1. J A Busick says:

    Generally, I run away from anything labeled “Christian fiction” or “inspirational fiction.” I hate to say that, I wish it were different, but there it is.

  2. Tim Frankovich says:

    Back when I ran Christian Fiction Review, I remember publishing a highly positive review of a new fantasy novel, only to have the author proclaim loudly on his blog, “My book is NOT Christian fiction!”


    I politely pointed out that he was a Christian, his book contained very Christian themes, and it was published by one of the largest Christian fiction publishers on the market at that time. By any definition I could come up with, his book was Christian fiction.


    He was so afraid of being labeled, he disputed all of it (except his own Christianity).

    • Wow, I never knew who ran that website. May I just say thank you so much for the time you did? It’s one of the first places I discovered online that pointed me to a lot of good books in this market/genre (back in ye old days of early Internet).


      As for the person who was upset at the label: it’s not just fiction that people hate labeling. It’s very hip with some people now to not call yourself a Christian because of a fear of association. And heaven help you if you actually identify with a specific denomination or doctrine (the dreaded “D” words). I find it all a bit silly, and have to come back to the old “Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, I’m figuring it’s not a moose.”

    • R. L. Copple says:

      I know one author who intended to write a CS Lewis style allegory. I think she hoped it wouldn’t be seen as Christian fiction and read in the general market to draw people to Christ, like the Narnia books did for her when she was agnostic. She was disappointed that most of her reviews filed her book as Christian fiction. Not that she had anything against it, but that wasn’t her goal in writing it and felt now it would be confined to a Christian audience.


      Perhaps this guy had the same hopes (which doesn’t make sense why he was published by a Christian publisher then).


      Some authors simply don’t like being labeled and categorized. Welcome to the publishing world!


  3. I was going to comment, but it got far too lengthy. True Christian fiction is badly needed. Thank God, there is more and more of it. http://radiqx.com/2014/08/does-christian-fiction-matter/

  4. notleia says:

    One thing: Climate is not the same thing as weather.

    Two: Changing names and descriptors is a band-aid, cosmetic issue. The reason Sugar Crisps stayed is because people like it (gimme that puffed, sugar-‘roided wheat!). If people don’t like Christian or “inspirational” or “faith-based” writing, changing the name isn’t going to do much.

    • R. L. Copple says:

      True, weather is a sub-factor of a climate, though a critical one. Still, a climate is always changing, though much slower than the weather. It still is a meaningless term unless you’re studying all facets of climate change, not just global warming. Climate change does not equal global warming, though it has been used that way for some strange reason.

      But that is a side issue, an example of what I was referring to. Like you say, in the end, changing the name eventually ends up with the same results of the original name if the purpose is marketing spin as people learn it equals the same thing. But there is a long history of people putting a more favorable name on something to make it more appealing. Sometimes it works.


      • notleia says:

        I don’t think “climate” = “seasons,” either. But if it makes you feel better about my motivations for quibbling, it’s mostly about my irritation for sloppy term usage. To tie into the theme of this post, it’s one thing to rebrand a thing to Jedi-mind-trick people into buying it, it’s another thing to use professional terms (that have specific meanings in those contexts) incorrectly and still expect to be taken as seriously as the professionals.

        • R. L. Copple says:

          I didn’t mean or say climate equals seasons. The climate in a particular area changes, usually in small increments, from year to year, decade to decade. Some areas more than others.


          I did use “weather” in an inexact sense, referring to broad weather patterns over years, not days or seasons. But you are right that technically weather is only a subset affecting long-term climate of a region. But because the weather does change over a period of years, so does the climate. Been doing that from the beginning, going up and down, this way and that. Any global warming issues are just one type of climate change, in one direction. So the term is inaccurate in discussing global warming specifically.


          Of course, I’m not intending to debate global warming here. Only pointed it out because the term did change in response to some perceived negative feedback on using global warming. They like to use focus groups for these things, and no doubt discovered that people had less negative reaction to using climate change in discussing global warming issues. So everyone in on the deal started using that term as a PR move.

  5. dmdutcher says:

    I don’t see inspirational fiction as a larger category, actually. To me, inspirational fiction equals romance. Has anyone ever read an inspirational fantasy or science fiction novel?

    I always though inspirational was a way for specific genres to get marketed to a wider secular audience. Kind of like Guideposts-sort of a watered-down Christianity leads to clean fiction that’s Wal-Mart ready. Love Inspired by Harlequin for example. I really don’t see many Christian writers self-identifying with it outside of standard romance/historical stuff.

What do you think?