Our booth featured writer Marian Jacobs, creative relations Lacy Rhiannon (my wife), and myself (publisher/editor).
We met dozens of families. Usually we asked them, “Hi! Do you all like to read?”
Most people said, “Oh yes.” A few said, “Yes, but don’t have as much time as I’d like.”
I’d say perhaps 70 percent said something like, “Yes, but my children are reading like crazy. And far above their reading level. I can’t keep up!”
Then we shared our mission: Lorehaven finds truth in fantastic stories.
- Free to subscribe online.
- You get magazines each season.
- Print copies are sold at special events.
- Each issue has 12+ reviews of new Christian fantasy.
- Also: articles from trusted voices about biblical fiction discernment.
- We give away free resources, such as bookmarks with tips to discern and explore stories.
Some parents politely nodded or said merely, “Thank you,” before moving on.
But for each one of these less-interested folks, three other parents or students immediately got our mission.
We shared favorite stories. We asked parents what their kids love to read.
And we kept hearing people say things like, “I’m so glad you guys are doing this. There’s such a need!”
Frankly, this encouraged my heart all over again. Until you get out there, and talk to real people, you never really know if this whole “Christians asking one another for good Christian-made fantastical stories” thing is just a strung-out internet fad.1
But yes. Again our belief is proven true: many new fans for excellent Christian-made fantastical novels are out there.
They’re chasing biblical truth. They’re seriously investing in their children’s learning. And they’re training their children to read–not just to read the Bible, or biographies, or textbooks, but to read imaginative fantastical novels.2
We talked to so many people that I couldn’t take specific notes. And yet . . .
Fantastic Christian fans to remember
- The woman with three children (seen here). They absolutely loved our fantasy creatures, and eagerly drew amazing, imaginative pictures.
- A young woman (age 20, I believe) who’d grown up loving fantasy novels. Including Harry Potter. We signed her up for a subscription under the pseudonym “Mermaid Queen.” (Yes, you can also subscribe for free with a fictional name! We won’t judge you.)
- The woman who strode up to the booth and almost immediately said, “Oh yes! You’re Lorehaven. Your magazine reviews Christian fantasy and sci-fi novels.” She’d met us first with Realm Makers Bookstore in Fort Worth, the previous month. She hadn’t signed up then, but she did this time.
- A man I’ll call “D&D Dad” who asked if I’d ever played the RPG. Thanks to that one late-night introduction at my wife’s family’s house last Thanksgiving, I could tell him yes! We had such a great conversation. Later he prayed for my wife’s and my own future foster-parenting.
- So many Lord of the Rings fans, and fluent in the finer points of Middle-earth’s origin and mythology.
- The young couple who really geeked out. And showed us photos they’d taken of a huge Greatest Showman–themed homeschool prom in Dallas, where they’d taken photos.
- The mother of six children, including two teens, most of whom love fantasy.
- Another mother of several fantasy-fan daughters! Their oldest girl signed up. Her pseudonym: “Magical Unicorn.”
- For balance: The other large-family mother who passed by and kindly replied, “Yes, we like to read. But based on the way you’re dressed, probably not what you’re offering.” (Ha ha! Well, it’s only a matter of time. Fantastical stories will eventually appeal to the heart of at least one of your children. Then the only question is: will you be prepared?)
- And, finally, the mother who’d stopped by earlier but dashed up just as we were packing up the booth. She subscribed! And got a free bookmark.
Next stops: Cincinnati and Realm Makers 2019
As we grow the magazine, and possibly add new items such as books, we’ll be able to visit more locations.
Later this month, I’ll represent Lorehaven at Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati. I’ll be there from Friday to Saturday, April 26–27, rejoining our friends with the Realm Makers Bookstore. (The event actually begins Thursday, April 25.) We’re featuring great books, all by Christian authors, in fantasy, sci-fi, and other fantastical genres.
In July, we’ll feature Lorehaven again at the annual Realm Makers conference, returning to St. Louis July 18–20.
Please pray for us. This remains a big step. And it’s a big investment of time and resources for many of Speculative Faith’s creatives.
Either way, know and rejoice: In an age of closing bookstores and creative skeptics, Christian fantasy’s best days are happily ahead.
Further up and further in!
- Or if this is just a theory that everyone who wants to be a Writer talks about, in the hopes that their story (alone?) will hit it big and Save Us All. ↩
- You skeptics out there (you know who you are): let’s stop even gently making fun of Christian homeschoolers. They’re not backward. In fact, we are, if we insist on fun-house-mirroring all of them in the image of memories from decades ago. Just as Christian fantasy (yes, even with the Christian label) is not just cheap allegories designed to call the reader toward an unseen altar, so homeschoolers are not just legalistic neo-cultists raising their boys for the farm and their girls for the boys. ↩
- As a free online magazine, Lorehaven is entirely advertiser-supported. You can advertise in print (and also on the magazine’s online version). You can also choose to feature ads on non-subscriber sections of the website, such as these very Speculative Faith articles. ↩