Readers either love or hate Christian Historical fiction. There are very few who ‘sort-of like it’. If you, as a reader, say you do… my guess would be that it depends on some of the things I will cover in this post.
First, what is the ‘ugly truth’ about Christian Historical fiction?
- Well, for one – like all historical fiction, the books are usually long.
- Sometimes the term ‘Biblical’ fiction would be a better description.
- Another downside is it is a bit difficult to check the details.
- Then comes the fear – what if the author is trying to convert me?
Another ugly truth is – sometimes the author IS trying to convert you.
On the other hand, some authors enjoy writing about this time period and like to share what they have discovered. These authors open a door to the past to help you to understand what the time and culture was like for the characters in the novel.
For some, readers and authors, it is digging into the pages of the Bible and finding the people, the way they lived, seeing the challenges they faced.
There is yet another ugly truth…
Discovering the people behind the stories might change the way you view the Bible.
To make it more understandable, and to improve the reader’s experience I have researched this topic.
Because of the comment made by a minister that my writing reminded him of a book series by Lynn Austin. (Which I take as a great compliment because I enjoy Lynn Austin’s historical fiction books. Yes, I read Christian Historical Fiction as well as write books in that genre.)
I made a list of authors of Christian Historical Fiction.
As well as Lynn Austin there is Francine Rivers, Jill Eileen Smith, Mesu Andrews, Carol Ashby, Diana Wallis Taylor, and Nina Gould. A new author I have just discovered is Linda Lee Chaikin, who writes in more recent historical times. These are just a few of the famous Christian historical fiction authors currently writing – and my apologies to the ones I have missed. (I read more than those listed.)
I usually read reviews… so please, readers – review the books you read – it helps the rest of us choose what to read next.
Here is the first key to understanding reader’s feelings about Christian Historical Fiction.
(This I figured out from studying reviews for a wide variety of authors in this genre.)
The subject ‘Christian Historical Fiction’ is too broad and can be quite confusing for the reader.
Because there are many time periods in Christian Historical Fiction books…
- Beginning of time – as with the Adam, Eve and family novel.
- Various Old Testament biblical times
These first two categories are Biblical history but are usually grouped together with the following…
- Time of Christ
- Time of the Apostles
- Toward the end of the apostolic age (where the Apostle John Series is set)
Then there is the 2nd century – where Diana Wallis Taylor writes, and later, the Medici/Huguenot era where Linda Lee Chaikin’s Silk House Trilogy is set.
Then there are various ‘modern’ ages also classified as Christian Historical Fiction.
- There are also ‘categories’ within these ages.
- Biblical – based on scripture (Old or New Testaments)
- Biblical background purely fictitious characters.
- More modern still in the time of the US… Western pioneering.
Christian Historical Fiction Readers –
I created a survey to try to help both readers and writers by narrowing this expanse of time classified as Christian Historical Fiction down.
My motive… well, if we know what period and type of Christian Historical fiction we are interested in it can save time and money because, as readers, we can make an informed choice.
What do I mean save time and money?
By choosing the wrong era… or the wrong category.
More than once I have been reading a book – and given up on it because it was not what I expected it to be.
So, this survey should help authors and more especially readers. Yes, writers want sales – and reviews, but more importantly, authors want to serve/entertain/even educate readers… depending on what the reader wants.
Hey! Did you readers know how much power you have? LOL
There will be guest posts, reviews and background information on books/authors who write in the different eras and categories.
This post was born out of the minister’s comment about my writing… and my frustration with some of the books which said they were Christian Historical Fiction – but were not.
Come, join me for the next few weeks. You might find it interesting. Stay with the series throughout July and you might just find that the title ‘Ugly Truth about Christian Historical Fiction’ should read – ‘The Blessing of Historical Fiction.’
Here is another link to the survey at the end. It should not take long, a couple of minutes at most. It asks for no identifying details or household income, just your reading preferences in this genre.
It is for readers, bloggers, authors – anyone who is interested and any age group.
Click the link to the short survey and respond to the questions – thanks… future readers will thank you.