Monday, June 14, 2010

You mean me?

Okay, so, in my previous post I mentioned that my library book singing-turned book talk last week resulted in an interested situation due to the way it was advertised. (Not a bad one sentence summary. ;)
It all started when the librarian in charge suggested some things I should talk about and finished with saying, “And you should talk about this new genre you write in.” I sort of stared at her blankly so she added, “You know, Christian mysteries.”
Well, I thought about it for a minute and tried to come up with a way to tell her it’s not really a new genre, but I realize that to some people it is. So, when I was discussing the topic I said that Christian mystery isn’t exactly a new genre, but a lot of people associate Christian fiction more with historical novels. I did start to notice that questions came up time to time about it…particularly from other librarians. They wanted to know what this new genre was all about.
…..Much to my surprise, towards the end of the day, I discovered the library was handing flyers out that boldly stated, “Emily is one of the first to work with the Christian Mystery Genre.” That is an exact quote and it caught me totally off-guard. :P
Am I one of the first writers working with the Christian Mystery Genre? No. I’m not sure where that came from. But I have noticed that in a lot of circles Christian fiction is a pretty foreign concept and mystery is even more so. I’ve just never had it be quite so foreign to a group before. LOL
So, I’m here today to ask you, my friends, what your opinion is. ;)
Have you heard of or read Christian fiction? If so, is there a particular genre you associate with it more? Is Christian mystery all that unheard of in the world of books?

27 comments:

Lydia Kang said...

I haven't, but kudos to you for doing something innovative!
:)

Julia M. Reffner said...

I haven't read Christian mysteries I don't think, but I have read books that are suspense. Not sure what the definitions are for some of the genres, it can get confusing.

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Lydia: Well, I wouldn't exactly call myself innovative. There are plenty of other authors who have done the same thing. ;)

Julia: It can get confusing. Mysteries and suspense are basically the same thing. Adding the word Christian to it simply means the author has woven a Christian message or vaule into the overall mystery plot-line. It's definitely a genre worth exploring! :)

Jen said...

I have to say I've never really thought about it. In all honesty I've never really thought about Christian as a genre in itself, however it was one I would think they'd work along the lines as everything else, romance, mystery, etc. So for me I would say it isn't unheard of. It would make sense!

PS I have read a Christian Mystery and it has your name on it ;) and I loved it!

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Jen: Thanks so much! That makes my day. :)
And I agree, "Christian fiction" can apply to a lot of different genres. :)

Brianna said...

OMG, I cannot believe those librarians weren't familiar with Christian fiction!!! That's insane! Our local library has shelves stocked full of Christian fiction (and yes, several are mysteries)!
I really don't catagorize Christian fiction into any particular genre. I've read all sorts; historical, mysteries, fantasy (my personal favorite, as you know), contemporary, Amish romances, etc. It simply blows my mind away that anyone could be unaware of the vast stock of Christian fiction books on the market! :-O

Bina said...

I tend to stick with ChristFict...and while I don't know that I have heard of Christian Mysteries as a set genre, I do know that I have read some where I spent the whole book trying to understand whodoneit and how. So...hmmm...

BUT...I would frame the flyer and when the day comes that ChristMyst's are the big thing, you can point to it and say "But here is where it all began"...ha ha

alicia said...

All I read is Christian fiction, and while a lot of it is historical, there is a lot of modern day stuff out there too! One of the first series I read was "The Million Dollar Mystery" series by Mindy Starns Clark. I loved that whole series! It is hard to find Christian Mystery, there is another author I just can't think of right now that did mysteries, but look forward to it growing! Your book being one on my list! ;)

Karen Lange said...

Yes, I have, and no I do not associate one genre over another with it. My favorite is Christian historical fiction, but enjoy the mysteries now and again. I've read all sorts of Christian literature, including mysteries, for a very long time. Been thinking I should read your book...:)
Blessings,
Karen

Diane said...

It's awesome that you are shedding light on this for the libraries. I have gone in and specifically requested Christian books just to get that stuff in there, next to the vampire stuff. :O)

Guinevere said...

I used to read a lot of Christian fiction, and still read some on occasion (I'm a pretty voracious reader and no genre is safe!).

I don't really associated Christian fiction strongly with any particular genre - really, to me, it's any genre where a character's Christian faith plays a strong role. I guess there is a lot of historical stuff, but as a fan of Perretti and Dekker, I always think of there being a lot of Christian horror/suspense.

Strange to me that librarians wouldn't be more exposed to those genres, but hey, good on you for being one of the first in the Christian Mystery genre. ;)

L. E. Neighbour said...

haa ha wow ^_^ I read a lot of Christian fiction growing up... I never really associated it with any particular sub-genre, though. I guess to me it was kinda like our music--there was always an [all-Christian] eclectic selection at my disposal. That's kinda funny though... LOL new genre ^_^

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Emily Ann -

I've read lots of Christian mystery and suspense novels. I don't think many in the general market even realize we're here.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Way to Go Emily! You are a forerunner in your local library!

It's kind of funny and sad that your librarians didn't know about Christian mysteries, but what an amazing opporunity for ministry!

I've read just about every genre within Christian fiction . . . romance, historical romance, action adventure, suspense, mystery, thriller, horror (and I didn't like it any better with angels and archangels than I did when I read Stephen King), fantasy, and science/speculative fiction. I've read picture books, chapter books, Children's literature, and YA . . . all in Christian fiction.

