Friday, July 06, 2012

Evolution of Christian Fiction

I read an interesting article at about how Christian fiction has evolved in the past 20 years. Some people still have misconceptions about how much variety and depth today's Christian fiction truly has. I'm old enough to remember some of its humble beginnings. I've seen it grow up and mature from a time when pretty much all that was out there were prairie romances or Frank Peretti. The first adult Christian novel I ever read was Christy by Catherine Marshall, followed quickly by Frank Peretti's Darkness series. I've re-read all three of them multiple times.

We owe those trailblazers a big thank you for helping to push open the doors for today's market. Sure, we still have some growing to do. I'd love to see the YA market explode in the CBA like it has in the ABA. And as a lover of suspense novels, it would be neat to see more of them focusing on character development right alongside the thrills.

How about you? What would you like to see more of in the Christian fiction market, and what was the first CBA novel you ever read?


Paula said...

The first I ever read? The Scarlet Thread, by Francine Rivers. One of her lesser-known. I picked it up in a bookstore when I was newly-saved, and trying to do things the "Christian" way.

I would like to see good mysteries with a Christian worldview. Not scary or supernatural, but just light mysteries, like M.C. Beaton. And ones with characters who understand theology, not just mouthing Christian-ese platitudes.

Waiting anxiously for your third book, and don't forget, you are going to name a character Joette!

Joanne Bischof said...

I hear so much about Christy. It holds such an endearment for so many. The first CBA book that I can recall reading was Lauraine Snellings Red River North series. I was completely hooked :)

Julia M. Reffner said...

Yep, I remember watching it, too. I think the first Christian fiction I ever read was Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series with my mom as a teenager. The last 5 years have seen AMAZING growth in Christian fiction. Interesting article.

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Cristine Eastin said...

The first Christian fiction I read was "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers—such a healing work that I sometimes recommend it to my psychotherapy clients for bibliotherapy. What I'd like to see more of from contemporary Christian authors is just more—more, to give the market well-written alternatives to all the sex and violence that's polluting our culture.