There are a lot of hungry readers out there. Readers who crave stories that sock ’em in the gut, blow their minds, and leave them gasping for breath, but also stand on Biblical truths and point towards redemption. They want books that are hardcore with a message that is hardcore. Books that challenge them to the point of being uncomfortable, books that shine a light into the dark corners of this sinful world and man’s sinful soul.
If you are one of these readers, you are probably starving.
It’s hard to find books that are openly Christian but are also gritty and “real.” There is nothing wrong with the Western romances or gentle young adult fantasies that line the shelves of Christian bookstores, but for hordes of readers, these books aren’t enough. If you’re like me, you want books that make your eyes grow wide as you say, “Whoa…what did I just read?” Books can be an escape from reality, but they can also be a magnifying glass that focuses on the deeper, darker emotions and issues that grip our world. I don’t like the feeling that a book is pandering to its readers; I like to be challenged, pushed to the brink of what I can handle, then pushed just a little bit more.
Christians, and Christian books, should not revel in sin, but that does not mean it should be reduced or diluted. It’s a nasty, ugly world out there sometimes, yet the power of God’s grace can pierce through any darkness. These stories, intense and harrowing, need to be told to glorify God as art and to elucidate His truths.
This is what The Crossover Alliance plans to do. Created a few years ago by speculative fiction author David Alderman, The Crossover Alliance was originally a forum where readers and writers of edgy Christian speculative fiction could congregate. As the murmurings grew to an uproar, David, along with myself and a few other writers and readers, decided that the time was right to give the Christian book world a channel to tell its edgiest, most ferocious stories. There were too many readers lamenting the lack of gritty content in Christian stories, and there were too many writers of edgy Christian speculative fiction that had to either tone down their books or self-publish.
Of course, there are already several Christian publishers that release books leaning towards the edgier side. Yet it still seems like there is a fear of being labeled too dark, too violent, perhaps even blasphemous. At The Crossover Alliance, we believe there is no Biblical standard for how many swear words a story can have, or how descriptive sexual situations can be, or what would be an acceptable body count. We just know that if a story is based on solid Biblical principles and does not glorify the sinful elements it contains, it deserves to be told.
The Crossover Alliance plans to open its doors this summer. Please visit TheCrossoverAlliance.com to read our mission statement, submission guidelines, and just to get a feel for who we are and what we want to accomplish. We just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund our first year’s catalogue, so please consider support this adventure.
The decision to transform The Crossover Alliance from an online community into a full-fledged publisher wasn’t made lightly. We spent a lot of time deliberating and praying, and we all felt led to go forward with this. And we’re not going to be timid about it, either. We’re going full-throttle with this endeavor, and we already have several authors and titles ready to go when the gates open. There will be some resistance to what we’re doing, but we’re ready for the challenge. We’re not doing this to be rebels or ruffle feathers or throw firecrackers under the pews. We just want to serve the readers and writers who feel marginalized by mainstream Christian publishers. If you feel this way too, you’re not alone, and we hope you’ll join our alliance.