Fiction Writers and Platform

Fiction Writers and Platform I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a snippet: Every time I blog about platform or social media, the vocal response in the comments reminds me that it’s a difficult subject for many authors. Everyone wonders how and when to build a platform, and many writers aren’t enthusiastic about it. There are two things I’m constantly stressing to authors: (1) Building a platform is important. (2) Mastering the craft of writing is crucial. For unpublished fiction writers, these two things are not equal. Click HERE to read the post at Books & Such, and share your thoughts. Be Sociable, Share! ...
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Fiction Readers are Better People

Fiction Readers are Better People The title of this post is a bit exaggerated — but not as much as you might think! I’ve always loved both fiction and non-fiction, and I have a hard time understanding people who say they don’t read novels because they prefer to read things that are “true.” I try to explain that sometimes, fiction gets closer to the truth than non-fiction because of its capacity to tap the emotional side of the reader. Fiction can convey truths straight to the heart that your head might reject from a non-fiction book. But it’s more than that, and many times, I’ve found myself at a loss when trying to describe how edifying I find fiction to be. It sounds too crass to say “I learn from it,” because the learning is of a subtle nature. I’m finally...
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Guest Blogger: Marcher Lord Press Launches!

by Jeff Gerke Fans of Christian fantasy and science fiction, be encouraged! Whether you read it or you write it–or both–this is an exciting time for you. Today, October 1, marks the launch of a new publishing company dedicated to the kind of fiction you love. Marcher Lord Press instantly becomes the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction–mainly because it’s the only one to produce those genres exclusively! Marcher Lord Press is launching with three full-length print novels for Christian adults and older teens. Summa Elvetica by Theodore Beale is a thoughtful fantasy based on a wonderful premise: what if the High Church decided to determine whether or not elves have souls? Summa Elvetica is one part Canterbury Tales, one part Thomas Aquinas, and five...
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Q4U: A Fiction Author’s Job Description

I got this question in a blog comment a couple of weeks ago: Would you write a job description for FICTION AUTHOR? Please include the qualifications (required or optional) and the job duties (required or optional.) I ask because I’m in a bit of turmoil about my suitability for the totality of this job. I love to write and I think I write well. However, the marketing aspect scares me a bit. Does this disqualify me from the job as an author? So, readers, how about it? Write a job description for a fiction author. I’ll make a post out of the best ones (on some future undetermined date). Make sure you write your description before reading those of other commenters! Have a great weekend… Rachelle Gardner is a Christian literary agent affiliated with WordServe Literary Group...
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Guest Blogger: Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press

Don’t forget… Friday’s Mini Contest ends tonight! Get your submissions in for a chance to win untold riches and glory. If you are into speculative fiction, today’s post is for you. I’m pleased to introduce my friend Jeff Gerke, here to tell us about his new publishing company, Marcher Lord Press. What is Marcher Lord Press? Marcher Lord Press is the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction.Whether it’s fantasy you love, or science fiction, time travel, chillers, supernatural thrillers, alternate history, spiritual warfare, superhero, vampire, or technothriller—if it’s speculative and it comes from the Christian worldview, Marcher Lord Press is your publisher. Marcher Lord Press is a small, independent press that bypasses the...
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More For Unpubbed Novelists

More For Unpubbed Novelists It seems the biggest concern many of you have about this business is the difficulty of making the leap from being an unpublished novelist to being published. This comes out in all kinds of worries, like this one from Courtney:They say it’s very rare for a [new writer] to land an agent, let alone sell a book. I guess my question is, is it waste of everyone’s time for an unpubbed writer to have an agent/editor appointment at a conference? I’m going to my first conference in the fall, so I am wondering if this is something I should bypass.It’s only a waste of time if you aren’t looking at it as a learning experience and a stepping stone. Every time you make a contact with a professional in this industry, it’s an opportunity to learn more and to make a...
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Guest Blogger: Gwen Stewart on Romance

Guest Blogger: Gwen Stewart on Romance A couple of weeks ago, I asked a question on the blog about the role of romance in Christian fiction, and you all answered eloquently and thoroughly. (I love that about you guys!)Gwen Stewart had a lot to say on the topic, so I invited her to share her thoughts. ***I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me. Song of Songs 7:10 The beating heart of romance undergirds every word of Song of Songs, illustrating the beauty of God’s plan for love and marriage. I believe this book of the Bible holds a message the hurting world needs to hear.Christians shine Jesus’ light in darkness. We feed the hungry, house the homeless, and tend the sick. Yet, when it comes to the world’s twisted view of romance, we too often cover our eyes and slink away, offended by debauchery but too embarrassed...
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Q4U: Fiction and Ministry

Wow. What a nice, long weekend. BUSY but great! Hope you all had exactly the kind of Fourth you most enjoy. Me, I had a crazy day with the family, starting with the pancake breakfast down at the church, then the big holiday parade, then the street fair. Back in the afternoon for a brief recovery period, then off to the big picnic & fireworks display. I was so tired at the end of Friday night, then got up and had a garage sale on Saturday. (I hate garage sales, but it was a ploy to get the kids to clean out the basement and get rid of ten years’ worth of toys. It worked.) Sunday was girls’ day out for shopping… of course, my daughters had to spend that garage sale money. Whew! I’m worn out. Five days until I leave for ICRS so this is going to be a doozy of a...
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The Glut of Children’s and YA

I’ve mentioned in several places that I’m seeking to represent some YA and middle-grade fiction. But holy cow, I didn’t realize that would open the proverbial floodgates. My inbox is bursting at the seams with childrens and YA, especially fantasy. I’m not seeking to represent children’s books, and I don’t intend to make YA the bulk of my business, so I’m going to be VERY selective in choosing this genre. In fact, I haven’t yet found a YA project that’s right for me. So if you’ve received a pass letter, please don’t despair. You’re not alone. Plus, there are a lot of agents out there who are excited about YA. If your book is good, you’ll find the right agent. Now, of course I find myself ruminating on why so many...
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Trends in Fiction *updated*

Last weekend I hung out for a bit at the Writing for the Soul Conference. I had conversations with acquisitions editors at several different houses, and here are some things I heard about what’s going on in Christian fiction. l Editors report seeing a lot of “dark” material lately, not just supernatural angel-and-demon stuff, but violence, murder, drugs, etc. Apparently it’s a trend among writers. However, while there will be a few books published with these themes, it’s not going to be a large percentage. Keep this in mind if you’re writing dark stuff. In general, the majority of purchasers of Christian fiction want to be entertained and encouraged; fewer are attracted to the dark and the scary. l However, many publishers are looking at suspense. They...
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