Christian entertainment has gotten a bad rap for being unrealistic, unrelatable with a side of cheesy dialogue and happy endings.
Because of this formula ridden stereotype of yesteryear, many people do not want to attend a “Christian movie” or read a “Christian book.”
For years I didn’t want to be considered an author who wrote Christian literature. I didn’t want to be included into this cubbyhole. I wanted to be an author who happened to be a Christian.
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But then I realized that who I am comes out in what I write. I wanted to write real characters who went through real issues. I wanted people to be changed through laughter and tears as they read my work.
People are hungry for real stories.
I did not set out to be a pioneer in speculative fiction. I set out to tell the stories that I felt God was giving me. I set out to blaze a trail and in doing so teaching biblical truths along the way.
It all started when I simply wanted to write my dad’s story. He was a grunt soldier in Vietnam and I wanted the world to hear the stories that he repeated to me again and again. I wanted his voice and his survival in the jungle to resonate with the people he fought so hard to protect.
Then I kept writing. I kept telling more and more stories. While the fullness of his book has yet to be in print, in telling his story my life changed.
Jesus was a storyteller. He understood the need to create stories that people would understand. He spoke in parables. He turned to storytelling to illuminate the word. These stories continue to touch the lives of believers and nonbelievers.
People who won’t go to church or hear a sermon preached will pick up books. Deep in the hearts of some countries where the Bible is banned; I know for a fact that The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings are read. To my knowledge my books, blogs, and articles have gone places I may never set my feet. From the jungles of India to people’s homes I have never meet. The written word and storytelling has a far lasting ripple effect.
However, I know I am not alone in my journey. I have noticed in the last decade I have seen many Christian writers begin to branch out and embrace the uncharted territory of real Christian fiction. We’ve left the models and formulas and sought to write books that change the lives of people.
But my concern is that some have gone too far.
I love a good fictional story. I love to step into the realm of the imagination. Pioneers must remember who and whose they are. We must venture out in this uncharted territory of speculative fiction, and go “where no man has gone before,” but remember our values and integrity.
In my In Time fictional series, I explore a fictional character that has grown weary of his time as a small town pastor.
In An Ember in Time, God sends him a “time traveling angel” that allows him to visit any time in biblical history. The problem is when he accidentally messes up Biblical history. He has to go back and fix his mess up or the Bible would unravel.
In A Marriage In Time, the pastor’s wife is on a verge of an affair and she is sent back in time during David and Bathsheba’s lives.
In the third book, A Legacy in Time (yet to be released), these two are sent back in Biblical history to be confidants to King David during his children’s rebellion years as their own son has found himself incarcerated.
The whole series is best described as the series Quantum Leap meets Back to the Future. These books are honest, raw, and funny. While they are a work of fiction, they do hold tightly to the framework of the Bible.
I love this series. I’m a child of the ’80s and ’90s, and I found myself wanting desperately to tap into the light hearted sci-fi that existed in my generation but make it for today. As I have read and reread these books I find myself laughing hysterically and crying in the next chapter. I think we as Christians can be too serious. Through humor, God can speak to people. It’s such a blessing to me when people come to me and tell me “it’s that one scene” that will always stay with them throughout their lives. That when my character went through some of his life altering moments they found that they were captivated by what this meant in their own lives.
We journey into the unknown, explore and create our own stories. We are a unique expression of a loving Creator. May we hold tightly to imagination. May we embrace the freedom of vision. May we learn not to fear the unknown. May we learn to enjoy stories outside of the formula of yesteryear, but that still have prophetic resonance. May we all be pioneers in our own spheres of influence. May we remember that we do not need to be a copy of what the world is doing, but blaze a trail for the Kingdom of God. May we all be inspired to live our lives beyond what we can see.
“Anna M. Aquino paints a rich historical setting for a timeless tale of the bondage of sin . . . and the power of forgiveness.”
— Lorehaven Magazine
Explore Anna M. Aquino’s novel A Marriage in Time in the Lorehaven Library.
Read our full review exclusively from the summer 2018 issue of Lorehaven Magazine!