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ldumont999
06-24-2005, 06:59 AM
How many of you write for...
...a secular audience?
...the pew warmers?
...the firm and faithful?
...any or all of the above?

WHY do you write for that audience and what "special" approach do you use to reach that audience?:Coffee:

Louise Bergmann DuMont
Latest Releases: Faith-Dipped Chocolate & Grace by the Cup

Calla Lily
06-24-2005, 02:47 PM
I write for the seekers and the doubters. I was one for 20 years, so I can confidently say I know my audience! :D Doesn't matter if they attend church or not.

Gravity
06-24-2005, 04:11 PM
My Christian novels are written as "crossover books" for men. Meaning they're gritty enough that a Christian guy can read one, be blown away, and then hand it to an unsaved buddy at work or the gym and tell them, "So you think Christian men are limp wimps huh? Read this thing and get back to me."

Because of their edginess my agent had a hard time getting them published with a commericial CBA house. The usual comment she'd get from the editor would be along the lines of "I like it, but it'll scare women to death. Pass." Well, duh. That was the point; this ain't chick lit.

Finally, though, RiverOak took a chance, and the series has taken off. Praise God!

John

Pat~
06-24-2005, 05:49 PM
I just started this last year, finishing up a book for Christian women dealing with depression, anxiety, and addictive behavior patterns; I also have been writing poetry and devotionals, so I guess so far my writing has been mainly geared to the believer who desires a closer walk. My approach is one that emphasizes the incredible grace of God and developing a relationship of deep love for Christ, as opposed to the legalism which is so pervasive in many churches today.

I have a real heart for the deep need of the secular audience, but so far my only writing for them has been in newspaper "Letters to the Editor", or in online forums. I would think one of the most effective ways to reach them would be in writing for the crossover market, but I'm no novel writer (I'm in awe of people that can write good fiction). I would love to get some ideas for reaching this audience. Good thread!

ldumont999
06-24-2005, 07:06 PM
My Christian novels are written as "crossover books" for men. Meaning they're gritty enough that a Christian guy can read one, be blown away, and then hand it to an unsaved buddy at work or the gym and tell them, "So you think Christian men are limp wimps huh? Read this thing and get back to me."


Way to go John! My heart runs to a similar place for woman. I wrote two books with my mother-in-law in mind (she's unsaved). I wanted a book that a Christian woman could read, throughly enjoy, and share with a co-worker or neighbor. Something with enough reality in it that the average woman would not see a goody-two-shoes but rather a Christian with real problems - who accepts both earthly help and heavenly solutions. I wanted worldly women to see problems that didn't disapear but Christian woman who showed a strength that they themselves couldn't muster up.

Its nice to know that there is a guy-version out there.

God Bless

Louise Bergmann DuMont:Coffee:
Recent Releases: Faith-Dipped Chocolate and Grace by the Cup
www.njcwg.blogspot.com (http://www.njcwg.blogspot.com/)
www.cafemochalight.blogspot.com (http://www.cafemochalight.blogspot.com/)

trebuchet
06-24-2005, 11:26 PM
My book is for the secular, mass-market audience.

Its themes are definitely Christian and it ends on a note of faith. But I can only think of one Christian friend of mine who might not completely hate it. Maybe it will get a message out . . . if it ever ends up published!

Cheryll
06-27-2005, 08:42 AM
I've been contemplating this exact question... where exactly I fit in my quest to be published.

I experienced a big let-down recently when an agent read almost 3/4 of my first novel but then decided not to extend representation. When I asked why, she said it wasn't "Christian enough", even though I don't use foul language, explicit sex scenes, or blatantly offensive dialogue or situations in my writing. She advised me that if I wished to pursue a career in the Christian publishing field, I needed to re-think my style, although she never specified what exactly that means. I don't intend on changing. LOL

I guess I would categorize myself as "a Christian who's a writer" and not a "Christian writer". I believe there's a difference. I'm currently trying to break in to the Christian publishing market, but I think my novels would also appeal to a secular audience. I would prefer to work with Christian editors and publishing houses, but if I can't get published there, I'll definately try my hand at the secular market.

Although I admire a lot of Christian writers, I sometimes find that their stories and plots are a bit limited. By that I mean all the characters are Christians, most of the plot or action revolves around the church and characters of similar faith, the conflicts center around the same themes over and over again, etc. This isn't a knock. It's just not my particular style.

The recurring theme in my fiction is about relationships and overcoming life's obstacles. Most of my characters are faith-based, but not all of them. Some want nothing to do with God, or, for various reasons, have strayed from their faith, which I think a lot of people can relate to. I try to insert scenes and situations that encourage the reader to contemplate their own spiritual state, or lack thereof, if that's the case. I try to lay down the challenge of trusting God without being preachy.

Bottom line: I know that the Lord has led me down this road, and that it will happen in His time. We all have something to offer that will appeal to very different types of audiences! To me, the important thing is in asking God to direct your writing and then completing what He has put on your heart! :)

Cheryll

ldumont999
06-27-2005, 03:50 PM
[QUOTE=Cheryll]I've been contemplating this exact question... where exactly I fit in my quest to be published.
I experienced a big let-down recently when an agent read almost 3/4 of my first novel but then decided not to extend representation. ... Bottom line: I know that the Lord has led me down this road, and that it will happen in His time. We all have something to offer that will appeal to very different types of audiences! To me, the important thing is in asking God to direct your writing and then completing what He has put on your heart! {/QUOTE]

I wouldn't give up on a Christian agent just yet. I think you just haven't found one that champions the kind of writing that you do. Have you read Brandilyn Collin's books? (Eyes of Elisha, Dread Champion, Brink of Death, Stain of Guilt & Dead of Night). Amazing works of suspense. There are some Christian characters but the main character of her latest forensic series is not a Christian. I think the character is heading in that direction and will make a profession of faith before the series is over though.

Brandilyn also has a writing book out called "Getting into Character." Excellent! She teaches at numerous Christian writing conferences around the country. She has a great website (http://www.brandilyncollins.com/) and a writers blog called forensics and faith (http://www.forensicsandfaith.blogspot.com/) It sounds to me like your writing is similar to hers and that you would enjoy her stuff.

To top all that off, Brandilyn is a lovely lady :Thumbs: with an amazing faith. If you decide to drop her line through her website, tell her Louise sent you.

Betty W01
06-28-2005, 07:42 AM
Cheryll, check out Dee Henderson's O'Malley series for some books that feature a mix of Christians and non-Christians, gripping story lines, and talk about faith that doesn't end up too sticky-sweet for words. She also has a series called Uncommon Heroes that features military characters (male and female), lots of action, and a serving of romance, too.

Homesar Runner
06-29-2005, 06:25 AM
My published writing thus far has been aimed solely at hungry believers. It's fairly demanding quasi-academic stuff, but over the past decade I've gotten over 200,000 copies of all my titles in the hands of paying readers.

Beyond continuing what I've already been doing in the non-fiction area (it's my day job, dontcha know), I'm interested in christian fiction market, particularly as it appears to be nearing another boost in the level of its ability to absorb more than pap and devotional stuff. Gravity's comments, in particular, are most encouraging to hear.

Homesar

Perks
06-29-2005, 06:42 AM
I write for the seekers and the doubters. I was one for 20 years, so I can confidently say I know my audience! :D Doesn't matter if they attend church or not.

A seeker/doubter for 20 years? You'll hit your mark, your target is wide. I like to hear that after that much seeking and doubting, there is hope in perceiving what awaits us. I hope to be where you are someday.