We Got That Going for Us . . . Which is Nice.

How does the saying go . . . one person's garbage is another's treasure?
or perhaps "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is more apt?

Whatever . . . bad start, let's try it again in plain language:

Yesterday my publisher TWCP received an email that pointed to a new review on amazon of Light at the Edge of Darkness (an anthology of Biblical speculative fiction in which I have three stories).

The emailer said that he'd ordered a copy of Flashpoint and because amazon had a "special" offer buy Flashpoint and Light at the Edge of Darkness and save 4 bucks, he decided to check out Light.

Of course, he looked at the reviews. It was the most recent one (and Light's only 3/5 review to date) that caught his eye:

Beware of graphic violence!

I feel compelled to warn future readers that two stories had graphic violence in them. "Frozen Generation" describes fetal mutilation, and "Undeniable" describes physical torture. I had a nightmare after reading these stories, and I wish someone would have warned me. The rest of the stories are relatively tame and interesting.

The emailer explained:

"I knew I had to buy the book when I read the top "negative" review that said it gave the reader nightmares.”

Now, I must admit that I don't like the idea of giving nightmares to someone, but we have to remember that everyone's tastes are different. I get recurring nightmares where I have become a Harlequin Romance author! Brrrrr. I understand.

It is nice, however, when a negative turns out a positive response like this.

In the (almost) words of Carl Spackler (Bill Murray, Caddy Shack):

So . . . we got that going for us . . . which is nice.


Biblical Spec Fic and Reality

My grandchildren are homeschooled and recently started reading through the New Testament together. In the first chapter of Matthew they recognized some of the names in the genealogies because of time spent in the Old Testament. But then came the story of Mary, the angel, conception by the Holy Spirit, Joseph's desire as a righteous man to put her aside—and plenty of conversation among the kids and their parents. However, the conversation was within the context of Scripture and edifying all the way around.

After chapter one, the unveiling of truth continued on a new level for their young minds. Learning details about Herod and his desperate attempt to eliminate Jesus and the slaughter of the males under the age of two raised more questions about why this man would take these lives in his cruel quest to hold on to earthly power. They even learned about how Jesus' move to Nazareth fulfilled Scripture.

I could go on, but there's no need. The reason I bring this up is the fact that in just these first few chapters we see sexual relations discussed, angelic beings appearing, God's hand moving in the lives of people, Herod's attempt to thwart God's plan, the slaughter of innocents, and prophecy fulfilled. When fussy publishers choose to ignore Biblical Spec Fic because they think it too dark or worldly—I remind them. We live in the world. Just like Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Herod, the wise men…. Why not publish Christian Speculative Fiction that makes a difference because it connects with reality?


The Left Behind Series

I don't care if this article was published in 1999. Little has changed. Read through it carefully as it talks about sales figures and what not. Then look for this little gem buried in a paragraph near the bottom of the page.

"Like many bestsellers -- the sales are not due to the books' literary merits. The writing is no more than adequate and the characters are as flat as the pages on which they are written."

Oh my goodness! They're inferring that MANY bestsellers, outside their NICHE market, are best sellers because of something other than the books literary merits!!! It's a wonder Christian HORROR has such a bad stigma!!! These authors write for Tyndale. They write within the context of what the CBA will and won't allow. They have a conservative evangelical worldview and write for a conservative evangelical niche market. Sure. A lot of best sellers aren't quite up to the standards of say, some other best seller, but rest assured, the literary merit of these books had A LOT to do with where they're at.

The Left Behind Series doesn't represent Christain Horror. It represents Christian Horror from a conservative evangelical worldview which means it isn't designed to appeal to the broader market. I think it should be aptly marketed as CBA Christian Horror. I think there's an identity crisis going on! Yikes! LOL