Friday, December 05, 2008

African-American Market Comes of Age says Publishers Weekly

Patricia W. blog's talks about the recent Publishers Weekly article on Christian fiction. The question she brings up is "how edgy do you want YOUR Christian fiction" to be? I like Christian fiction - nonfiction Christian books too for that matter - because of the message.

I want to hear the spiritual elements of story and how GOD showed up in the character's lives. Now, if the Christian fiction is like an episode of "Desperate House Wives" and at the end they receive Jesus - that's not Christian fiction.

That's baiscally some smut and the last page they clean it up. NOT! I don't want my mind flooded with foolishness - like I always say, "garbage in, garbage out."

Christian fiction is to edify and uplift - not suggest the vulgar side of life. Don't we have enough of that already! And you can see the mess the world is in - it's wacked out and confused about basic beliefs and morals. What exactly is Christian fiction? Is it a novel written by a Christian or does it have to just be "clean" literature that includes God? What do you think?

Here's what Patricia W. wrote in her blog called Readin N Writin (in part):
African-American Market Comes of Age (by the way yours truly was quoted in the article)
So says Publisher's Weekly, about the African-American Christian publishing market, in an article here.

Not so fast, I say, and I believe some of the quoted subjects would agree with me.

The African-American Christian market hasn't come of age. It's always been there and has been eager, even dying, for good content. By that I mean, stories in its language, from its perspective, by its authors, with its flavor.

"What most people don't know is that we're dealing with a 200-year-old tradition, with the writing and publishing of religious materials within the African-American church,” says (Tony) Rose. “Frederick Douglass and other writers used the church as a vehicle to sell their books and pamphlets, and they self-published through their churches. African-Americans always wrote, always read—we had to write about our plight, whether it was slavery or Jim Crow or some demeaning situation. What we're seeing now is an extraordinary re-emergence of this self-publishing movement, whether it's urban literature, Christian literature, fiction—and religion is leading the pack."

What has come of age is the industry's acknowledgement and recognition of this market.

Authors like Kendra Norman-Bellamy, Tia McCollors, Angela Benson, and Felicia Mason along with more recent faces, like Dwan Abrams, Sherri Lewis, Mikasenoja, Shauna Burton and Sheila Lipsey, have brought fresh voices to the market.

And, I may add: KIM BROOKS!

See too!

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