Guest posts

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

L.A. FreelandA Writer Who is Christian or a Christian Writer?

I am a Christian who is a writer.
That doesn’t necessarily make me a Christian Writer.
When I tell people this, they say one of two things.
People who fall into Group A often adopt a taut little smirk or sigh in a heavy anguished sorrow, as if I were just now nailing Jesus to the cross, and say, “If you don’t write for the Lord, He won’t bless you.”
People who fall into Group B usually smile and say, “Great. We need more Christians who write mainstream. Move out of the choir loft and take to the streets.”
I just read a blog post about not being afraid to share your faith by taking a stand and writing truth, not entertainment.
I have to disagree. Sometimes, as readers, we’re looking for escapism. Sometimes straight truth isn’t very entertaining. Sometimes fiction portrays a fresh picture of truth in a way that grabs reader’s attention. Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy, Black, Red, and White, illustrated the amazing power of Christ’s blood using fantasy and the story of a man caught between two worlds.
I’ll tell you a secret that’s not very flattering. I don’t enjoy non-fiction. I like to learn life lessons through stories. When I read a great book, it can be life changing. Karen Kingsbury’s novels do have touched me in that way. If I see fictional characters work their way through obstacles and problems, it makes me want to do the same. I get involved in the lives of these imaginary people and relate to their struggles.
My passion revolves around the imaginary world of Young Adult Science Fiction. Writing inspirational articles captures my heart as well and I have a blog devoted to encouraging readers and writers.
Some days I feel like I exist in two different worlds.
My vision is to write for the general market and give a glimpse of “something better, something more.” We all like to get lost in another world on occasion. My desire is to give readers a world that will call them toward the Lord, rather than direct them away.
I have read many well-written books in the Young Adult market, but many of the bestsellers are not teen friendly. Language and sex fill the pages. The big trend in Young Adult Fiction today centers around the paranormal—vampires, werewolves, witches.
These stories are fun and entertaining. I read them and even enjoy them, but as a whole, these books lead the reader to question God’s authenticity and move beyond pointing to the possibility books promote the theme that there are really beings out there that hold more power than God. This worldview centers on people holding the ultimate authority over themselves and nature and removes them from God’s sanction.
I’m not looking to send out an overt Alter Call when I write. Instead, my goal involves moving teens in the right direction so they can ponder the real questions that will lead them to God instead of away from Him. The truth remains, whether we choose to believe it or not.
 Awakening, my current work in progress, finds its science fiction basis in genetics. Awakening explores how far the human mind can be pushed and poses the question—Should humans even be manipulating things better left to God?
My other WIP, Kyle’s Storyprovides a fictionalized account my son’s four-year battle with leukemia. I wrote the first draft as an adult novel and then changed my mind. I am reworking this book through Kyle’s twelve-year-old eyes. More kids than you can imagine suffer from life altering diseases. My goal is to open up that world in a way that helps kids understand.
Faith plays a major part in Kyle’s Story, but I wouldn’t label it as Christian Fiction. I would label it as an expedition through pediatric cancer where the discovery of truth is wrapped inside a faith journey.
So, while I am a Christian and proud to let the Lord guide my steps, I don’t consider myself a Christian Writer.
What do you think? Drop by my blog at and let me know. Comment box is waiting.


  1. A lot of parallels can be made about Christian publishing to the Christian music industry. I was heavily involved in the Christian indie music scene in its heydey - the mid to late 90s and early 2000s. Festivals like Cornerstone in Illinois, which has been around for a good 30 years, gathered 25,000 attendees in its peak. Lots of these artists were on Christian labels but offered music that was left of the Christian market; the lyrics may have been overtly Jesus related, or more spiritually exporatory. But either way, the music was punk, hardcore, techno and all these other genres that the Christian industry typically shirked.

    So do you know what happened? Slowly over time, the indie labels folded, and more artists sought a mainstream audience. There are lots of bands that didn't want to be cornered in the Christian market because of lack of opportunity to grow, to make money, or to tour outside of churches. I'm not even getting into the scorn bands would receive from their own Christian brothers and sisters about performing their Christian music in secular clubs.

    Looking at the Christian industry today, sadly it's a lot of the same bands on top that existed 10 years ago. Because a lot of the new innovative bands have left for the mainstream market.

    All this to say, you write what you love and what you're passionate about, and don't let a label - even a "good" seeming one like "Christian" stand in your way.

    This article showed up today on Publisher's Weekley about the AoG denomination looking for a "secular" distributor for their faith based publishing. Even churches know that the Christian only market is severely limiting and does not offer the same opportunties.

    It's time we all broke out of these Christian bubbles (or if you've been burned by it, the Christian Ghetto) and share our faith with the world without feeling like it's a sin to step out of it.

    I will now step down from the pedestal... :)

    1. Thanks for sharing! I was a little scared to post because I wasn't sure the reception I would receive :0

  2. Nice post. As someone interested in words, I thought you might like to look into the word play in cryptic crosswords (if you aren't already into them). I have been doing a series of posts about cryptic clues and how to solve them. This is the first one in the series: