f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007

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

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Cover Survey

On occasion we like to take surveys of readers' opinions for cover designs of upcoming books. If you're interested, click here to check it out. Also, we're trying to get a little wider reach on this survey than some others, so feel free to post a link on your blog/site/weblist. Wherever may be appropriate.

The book is Ann Tatlock's upcoming novel Every Secret Thing. Ann's an excellent novelist who's been writing quality novels with us for a number of years. All the Way Home won her a Christy Award. You can check out an interview I did with Ann quite a while ago here.

Also, please don't comment here about the covers. That won't help us all that much... But if you would take the survey, too, that'd be helpful.(Edited, obviously)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Endless Debate Pushes On

More thoughts on "popular" vs. "literary" fiction.

First a bevy of well-known CBA novelists weigh in at Charis.

Mark Bertrand offers his thoughts.

It seems a lot of the steam has gone out of the argument. There are a lot of carefully constructed arguments paying tribute to both sides. Nobody too willing to get LOUD. Which, as Mark points out, is really the only sane way to approach a question as vague as "Which is better?"

I don't really have anything new or helpful to contribute. As writers and publishers, I think our biggest concern right now is that the CBA readership prove itself able to sustain a breadth of fiction (both pop and pop-lit) from a depth of writers or the above debate will be moot for books emerging from CBA. Evidence is mixed at the moment and depending on the day I'll either be hopeful or deeply worried. Unfortunately some of the strongest current indicators seem to be against it (the Wal-Mart effect being the primary one), but we'll see how they play out.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Beware What You Read

I found this group of linked articles interesting...and frustrating. The Christian community does this sort of thing with regularity too (remember the Onion article about Harry Potter that got passed around as gospel?) so I'm not throwing stones.

Doonesbury cartoon about Grand Canyon/Creationist controversy.
eSkeptic article about the same controversy.

eSkeptic correction to its previous article.
Neil Gaiman's post that started the whole thing off for me.

There's so much noise out there that to be heard these days you need to say something LOUD. And when LOUD and true aren't given equal weight or when LOUD simply means incindiary...we're in a bad spot.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Leif Enger's Second Novel

Publishers Lunch is announcing news of Leif Enger's follow-up to Peace Like a River.

Leif Enger's second novel SO BRAVE, YOUNG AND HANDSOME, a tale of passion and adventure in early 20th century America, about an aging train robber, pursued again after years of obscurity, seeking to reconcile the claims of love and judgment on his life, to Elisabeth Schmitz and Morgan Entrekin at Grove/Atlantic, for publication in early 2008

It's funny, we've been talking about Enger's PLaR for so long in "Christian" contexts (and I've seen him speak at two Christian Arts conferences) that there becomes almost a slight assumption (given lack of information otherwise) his next would follow in slightly the same path. Which is ludicrous since Enger, I'm sure, doesn't see himself at all through the lens I'm forced to see fiction.

Instead, we see him following PLaR mostly in its heart-on-the-sleeve nostalgia for Americana. We'll see how it plays out in tone. And we'll see if he pull off the nearly impossible--follow-up on a beloved and bestselling debut novel.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Daily Sacrament Short Story Contest

Last year we announced the next short story contest. The gates are now open and things are off and running. FiF is partnering with Relief Journal to invite you to create and submit a story tackling the theme of "daily sacrament."

As always, we're not going to completely pin you down on what this means. It could be the daily made sacred (like Andre Dubus) or the sacred explored in terms of daily life (as Marilynne Robinson does so eloquently in Gilead. The full list of rules are here including information about submission. Thanks to Coach at RJ, we've got a spiffy new submission system that's really quite slick.

We're accepting stories through mid-March. Please don't wait until the ides to submit, but also GIVE US YOUR BEST WORK. Fun things can happen if you do.

(To wit: Michael Synder, winner of the editor's choice at RJ--and finalist in the conversion contest here--just got a 2-book deal from Zondervan.)

And please, please, please pass this on to those you know. We'd love to hear from as many new voices as possible.

(And hooray to me for finally posting an image here--a lovely logo design by Allison Smythe at ArsGraphica. Only took me three years!)

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Congrats to Michael Snyder

Michael Snyder (of dubious toad-licking fame) may now become "Michael Snyder, of dubious drunk bassett hound fame" as his first novel (tentatively titled) My Name is Russell Fink has been contracted by Zondervan. More here.

The Death of the "Written" Word

Turns out National Book Award winner Richard Powers didn't write The Echo Maker. But not in the way that sounds. (And having read most of Powers, this essay doesn't surprise me in the least.)

He makes some interesting points here, though I'm sure a very similar case, with correspondingly high-powered literary names can be made for the glory and power of noodling on a keyboard or scratching with a pencil.

I would say the one take-away here is that your work should be read aloud at some point during its creation. There's things, particularly in rhythm and voice, your ear will pick up that your eyes skip over.