f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: The Fruit of faith*in*fiction

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Fruit of faith*in*fiction

In November of 2003, I started this blog as an acquisitions tool to reach out to writers who might not otherwise have heard of me or Bethany House. Part of my charge as an AE here has been to look a bit outside the normal CBA mainstream for ideas and authors.

(Aside: lest anyone think otherwise, this is only a single [and slender] prong of Bethany’s approach. We’re continuing to publish, very successfully, beloved CBA fiction in a variety of genres from a variety of bestselling authors. This blog has never deigned to be the death-knell of that. It’s a new door to a different path.)

Anyway, I was soon invited by Lynn Waalkes to take place in a conversation about “edgy” Christian fiction that was published in CBA Marketplace in April 2004, I believe.

The day I saw the article I received an email from an author who’d read it and liked what I had to say about the potential for fiction to challenge current CBA boundaries. She’d wanted to submit something. She’d like to submit a romance.

I believe my audible reply was “Ummmmmm” and I sent a polite reply suggesting that she spend some time at faith*in*fiction where I went into more detail of what I was looking for. There was a lot of “read between the lines” implied.

A few days later she wrote back, said she’d enjoyed the site, said “Yep, her book fit that vision” and could she submit it? The romance. The historical romance. Tobacco Brides, it was called.

“Well, I’ve got to see this,” I said, again probably audibly because I’ve got a little problem that way.

She wasn’t kidding. It was a romance. It was a historical romance. It had tobacco brides. It also had a sharp voice, a honed but natural sense of comedic timing, a fairly significant understanding of romance, two well-drawn lead characters who grow throughout the book, a solid faith message, and wonderfully authentic historical details. In other words, it was good. Delightful even.

Left up to me, I’d have predicted by first acquisitions would have been something like Gilead-lite. Instead, I’m incredibly proud to say that my first acquisition is Deeanne Gist’s A Bride Most Begrudging.

Tomorrow we’ll talk a little about the intersection of Dee’s vision and my vision and how she wasn’t wrong when she looked at faith*in*fiction and saw room for her book. (You can learn more about the author and the book at Dee's own site.)