THE CROSSOVER ALLIANCE is now officially open for business! The doors were thrown wide open yesterday, and all of us that are involved are quite giddy at this point. It’s been nearly two years since the seeds of this endeavor were planted, and there was a lot of uncertainty along the way as to whether that seed would actually take root. Now it’s finally here and ready for action.
I’ve written about The Crossover Alliance before so I’m not going to go into detail about its mission and purpose (you can find my previous article here and you can see for yourself what it is all about here). To summarize: The Crossover Alliance is an online publisher of edgy Christian speculative fiction, with the intention of releasing edgy, hard-hitting books with a solid Christian foundation. Don’t expect any quaint Amish romances or Chicken Soup for the Soul. There’s nothing wrong with the current crop of books on the shelves of Christian bookstores, but we know that there is also a whole market out there of readers looking for something more intense and gritty without compromising Christian values.
Edgy Christian fiction isn’t anything new. Authors like Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, and Stephen Lawhead, to name a few, have made names for themselves as they tread darker waters. But The Crossover Alliance is taking it even further. Let me use a musical analogy: say that Twila Paris or Hillsong isn’t your cup of tea, so you migrate over to something heavier, perhaps Skillet or Red or Disciple. But even that seems a bit soft. You dig around online and are thrilled to discover hordes of Christian bands with Bible-based lyrics and imagery, and their sound is as wild and thrashy as their secular counterparts.
The Crossover Alliance seeks to put to rest the “too Christian for the secular market, too secular for the Christian market” conundrum that frustrates readers and writers. It wants books that rest on a strong Biblical foundation but aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. I would be lying if there isn’t a bit of a “fed up” attitude in all of this, so let me just lay it out there. This is for everyone who is fed up with timid Christian publishers who won’t release anything with a swear word or suggestive scene, fed up with secular publishers who back away at even a hint of the Gospel, fed up with unimaginative readers who want books that fulfill their Christianized fantasies, fed up with being caught in limbo after writing a story from their heart and soul. We don’t have anyone to impress or anyone to pander to. We’re taking matters into our own hands, and we’ll sink or swim on our own terms.
The books that The Crossover Alliance will release do not glorify or revel in sin, blasphemy, or carnality, but it won’t hide its head in the sand, either. If readers can’t handle it, then they are free to look elsewhere, but if you are one of those hungry book lovers who is looking for something meatier than what you’ll find at the Christian bookstore, or if you’re a writer who feels forced into self-publishing because you know that your work is too edgy for the sanitized Christian fiction market, then this might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Philippians 4:8 admonishes believers to dwell on what is good, noble, pure, and lovely. This does not mean we should ignore everything that isn’t. Rather, we should recognize the darkness for what it is and use it to turn our hearts towards the light. The Crossover Alliance is for fearless readers and writers who aren’t afraid to confront the darkness head-on.
Its first year catalog will be rolling out in the coming months, but the first short story anthology is already here! You’ll find nine hard-hitting stories from myself and other authors, and it is available for Kindle and in paperback. To celebrate its grand opening, The Crossover Alliance is giving away a digital subscription to its first-year catalog (more than half a dozen books!). Click here to enter the giveaway.
Since this is truly an alliance of authors and readers, those of us who have been involved in its creation will be posting our thoughts and hopes about what this adventure means to us. Head over to these homepages to hear from each of us: David N. Alderman, Nathan James Norman, Jess Hanna, Peter Younghusband, and myself.
Of course, a publishing company is always looking for new talent, so if you are a writer of edgy Christian speculative fiction, consider this your invitation to submit your work for consideration. It doesn’t have to be strictly sci-fi or fantasy – the edgy Christian speculative fiction genre encompasses numerous styles. Even if you’re not sure if your story will fit the parameters, send it along anyway. No harm in trying, right?
The Crossover Alliance has no grand illusions about changing the world of books, but it does want to change the way people think of Christian fiction. Something like this is long overdue and we’re hoping that you’ll join our alliance!