Sunday, November 1, 2015

My guest today is

My guest today is author Lia London, 
also the administrator of the Facebook group
Clean Indie Reads

 Is there a difference between clean/Christian/sweet romantic fiction, or can the terms be used synonymously?

While readership often overlaps across these categories, I see them as distinct. Clean just refers to the lack of explicit content, but the genre and themes could go anywhere. It’s like an umbrella under which many other things can happen. Christian means there will be overt Christ-centered themes with the purpose of building faith. Sweet romance may not have any religion in it at all, but it will have a plot based around people falling in love.
All that said, while curating my writers’ group called Clean Indie Reads, I note that two of the largest categories Christian fiction and sweet romance. The other big category is young adult, and in talking to many adults who love the genre, it’s because there’s plenty of clean action. This shows me that the genres are very compatible. Within the group of 2300+ writers from varying faiths and genres, I’ve seen many cross over and read new kinds of books simply because they feel a confidence that the content will be clean. I’ve actually read more romances and more Christian fiction since starting this group than I ever did before because I know the romances will be clean and the Christian fiction more diverse in the sub-genres (i.e. fantasy, thriller, mystery, historical, etc.).

Why did you choose to write clean/Christian fiction as opposed to the guaranteed “seller-type” novels?

I don’t know that it was a conscious choice at first. I just wrote stories of the sort I would like to read. Since I don’t like graphic or vulgar content in the books I read (probably because of my Christian beliefs), it just came out naturally in my writing. Why would I change who I am in order to write a book?

Have you had negative feedback on what you write? That is, has anyone or any reviewer criticized your books because they didn’t contain the type of language and scenes many readers are looking for?

Yes. While querying my first novel with publishers and literary agents, it quickly became clear that they liked the story but wanted me to “spice it up” with more “romance”—their code word for sexual content. I didn’t want to go there, so they didn’t accept my story. Reviewers thus far have not complained.

Is purely Christian fiction “preaching to the choir”, or does it have a chance of impacting fringe audiences?

My un-researched guess is that non-Christian readers are not likely browsing the Christian section of any bookstores. But does that mean said stories are only ‘preaching to the choir’? Well, mostly. But they’re also preaching to the snoozers (who sleep through the sermons) and the lobby guards (who find a reason not to be in the worship services or small group meetings) and the Sunday-only saints (the ones who come to Church out of tradition, but for whom the good news of the gospel has not really taken on a deeper, applicable meaning).  All of these people need the message just as much as someone who doesn’t believe at all. When we strengthen the Church, we extend its ability to reach into the hearts of others, so it’s worth it.

I am including a release from earlier this year that is a clean /sweet romance. Although it is not overtly Christian, the main character is Christian and her morals reflect that.

                                                      HER IMAGINARY HUSBAND

In an effort to ward off the unwanted advances of the womanizing football coach, Nikki Fallon comes up with the perfect plan. She pretends she's already married. There's only one problem. When she meets the honorable campus cop, she wishes she hadn't started the lie. How can she get rid of an imaginary husband? 

Universal Amazon link:

No comments: