Many, many years ago, while I was still in high school, I read my first Christian fiction book. At that time, my dream of becoming a writer was just a faint speck on the horizon. But I was an avid reader, I read everything I could put my hands on, and so it was inevitable that I would stumble on a Christian fiction book. I don’t remember the author’s name, but I think the title was In All These Things. I couldn’t put it down, and before I’d finished reading it, I’d convinced myself I would one day write a book like that.

The cover for a fiction romance novel Making Music Together

So, that’s my first reason for writing Christian fiction — to fulfil a long-ago promise to myself.

I think what drew me to that book was the protagonist. I don’t remember the story or the character’s name, but I think the author developed her character in such a way that even though I don’t remember her name, I remember the impact she had on me. Through that work of fiction, I began to develop a desire to get to know God better and to get closer to Him.

And that’s my second reason — to create a memorable character(s), so memorable that even when readers don’t remember the story, they will remember the one who drives the story. In the same way they remember Huck Finn, Elizabeth Bennet, or Katniss Everdeen. Characters from Christian fiction novels can be just as captivating as those mentioned.

My third reason for writing Christian fiction is it gives me the freedom to express who I am and my view of the world. I don’t think any writer, secular or otherwise, can write a story without revealing something of his/her beliefs. That’s the beauty of art — freedom to express oneself. Everyone may not like it or agree with it, but for those who do, Christian fiction provides a format in which readers can develop their faith and understanding of God as they follow the characters on their faith journey.

If you regularly read Christian fiction, you may know the answer to this question. Is there a large market for Christian fiction? Publishers Weekly states, “Steve Oates, v-p of marketing for Baker Publishing Group’s Bethany House and Chosen imprints, estimates annual sales for Christian fiction at about $20 million and says that has even trended up in the past two years.” That’s pretty large, don’t you think?

The article goes on the say that while many of the large houses publish Christian fiction, some of them have cut back on their fiction lists, but still continue to depend on a backlist from Paul Young (The Shack) and regular outpourings from author Karen Kingsbury. In addition, indie authors of Christian fiction are also holding their own in what is a steadily growing market.

From what I’ve written above, you can see that I love writing Christian fiction. I believe God has blessed each of us with talents and abilities that we should use to bless others and bring glory to Him. And if I can do this by creating memorable characters, building plots that will help to draw readers close to God, and fulfil my long-held desire, then I will continue to do so.

Do you read Christian fiction? If yes, please state why and what you love about it in the comment box below.

Angela is a blogger and author of Christian women’s fiction and Christian romance. Her latest release is Making Music Together.

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