Right now I’m reading Jeff Gerke’s The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction. Jeff taught a very inspiring class at the 2011 ACFW conference. I’m on Mastery #4 which is all about who Christian writers are called to write to. Now seems like a great time to figure that out for myself. Who am I called to write for?
Jeff’s book asks the question, as a Christian writer are you called to write for people inside the church, or outside of it? What a great question. I’ve always wanted to reach out to people outside of the church, but I never thought I had a particular gift for evangelism. But isn’t writing a great tool for evangelism? I see a great novel as a gentle tool for reaching out, which definitely suits my personality. So that avenue may be a good fit for me.
However, I also believe that in my target age group of YA, it’s important to have good, clean novels out there as an alternative to the books promoting unwholesome teen agendas. Teens in the church have very few alternative to the copious YA books out today. And my heart goes out to them. I want to put a great book in their hands that with edify and entertain them.
And therein lies the problem. It’s very hard to merge the two audiences, at least in traditional markets. Christian books are mostly purchased by Christians. ABA, or all other books, may or may not let authors promote Christianity. It all depends on the publisher. Maybe there’s a way I can merge the two audiences. It may mean more searching, or simply waiting for the right market to come along. Until I find it, I’ll keep writing and honing in on my audience.