When I am asked what Edgy Christian Speculative Fiction is, I usually answer with a very vague, somewhat clique, response: it's Christian fiction with edgy, gritty content.
But what does that entail exactly?
As I've traveled down this writer's path - and the path of self-publishing - I've noticed that my writing has taken on an organic growth of sorts. See, it's been said that writer's should write what they want to read. And for a very long time, I've longed to read Christian fiction that wasn't watered-down, corny, or simply being used as a vessel for Sunday's sermon. Now, there are some authors that I've come across who have come close to expressing the type of fiction I'm interested in: Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee - to name a couple. Brent Weeks has probably done the best job of it so far with his Night Angel trilogy. But overall, the Christian market seems dry of anything edgy - or outside the lines of conventional Christian fiction.
So you're probably still asking what the heck is edgy christian speculative fiction? The best way to explain the edgy Christian part is to describe it as Christian fiction that doesn't adhere to the basic 'rules' of Christian fiction. Meaning there is cursing, rape, violence, and 'edgy' content in my writing. This content isn't included in my writing to BE edgy, but to be true to the story. My stories don't always have happy endings and my characters don't always find redemption, although redemption is something that is found throughout many of my stories. Check out my blog post Is Redemption Expected in Christian Fiction? for more on my thoughts on this.
So that covers the edgy Christian part of my self-proclaimed genre. But what about the speculative fiction part? Well, speculative fiction is simply fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements. Science fiction and fantasy easily fall under this umbrella, which is what most of my fiction encompasses. But wait a minute - you may wonder how science fiction can merge with Christian fiction. The same way the word fiction can merge with anything. It's fiction. I'm from the camp that believes God gave us an imagination and creativity for a reason. Jesus told many parables in the Bible and not all of them were actually true. They were metaphorical, allegorical, symbolic - and all had the purpose of telling a life point through a venue that His audience could understand. I don't use this description to say that my fiction is necessarily trying to prove a point or give a life lesson. I'm simply here to write a great story, one that I hope you - the reader - can easily get lost in.
The Crossover Alliance. The Alliance is a community built to connect readers/writers of edgy Christian speculative fiction with one another. You can create a profile, start forum discussions in regards to this type of fiction, and even promote your own work there. There is also a resource page that houses links to online reviewers/interviewers who are open to checking out work in this genre. On top of that, I will constantly be adding resources for those interested in self-publishing, such as freelance editors, cover designers, formatting resources, and other useful nuggets.
If you're interested in reading work from this unique genre, or if you're a writer in this genre who is trying to get more exposure for your work, visit the community, create a profile, and check out the great people and useful resources found there.
Let me start by saying that I have started your Black Earth: End of the Innocence, but have only made it a few pages in. This is by no means because of the quality of writing (you're a fabulous writer), but rather due to devastating news I received the day before I received the book.
That said, I can only go by what I've read in your blog, and comments/posts you've made on Facebook. And what I've read shows me a person who isn't afraid to show Christianity as it truly is. I don't know a single Christian whom has led a sin-free life, whom hasn't at one time or another questioned his/her beliefs, or whom hasn't been angry with/questioned God's intentions for them and the world.
To me, this "Edgy" Christian fiction isn't edgy at all. It's real. It's real people and real situations. In the real world, even Christians fall.
For writing reality, wrapped up as fiction, I honestly and deeply have to thank you. I think more people would read this genre if they realized it wasn't all fluffy "God loves us all, and forgives us all" (a statement which is true, but leaves even Christians at times with that oh-my-goodness-too-much-sugar taste in their mouths)... if they knew that the content of these books contained situations which they have been through or are going through.
So again, thank you for being willing to push the boundaries of Christian fiction by being real.
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