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Rural Library Conference 2009 The Light & Dark of Christian Fiction Presented by Melanie Earley Adult Services Librarian Tecumseh District Library Light Christian Authors Janette Oke Beverly Lewis Wanda Brunsetter Jan Karon Gilbert Morris Edgy Christian Topics Sexual Orientation

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rural library conference 2009

Rural Library Conference 2009

The Light & Dark of Christian Fiction

Presented by Melanie Earley

Adult Services Librarian

Tecumseh District Library

light christian authors
Light Christian Authors
  • Janette Oke
  • Beverly Lewis
  • Wanda Brunsetter
  • Jan Karon
  • Gilbert Morris
edgy christian topics
Edgy Christian Topics

Sexual

Orientation

Deceit

Abuse

Gossip

Adultery

Greed

Prejudice

Spiritual Warfare

Homelessness

Forgiveness

Mental Health

Murder

Murder

Body Image

dark christian authors
Dark Christian Authors
  • Creston Mapes
  • Melody Carlson
  • Eric Wilson
  • Melanie Wells
  • Lisa Samson
  • Stacy Hawkins Adams
  • Michelle McKinney Hammond
christian publishers
Christian Publishers
  • Bethany House
  • Harvest House
  • Multnomah
  • Revell
  • Nav Press
  • Steeple Hill
  • Thomas Nelson
  • Zondervan
  • Christian Fiction Online Magazine-This site has author interviews,book reviews and publishing tips.
  • TitleTrakk-This is a weekly newsletter that reviews Christian books, movies and music.
what is christian fiction
What is Christian Fiction?
  • Meredith Efken describes it as such:“Even if I write a story in which I present no overt Christian references, my book is still deeply Christian because of the way I will instinctively address issues like evil in the world, injustice, morality, relationships, or God’s creation. It’s not the act of a character praying that makes a book Christian fiction, lots of religions have prayer. It’s the belief behind that act of prayer – the belief that there is a God who is ultimately in control.”
  • www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com
clint kelly
Scent (2006) Zondervan

Scent centers around the perfume industry. People who have received sample bottles of the perfume end up dead.

Topics include: corporate espionage, greed, murder, parenting issues, female friendship, and infidelity.

Other books in the series are Echo and Delicacy.

Clint Kelly
creston mapes www crestonmapes com
Nobody (2007) Multnomah

Nobody is a stand alone novel

A homeless man is murdered at a bus stop on Las Vegas Blvd. The reporter who finds him also finds a bank book worth $1 million. What will he do with it?

Topics include: murder, homelessness, corrupt police, pastors, domestic abuse, and the city of Las Vegas.

Creston Mapeswww.crestonmapes.com
creston mapes
Dark Star (2005) Multnomah

Full Tilt (2006) Multnomah

Dark Star: Confession of aRock Star and its sequel,Full Tilt, take place in the music industry.

Topics include: drug, sex, rock & roll, guns, psychics, murder, gambling, meth addiction, and alcoholism.

One of the main characters is Karen Bliss, a Christian who for years has tried to get singer Everett Lester to know the Lord.

Creston Mapes
melody carlson www melodycarlson com
Married to Chris for 29 years.

Lives in the Pacific Northwest near the Cascades Mountains.

Known for her “unsanitized” novels.

Besides her adult novels, she writes for all age groups.

Teen series include:True Colors, Notes from a Spinning Planet.

Tween series: Faithgirz

She also writes picture books.

Melody Carlsonwww.melodycarlson.com
melody carlson
Crystal Lies (2004) Waterbrook

Shaken by her 19-year-old son's crystal-meth addiction, Glennis Harmon is further devastated by the discovery of her high-profile attorney husband's affair. Plunging into the role of rescuer, Glennis is determined to save Jacob at any cost. Will that high price include her relationship with her daughter, her marriage---and her own sanity?

Topics include: infidelity, drugs, trust, and unconditional love.

Melody Carlson
melody carlson12
Finding Alice (2003) Waterbrook

Finding Alice is a modern day approach to the Alice inWonderland story. Alice Laxton is a college student who is suffering from schizophrenia. She sees others as characters from the Alice in Wonderland story.

Topics include: Negative church experience, attempted rape, homelessness, trust, and sexual orientation.

Soon to be a made-for-TV movie.

Melody Carlson
telling the truth in fiction
Telling the Truth in Fiction
  • “Telling the truth in fiction doesn’t mean we spell out the gospel, but it does mean we show hints and pieces of God’s redemption on the page. How do we do that? By making our characters sweet all the time? By removing the painful yoke of struggle? No, by showing life as it really is, but also how it could be. By writing the darkness of this world skillfully so that when snippets of redemption burst through, that light is ever more shining.”
  • Mary DeMuth
  • www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com
eric wilson http www wilsonwriter com
Married 18 years, has two daughters and lives in L.A.

Former youth pastor.

His parents smuggled Bibles into Communist countries.

Wrote the novelizations for the films Facing the Giants, Flywheel, and this past year’s Fireproof.

Eric Wilsonhttp://www.wilsonwriter.com
eric wilson
Best of Evil (2006) Waterbrook

A Shred of Truth (2007) Waterbrook

The Aramis Black mysteries are set in Nashville, Tenn. Aramis and his brother Johnny Ray are trying to find out who killed their mother, and find the Meriwether Lewis treasure while trying to stay alive themselves.

Topics include: murder, revenge, friendship, love, deceit, and the music industry.

Eric Wilson
melanie wells http melaniewells com
Lives in Dallas, Texas

Accomplished fiddle player

Two Masters degrees

Licensed psychotherapist

Licensed marriage and family therapist

Author of the Dylan Foster series

Melanie Wellshttp://melaniewells.com/
melanie wells
In When the Day of EvilComes, Dylan Foster, a professor at SMU in Dallas, Texas, is trying to find out why one of her students would commit suicide.(2005)

In Soul Hunter, Dylan is trying to solve a murder of a young woman who worked as stripper at a local club. (2006)

In My Soul to Keep, Dylan is trying to rescue a kidnapped little boy. (2008) Multnomah

The main theme through all three books is spiritual warfare.

Melanie Wells
lisa samson http lisasamson typepad com
Embrace Me (2007) Thomas Nelson

When a “lizard woman,” a self-mutilating preacher, a tattooed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster . . . and improbably close to grace.

Topics include: body image, deceit, churches, physical handicaps, and friendship.

Lisa Samsonhttp://lisasamson.typepad.com
lisa samson
Straight Up (2006) Waterbrook

Straight Up was a finalist for the 2007 Christy Award.

Alcoholism takes over the life of 30-year-old Georgia Bishop.

Topics include: alcoholism, missed opportunities, God’s patience, and mercy.

Lisa Samson
urban christian fiction
Urban Christian Fiction
  • Two Elements in Urban Christian Fiction (UCF):
  • Raw Honesty: characters don’t water down their feelings as they pertain to God, themselves, or the people in the church; however, blasphemy is not accepted.
  • Drama: UCF wouldn’t be what it is if the story didn’t involve a little drama in the church.
urban christian fiction21
Urban Christian Fiction
  • Characteristics of Urban Christian Fiction:
  • It is unpredictable, gritty and raw.
  • The protagonist experiences some form of “church hurt”and tries to get over it with the help of God.
  • The protagonist doesn’t always resolve his/her problemsin a cookie cutter manner.
  • Forgiveness of hurt is real, raw and sometimes not forgiven easily.
  • Church scandal is eminent and unavoidable.
  • God is the center of the protagonist heart.
  • http://www.urbanchristianfiction.com/articles.html
reshonda tate billingsley www reshondatatebillingsley com
Lives in Houston, Texas

Background in newspaper, magazine, radio and television

Was a television reporter

Has had 16 novels published

ReShonda Tate Billingsleywww.reshondatatebillingsley.com
reshonda tate billingsley
Let the Church Say Amen (2004) Pocket Books

Let the Church Say Amen was voted best Christian fiction in 2004 by Library Journal.

Reverend Simon Jackson has transformed his small Houston church into one of the most respected in the region. While tending his flock, his family has gone astray.

Topics include: unwed mothers, drug abuse, gossip, and sexual orientation.

Being made into a movie.

Reshonda Tate Billingsley
stacy hawkins adams http www stacyhawkinsadams com
Lives in Richmond, Virginia

Married and has two children

She is writing her sixth novel and her first non-fiction book.

Stacy Hawkins Adamshttp://www.stacyhawkinsadams.com
stacy hawkins adams
Speak to my Heart (2004) Revell

Serena is successful, sassy, and saved. But can she come to terms with her mother's secret past relationship before it’s too late?

Topics Include: church drama, lying and death.

Stacy Hawkins Adams
victoria christopher murray http www victoriachristophermurray com
Has been on numerous best-seller lists

Nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Outstanding Literature.

Writes for adults, but also writes a teen series entitledThe Divine Divas.

Victoria Christopher Murrayhttp://www.victoriachristophermurray.com
victoria chritopher murray
Grown Folks Business (2006) Simon & Schuster

Sheridan’s husband wanted to stop living a lie, but how was she going to live her life knowing the truth? “There’s no other way to say this. I’m in love with someone else.”

Topics include: sexual orientation, teen pregnancy, and forgiveness.

Victoria Chritopher Murray
michelle mckinney hammond http www michellehammond com
Bestselling author and relationship expert

Background in advertising

Art director, writer, producer

Two music CDs

Co-hosted the Emmy-winning talk show, “Aspiring Women”

Known for “keeping it real”

Michelle McKinney Hammondhttp://www.michellehammond.com/
michelle mckinney hammond
Playing God (2008)Harvest House.

Tamara Roberts is a Christian therapist who begins to question how God can let so much hurt happen in the lives of good people.

Topics include: infidelity, sexuality orientation,sexual abuse, attempted suicide, child neglect, and revenge.

Michelle McKinney Hammond
adversity in fiction changes lives
Adversity in Fiction Changes Lives
  • “Conflict and adversity play a critical role in what gives fiction that life transforming quality. Give me a novel with flawed characters facing some kind of terrible adversity, where everything dear to them hangs in the balance. It doesn’t matter if the protagonist seems to make more mistakes than getting things right; it’s the struggle that holds the key. Conflict and adversity not only make the story more interesting but they add a depth and a sense of realism. It is true life, adversity shapes us into who we are as people and in our novels, it has the power to affect the reader in the same way.”
  • David Meigs novelist & youth pastor
  • www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com
hollywood and christian fiction
Hollywood and Christian Fiction
  • Christian Film Database- This company doesn’t sell films, it helps you find what’s out there. Their purpose is to give a snapshot of each film and link it to a website where more information can be found. You can find many movie trailers at this site.
  • http://www.christianfilmdatabase.com/
  • Movies I would suggest: The List, The Wager, Hidden Secrets, Fireproof, Welcome to Paradise, Women Thou Art Loosed.
christian graphic novels
Christian Graphic Novels
  • The Bible has been done in Manga.
  • Marked by Steve Ross. This is a black & white graphic novel. It is gritty and the introduction does say “ Let the reader beware.” It tells the story of the Book of Mark.
  • Eye Witness by Robert James Luedke. I thought this title was pretty good. It is in color. It looks at the question of why did Judas betray Jesus. The story is told by Joseph of Arimetha. (This is the first title in the series.) 2004 Head Press
  • Hand of the Morningstar:Advent-This is more like your superhero comic books. It is in color. It deals with themes of self-respect, dignity, military weapons, and eco-terrorism. (This is a the first title in the series.) 2007 Zondervan