I read like it is a necessary food group, or air that I have to breathe, so I have had the opportunity to discover all these genres in Christian fiction. I hope your librarians stretch themselves to find out more . . . and maybe along the way they'll find Christ . . . all because they met their first ever Christian mystery author.

Karen said...

I adore mysteries, and Christian, too! Winning combo!!

Lady in Waiting said...

All I read are Christian Fiction, when I read fiction. I have tried reading the "secular" fiction authors and was never able to get into it because the ones I tried to read never made me think enough. I like to think things through! :)

David A. Bedford said...

As a long-time believer in Christ, I'm a little perturbed at whole idea of Christian fiction. There is fiction written by Christians such as JRR Tolkien and Dorothy Sayers and fiction written on Christian themes by authors who are not Christian. If we read a book because it's "Christian" and not because it's good, are we really any better off? Please go to my website and check out my blog. Thanks!

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Brianna: I know, it's crazy! But our book stores don't even have very much Christian fiction. :( Hey, it's California. :P

Bina: LOL that is such a good idea! And, yes, that does sound like a mystery to me.

Alicia: I LOVE Mindy Starns Clark!
And if you do get a chance to read my book, please tell me what you think. :)

Karen: I think Christian fiction is on the growing trend (hopes).
And I hope you get to read mine!!!

Diane:That's a great idea! Combating the vampires together!

Guinevere: I've read one of T. Dekker's books and found it very interesting. :) Your definition of Christian fiction is exactly right...at least the way I see it. :)

Linnae: LOL, yes, innovator that I am. Good point about the music too...Though I think there are a lot of people who are still disturbed by the idea of "Christian rock." LOL

Susan: Well, we'll work to let them know!! :)

Tyrean: Yeah, it is a little sad to think the concept was new to them, though they did seem open to the idea. :) Of course, reaching new people is a huge goal of Christian fiction!! I think too often we think of it only as something for Christians to read. :P

Karen: AGREED!

Lady: Yes! Plus so many secular writers put junk in there that makes it totally unread able. :(

David: I definitely wouldn't recommend reading a book "just because it's Christian." This day and age it simply means a book with pro-Christian theme. :) A Christian can writer a secular book. There's nothing wrong with that (provided there's nothing bad in the book). Christian fiction writers merely choose to add obvious elements of Christianity. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Jill Kemerer said...

I think trends come and go, and Christian mysteries must be a new trend. I do read inspirational books--mainly romances.

Cara said...

Hmmm... I've read quite a bit of Christian fiction in my day, from mysteries, romance (gag) and historical fiction to what I consider the 'Classics' Tolkien, Lewis and MacDonald. ;)

Perhaps because of the very strong impression they have left with me, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear 'Christian fiction' is those (gag) romance 'novellas' that my sister used to get at the library. (Apparently our library has at least some minor awareness of Christian fiction) ;)

There are some good CF romances, but the particular kind I'm talking about... O_o
Even though they have many different authors, they all share the same plot - which is basically as follows:

Guy meets Girl. Girl can't stand Guy. Guy and Girl develop a weird love/hate relationship; they can't stand to be near each other, but they can't stand to be away from each other either. Eventually, Guy kisses Girl. Girl is furious with Guy. But because of that (gag) Girl somehow comes to the realization that she really actually is terribly in love with guy. (gag)
So now they are generally to be found kissing or else fuming. LOL And then they get married. And live happily ever after.
Other than that, nothing ever happens except that the UPS man delivers packages and the ladies at work discuss embroidery. :D Hehehe

(For anyone who may love those kind of Christian fiction romance novellas - keep on enjoying! I'm kind of an odd person anyway. LOL) :)

Emily - I know, I know... I should have just blogged it and not messed up yours with a huge comment. :P

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Jill: Well, I really hope Christian fiction is a trend here to stay!

Cara: LOL! You are too funny. I think romance is something people are pre-conditioned to. If you're a soppy, romantic about just about anything then just about any type of romance suits you. If not, you probably will lean towards other genres. And feel free to post as much as you like!! But I still want to see your blog.
....btw, I'm a soppy, romantic about just about anything type. LOL I kill Sarah all the time with my soppiness. ;)

Cara said...

LOL! I'm glad you didn't take that wrong... sometimes I'm not sure if I'm going a little too far. :D

I wouldn't say I'm completely a non-romantic... but I do get tired of reading the same thing over and over and over - especially when the main character's names keep changing. Rather confusing. ;)

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Cara: No worries. I love it when people get into the discussion. ;)

And I will agree, some plot-lines are totally overused. Personally, I am SO tired of the "Girl must choose between the poor guy she loves and the rich guy who can support her" plot. :P Like we don't know who she is going to choose. LOL

prashant said...

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Cara said...

I know!!! I can't stand that one! It's terrible. :P

ℜ-₩inch said...

I haven't delved into modern Christian fiction much yet. Truthfully, I usually don't read Christian lit unless it has stood the test of time (50 years or so). As I just finished writing my first novel, and it's classified as Christian SCIENCE fiction, I realize this is going to have to change. I've read countless times how dangerous it is to write in a genre you don't read regularly. To be fair, I read heaps of Christian and heaps of fiction, just not at the same time :) Anyway, like I said, I need to start. Would you recommend any of your titles for one who usually shies away from mystery due to his bias towards philosophy and sci-fi/fantasy? Thanks Emily!

-Andrew

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