Deep POV: Confessions of a Christian Writer

The ramblings of an emergent-realistic-edgy-working-for-God-and-the-pay-isn’t-that-great-sometimes-confused-christian-fiction writer (uh, that would be me).

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Left Behind - 'Left Behind' series: Like manna from heaven

"One of the fastest-growing categories in our stores is Christian fiction," says Terry Finley, executive vice president at Books-A-Million. "This is not a Southern phenomenon; at this point, it's a cultural phenomenon."

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I think it's wonderful that a Christian writer has had such a profound effect in a secular market. The article says that Jenkins/LaHaye joined J.K. Rowling, Tom Clancy, and John Grisham as being one of very few authors to have an initial two million books printed. Yikes!

On the other hand, although I think Jerry Jenkins is a wonderful human being and I respect the work Tim LaHaye has done, I don't think the books (at least the 8 or so I've read) are very good. They're not horrible, but neither are they compelling--at least not to me. They are very didactic, for one thing, and that makes me flinch. I know there's a place for that in some people's estimation, but in my fiction world, preaching is a big, glaring mistake ... and preach they do!

I'm also not sure I want to be lumped in with other writers under a religious heading given the fact that some people avoid that section of their local Borders or B & N like the plague. I'd rather be in another genre section, like romance, mystery, or, in my case, contemporary fiction. It seems more like a level playing field that way.