Christian fiction.

    Why Christian Fiction?

    Is Christian fiction designed to win converts?


    Is Christian fiction merely designed to provide wholesome reading material to believers?

    I read Christian fiction because 1) it’s clean, 2) it always has a life affirming message. I sure do not read Christian fiction to learn about dogma or Christianity.

    Does anyone know if there is a generally accepted definition of Christian Fiction?


  37. Jan, smiling in upstate!

    Vince, great thoughts. As always.

    I see it as Christian Fiction that broke through to mainstream. There's a solid belief system, a beautiful ecumenism in Mitford, a strong human frailty element, but the whole thing revolves around Father Tim and the reasons he felt chosen to serve. And the interesting family dynamics about going outside his mother's Baptist faith (right???) and into the Episcopal church. His discord with his father. The past dogging the heels of the present.

    And it took a while before some Christian bookstores carried Karon's work, but I think they overwhelmingly have it now.

    But part of that is because Christian fiction has grown, and that growth brought us lovely new voices, many of which we've had here in Seekerville or are from here.

    I love that growth. Ten years back things were very different. As Kathy said, twenty years back they were kind of non-existent.

    That mustard seed tree grew. Spread. Outreach abounds. Ministry. Warmth. Understanding.

    Remember the gal who was imprisoned for killing her children and she wrote to Erma Bombeck after reading one of Erma's books in prison and said:

    "If only I'd known it was okay to laugh about such things..."

    I see our fiction as a door open to light, a way of communicating through words. Print. If Jesus was God who told stories, I love that we can have a career following that example of sweet love.

    That's made me so happy. So man

  38. Kathi~

    There's a song I love called "I'm Working the Road," that talks about setting an example, showing the way and smoothing the path for those coming behind.

    That's what you and many other writers have done in the world of Christian Fiction. I for one greatly appreciate the trail blazing you've done. Someday, I hope to benefit from your hard work.

    My father in law is one who has little to no use for fiction. He reads his Bible, writings by church fathers (Martin Luther, John Wesley and the like), and non-fiction books. I don't think he's ever read a novel. He's dismissive, but not mean about my love of fiction. Mostly he asks what I'm reading, then shakes his head when I tell him. And of course, he offers to loan his books to me. :) Sometimes I take him up on it.

    I'd love to win either prize. I'm intrigued by your novel, and I think I'm gonna look up the rest of the series. And I'm definitely a beginner, so the other sounds right up my alley.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  39. I loved reading this post, Kathi! You were really in on this whole Christian fiction thing from the beginning. Thanks for sharing your journey, and please include me in the giveaway for one of your books.

    Jesus sure knew the power of story because he presented His truths in parables. And when He did, folks' eyes were opened to how He expected them to live. I think each kind of story written by a Christian author seeking to honor God with his/her talent can reflect Him. A wholesome, lighthearted book can show others that we follow a God who loves joy and laughter. An intense, suspenseful story can reflect God's love of bringing all truth into the light. And, of course, a romance can reflect how God pursues His beloved. So they're all good!

    reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  40. Vince,

    I think you'll get different definitions of "Christian" fiction depending on who you ask.

    One magazine editor said in class that what makes a written work "Christian" is the person who writes it. Whether it has overt Christian themes or not, the fact that the writer is a Christian with Christian principles and Christian world-view makes the piece Christian.

    If you're talking CBA Christian, it's when you have a hero and/or heroine who are Christians or become Christians and who grow in their faith and live by Christian values. It's not about the dogma, but the life experiences. Some publishers are more particular than others about how strong the message is. They don't want preachy books, but books promoting Christian values.

    I think for many, it is having a wholesome story with an uplifting message. Of course, there are New Age books that might fall under this category, so that is an incomplete definition at best.

    I tend more and more to agree with the magazine editor who said it is the writer who makes the work a Christian work. As a writer, you cannot disconnect your beliefs from the work you produce - whether you're Christian, Amish, New Age, Buddhist, Atheist... It's going to come out in your work one way or another whether it's overt or not. Make sense?

    I think more and more Christian bookstores are taking on this view, as well - hence, the Jan Karons showing up in Christian Bookstores.

  41. Hot Diggety!

    Ruthie's Reunited Hearts arrived today! Just the pickup I needed.

    Had a toe incident yesterday. Went out on the carport in my sock feet to smell the spring atmostphere. Coming back in, caught my toe on the doorsill. It was NOT dignified. Today it's purple.

    Good time to curl up and read.


    P.S. She even sent the large print version. Wonderful!!!

  42. Am I Christian Fiction?

    I am a multigenerational series about Irish Catholics living in Boston. My characters go to church regularly and they interact in the series with priests. They say grace at meals. Some are married and some are looking for love. Does this make me Christian fiction?

    I am the TV show “Blue Bloods”.


  43. Vince, there are fine lines, aren't there? Does the author trust God and God alone for salvation? Do the main characters trust God and God alone for salvation?

    It's hard when you attach a 'name' to the religious institution. Just as there are non-Christians in institutions who trust in God alone for salvation, there are true believers in institutions who attach works to salvation. The question is, what is in the heart of the author and what is in the heart of the main character and what is the heart of the story?

  44. Kathi, your story and comments are thought provoking to say the least. And there are so many issues that could be addressed. Thanks for writing to us today. Sylvia

  45. Oh my. Seekerville always gives me much food for thought, both the posts and the comments. I have so much to learn about writing, it can be overwhelming and it is always good to be directed back to God. After all who gave us our imagination, our curiosity, our heart for the issues? Your words were encouraging. I would love the train of though book. Thanks so much.

  46. Wow! I'm glad you didn't get discouraged. Looks like you found your own unique slot in the Christian fiction genre!

    I would love to be considered to win "The train-of-thougt writing method."

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  47. Kathi, thanks for your encouraging words. I've been at a crossroads myself. Having written romantic suspense for the last five years, I've felt God's weight on a story that is more speculative/paranormal. So, I've finally given in and started writing that story. Already rewards are being reaped even though I'm not very far in writing the story.

    As always I'm in for any drawings available. Love to read and your books sound fabulous.

    diannashuford at gmail dot com

  48. Kathi,
    Wonderful, sage advice for all of us. Listen to God and the direction He wants for our work.

    Love the idea of dealing with bigger issues and starting there when you pull a new proposal together.

    Thanks for being with us in Seekerville today. You've caused us to pause and consider the message in our own books.

  49. Kathy, I really enjoy reading books that have important issues in them. They're memorable and not cookie cutter. I'm so glad you found a publisher willing to take a chance on something a little different!

  50. Sure am glad I decided to check back in and read the more recent posts. You guys/gals are fantastic! I love people who think/question/reason. What a great bunch!

  51. Wow, Kathi. What a wonderful, thought-provoking post.

    Ruth - this struck home with me.
    "I see our fiction as a door open to light, a way of communicating through words. Print. If Jesus was God who told stories, I love that we can have a career following that example of sweet love."

    That's such a perfect way of capturing what we hope to do.

  52. Helen, GOOD!!! I finally got to the post office.

    I need a wife. ;)

    I'm sending hugs to your purple toe and tea to relax and enjoy Reunited Hearts with.

    That was a terrible sentence, but I don't care. So glad you got it, and thank you for shopping your neighborhood Wal-Mart.


    Wrong commercial. Hit THIS button...


    ...and thank you for being such a good friend of Seekerville! And Ruthy, of course! ;)

    Let me know what you think.

    Vince, great discussion points. The fun thing is, we're here on the ground floor with Christian fiction still evolving. I love that. NavPress broke loose with a few really beautifully done, realistic and sometimes edgy books during their stint in fiction...

    But it's hard to come out of the gate and be the maverick. So while I loved (and yes, kept) several of those books, they probably tweaked others in a different way.

    Nature of the beast. We all like different things. And I think YA is a great way of stretching out because young readers aren't as judgmental and love to get hooked in a story. And as a big fan of Katherine Patterson (Great Gilly Hopkins, Jacob Have I Loved, etc.) there's a broad-based audience that grows into being tomorrow's adult reader.

    Amazing ministry opportunity right there in a newly growing/returning industry. Love it!

  53. Thank you! A timely word indeed! God's timing is amazing, isn't it? And while I enjoy a non-fiction book occasionally, I have always been most moved by stories, and the message an author has placed in them.
    Please enter me in your drawing. Your book looks really excellent.
    Thank you.

  54. By the way...does could someone tell me where you find the list of the Genesis semi-finalists? I'd love to check it out:)


    lornafaith at gmail dot com

  55. Did Anyone See “Blue Bloods” Last Night?

    The show was 50% about the church and how much the family’s faith meant to them over the decades. It involved a Bishop and a priest and the chief of police of NYC.

    I never really thought of this show as Christian Fiction but I cannot think of any other major crime/drama on TV where people go to church, say grace, and say their faith is important to them.

    I think “Blue Bloods” is a TV show worth supporting.


  56. Kathi,
    I loved this post. I'm also drawn to writing fiction that deals with issues. The hard, and necessary, part is letting the story present itself without preaching. I'm still learning but am encouraged by your success.
    May God continue to bless you and your work.

  57. Wow what a great post....I love fiction. At times. I really believe God leads me to just the right fiction book that I need at the moment in my life. I've learned so much through reading fiction. And the Lord sure speaks to me, really in just about every christian fiction I read. I love them!!

  58. Great post! Please enter me in the drawing for The Train Of Thought Method writing book.
    Linda Cacaci

  59. I love Christian Fiction-I am working on a story and would love to be entered for the Train of Thought Workbook--bevschwind at hotmail dot com.