Friday, July 27, 2012

Blazing A Trail For Edgy Christian Speculative Fiction

I've been running this blog for a little over four years now. It's gone through many changes - both in regards to design and content - but I think I'm finally feeling comfortable and confident with what it stands to represent now: edgy Christian speculative fiction, and my road through self-publishing. The two go hand in hand because A) I write edgy Christian speculative fiction and B) I self-publish the edgy Christian speculative fiction that I write.

That being said, now that the solid themes of my blog have risen to the surface, I'm ready to start getting real serious about my blogging habits and the direction I want this blog to head in. For a while now I've been attempting to blog three times a week, if anything to keep me disciplined in my non-fiction writing habits. Until now, it was hard to stay disciplined when I wasn't all that clear on what my blog was trying to focus on. I easily put up posts about my books and some fun tidbits about self-publishing, but overall I feel - whether it's true or not - that this blog has been missing some meat. It hasn't been used as effectively as I'd like it to be used.

I want to blaze a trail for edgy Christian speculative fiction and self-publishing.

In a post I put up last week, I explained how my Black Earth series came about and I talked a little about some of the challenges I have faced trying to mix Christian themes with science fiction, fantasy, and edgy content. But what good is simply doing a single post where I gush about a few hurdles? The genre that I describe is a tough one to sell - both to Christians and non-Christians alike. Many Christians are put off by anything containing edgy content - including movies, books, music, etc. (More on that next week.) Many non-Christians have no desire to read Christian fiction in any form, mainly because their idea of Christian fiction is a well-told (if that) sermon.

So here I am, three books into my Black Earth series, and I have a monumental challenge ahead of me. See, I write for a living. I don't work a '9-5', I don't scribble out short stories in my 'spare' time, I don't do this for giggles. I am serious about my writing because it is my calling, my purpose. It is my ministry. It is NOT my everything, but it is what I have been called to and that means I am expected to give 110% to it. My best.

The real question that rises to the surface of this dilemma is this: How do I reach both sides of the fence with my fiction? I mean, I know how to write good stories. If you check out most of the reviews posted on Amazon for my novels, you'll see that my work is given pretty good ratings and reviews. So the next step in this is to get this unique work out there to more people.

And that's where this blog comes in.

Part of my plan to spread the word about my writing and this particular genre is to bear down on this blog and introducing some real, though-provoking content. Yes, I'll still be revealing stretches of my journey through the self-publishing obstacle course. But I want to start talking about real issues, real-life themes, many of which are found throughout my Black Earth series. I want to discuss how these themes came about in my series, how they can be used in Christian fiction to help build a realistic world that readers can relate too, and how these themes can be used effectively to tell a great story in general.

Themes like violence, inherited religion, slavery, sexual promiscuity, aliens, super powers, faith, etc.

A good time will be had by all. I guarantee it. I'll be diving into these themes, and exploring the many characters of Black Earth and showcasing how they fit into these themes and into real life. I may even throw in some exclusive content relating to the Black Earth series, like fiction pieces and the like. I will also be posting new Compendium entries that tie in with these posts on the website. In between it all I'll be dropping posts on other things as well, such as self-publishing, book reviews, and miscellaneous whatnot.

We'll start this party out next week when I'll be exploring Christian attitudes toward art and entertainment, looking into some of the negative stigma surrounding Christian fiction, and discussing the need for excellence in the self-publishing realm. From there, we'll head straight into a detailed look at Cynthia Ruin, a complex and broken character in my Black Earth series, and explore the theme of sexual promiscuity.

In the meantime, have a great weekend everyone!

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