We’ve all heard it said at one time: “Christian fiction? Never read it. Too preachy. Not well written. Can’t stand that stuff.” Perhaps that’s true of some books, just as some in the secular market are too filled with sex, profanity, and violence for my tastes. But it’s certainly not a universal truth. Nevertheless, it’s a wall many of us who write Christian fiction run up against.
But every once in a while an author will get an email or a note such as the one that follows, something that lets us know we’re getting through, even if it’s to only one reader at a time.
With the writer’s permission, I’d like to share that email here—not because she has nice things to say about my writing, but because my books changed her thinking about Christian fiction, changed it in a very positive way. And we need to know that what we do can make a difference.
“I am a voracious reader. I will read almost everything. I drive my husband up a wall with the volume of books our home is filled with. I am also guilty of buying books based solely on their cover image. I am a book junkie. At the same time–with the strength of 1000 lions, I avoid anything labeled ‘Christian Fiction.’ I am a budding Christian (that’s another story), but I equated Christian Fiction with ‘boring’ and ‘preachy.’
“I needed to write to let you know your writing has changed my long-held belief about Christian Fiction. Last Friday, I was searching the Barnes & Noble website in the Free Nook Books section and came across Diagnosis Death. The cover drew me in and the price was right. I didn’t read the description, I simply clicked download and walked away with my Nook…
“I was so drawn into Elena’s story I couldn’t put the book down. The story was THRILLING! Every character became a possible suspect, and I had to keep reading. I quickly finished Diagnosis and threw myself into the first book of the series, Code Blue. Bravo, Dr. Mabry.
“I really wanted you to know how much I enjoyed these two books. I also wanted to give you the credit you deserve for shattering my belief of what Christian fiction ‘must be.’ Your books are making my own personal journey something I can grasp. Before them, faith was always something beyond my reach, or over my head.”
When I asked permission to share her thoughts, she graciously gave it, saying that she hoped her email would give others the courage to write, and that their writing would make readers feel God is a bit closer to them.
After all, isn’t that why we write?
If you’ve ever read a book that made a change in your life, did you let the author know? Authors, have you had such notes or emails? Feel free to share them in the comments.
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