Whenever you feel you have to start a blog post off with “I’m not trying to be mean,” you know the whole post is going to sound hateful. But I promise, that’s not my intention.
As I have said elsewhere on here (I think…and if not, consider this another piece of the puzzle as to who The Other is), I have spent a little more than ten years writing horror and thrillers. Some of it was published. I know a lot about those genres and there are several authors I greatly admire and others I never understood or cared for (this is true of authors I like and dislike outside of those genres, too. To this day, I just don’t get the big deal about Steinbeck).
Here’s the thing about traditional horror. If you build your foundation on King, Barker, and Lovecraft, anything that steps foot on that foundation had better be good. So traditional horror, I suppose, has spoiled me.
It also might reveal something about me that even as a believer, The Shining remains my favorite book and Aliens is my favorite movie (yes, even Bill Paxton’s character).
Anyway, after becoming a Christian, obvious things about my writing changed a bit. Most of my writing as The Other is still quite dark in nature, but there are underlying Christian elements running throughout. It wasn’t until last year that I was bowled over by my first faith-based/Christian fiction novel idea. That is “the book” I keep referencing on this blog.
Of course, as my writing focus changed, so did my reading focus. I started reading more Christian fiction, trying to learn more about the categories and some of the sub genres within it. And if I’m being honest, I am not impressed so far.
This could easily be because I just haven’t read that much of it. And this could be because the books I started off with left a bad taste in my mouth and I get uneasy whenever I think about picking up another Christian fiction title.
Here’s where this post gets tricky because I won’t name any authors that have turned me off of all categories of Christian fiction because I’m not about slander anyone. But of the 5 or 6 Christian horror titles I have read, I found much of the same in them all: a thinly veiled sermon, characters that are flawed in their faith, predictable enemies and an a-ha moment at the end where someone finally discovers they need Jesus.
An actual line from one, after a long emotional scene, has a character that has balked at Christianity for the length of the entire book proclaiming “I’m just no good. I need Jesus!”
I also read The Shack. Sort of. I couldn’t finish it. Although it might have been because it dealt with a Big Question I have always had that I wasn’t quite ready to delve deeply into at my early stages of being a believer. I may revisit it later. From what I understand, I’mnot missing much.
So let me ask you all a favor.
What are some of your favorite Christian fiction authors? I mean in all genres, not just horror. I’d prefer indie authors but any will do. If you’re a Christian fiction author, feel free to plug yourself.
Oh, and please don’t suggest the Left Behind series. I still get a chuckle whenever I think of all the times an angry, confused, or distraught character from those books referred to someone as a “rascal.”