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).

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt

PublishersWeekly.com HTML Newsletter

Vampire chronicler Anne Rice is raising the stakes in her newest novel. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt (Knopf, Nov.) is an autobiography of Jesus at age 7. Rice told BookLine the subject turnabout is no stretch for her fans--her books about vampires and witches have always explored good and evil. For research, she sank her teeth into extensive biblical scholarship. "If I can make vampires so real that people would call me up at home and ask about them, can I make them feel the presence of Jesus Christ?" she asked. Rice should find built-in interest in general bookstores, but will this new novel find acceptance in the CBA market? Knopf is working with WaterBrook, Random House's evangelical Christian imprint, to open the door into the evangelical network of stores, buyers and distributors. "We're going to lean on them a little bit," said Paul Bogaards, executive director of publicity at Knopf. WaterBrook will encourage key bookstores to host the author, sending them a letter to readers written by Rice. In the letter, the author, who has returned to the Catholic faith in which she was raised, explains her hope to make Jesus come alive through her story. Advertising and publicity will target both mainstream and faith-based media, including print magazines and online portals and blogs. Knopf aims big, with a first printing of 500,000.
The idea of Anne Rice writing a book about Jesus is fascinating. I haven't read one of her books in a long time, but I remember her as being a good writer and very, well ... sensual. Take that information along with the many vampire books she's written, and you get what? I'm not sure. Someone who hungers for the supernatural, or, dare I say it, the transcedent? I'm willing to withhold judgment and read her book, but I wonder how many Christians feel that way?

I am reminded of what the senior pastor at my old church liked to say: "If God used a donkey to deliver His message, He can use me." Or Anne Rice? She just might surprise some people!