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jonereb
01-24-2007, 04:47 PM
The terms "Christian" & "Horror" sound at odds" but the fight between good and evil makes them a natural fit. I'm curious about the market for a Christian themed YA horror novel. Is this a viable market? Are agents and publishers willing to take on such a novel? Please forgive my ignorance on the matter.

williemeikle
01-24-2007, 04:53 PM
Joe Nassise runs Revelation Press for just this kind of stuff...

http://www.revelationpress.net/?

BruceJ
01-25-2007, 04:36 PM
Joe Nassise runs Revelation Press for just this kind of stuff...

http://www.revelationpress.net/? (http://www.revelationpress.net/?)
Is this site still alive? I noticed it hasn't been updated in four years.

KCathy
01-29-2007, 04:36 AM
I think you're wise to think those two go together. I would definitely consider one or two of Peretti's works to be at least as far into the horror genre as some of the milder King and Koontz novels. I enjoyed Christopher Pike as a teen, but the Christian in me hated the sex and swearing. I would have loved Christian horror.

There's lots of horror in the Bible: people burning newborns alive in Molech-worship, a witch calling Samuel from the grave to tell Saul he's a freaking idiot, one of the Herods being eaten alive by worms, Jael driving a tent stake through old what's his face's forehead with a hammer, etc.

I know I'm editorializing instead of helping. Have you tried searching amazon.com or just scanning the YA section of a Christian bookstore to see if anything jumps out? Now I'm playing Socrates instead of helping, lol. Sorry.

Best of luck and it sounds like a great idea to me!

jonereb
01-30-2007, 06:27 AM
KCathy, interesting that you should bring up the Saul/Samual & medium point...because in my YA novel, I let a counselor alude to that story. It's about a teen who suspects the death of his best friend is far more than meets the eye. So he inquires about the manifestation of spirits...believing that he may have actually seen one.

KCathy
01-30-2007, 09:27 AM
That story has always been so interesting to me. Sounds like a fun idea to include in a book. Best of luck!

clara bow
01-30-2007, 09:34 AM
I so wish I had an answer for you. My husband wrote a book that is best described as adult Christian Horror, with fallen angels and all kinds of neat stuff. He tried shopping it around everywhere. No takers, except for Harbor House Books which later never followed up despite sending an email offer for publication.

It's probably such a niche market that one would really need an agent to place it. I'll bet there's an audience, though. I would love to read some quality Christian Horror (I just can't go for anyting on the shelves right now...the writing I've seen is just abysmal).

Maybe you could spin your manuscript as YA urban fantasy/paranormal with a Christian twist. Try it out with a few query letters and see what happens.

jonereb
01-30-2007, 04:27 PM
Thanks, y'all.

David Conner
02-10-2007, 02:14 AM
Dear Jonereb,
When I read your post, a concern struck me that I would like to share with you. But what I want to say, I will say, not as a writer, but as a fellow Christian. However, in your post, you asked only for literary feedback. Therefore, I will not offer my opinion uninvited. If you want to hear what I have to say, please send me a private message.

Your friend in Jesus Christ, Dave:)

Calla Lily
02-10-2007, 03:42 AM
The terms "Christian" & "Horror" sound at odds" but the fight between good and evil makes them a natural fit. I'm curious about the market for a Christian themed YA horror novel. Is this a viable market? Are agents and publishers willing to take on such a novel? Please forgive my ignorance on the matter.

I write Christian Horror and I'm heading off to find mainstream agents and publishers. I've been told 1) that I'm gong to fry in hell, and 2) that my writing will "offend Christians" so Christian pubs won't take a chance on alienating people with cash in their pockets.

:Headbang:

However, since I think my audience is *not* the choir, but the goths in the local theater, this is probably the right way for me to go.

If you want a sample of my latest, it's here:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54311

I wish both of us luck!

David Conner
02-10-2007, 09:28 AM
The terms "Christian" & "Horror" sound at odds" but the fight between good and evil makes them a natural fit. I'm curious about the market for a Christian themed YA horror novel. Is this a viable market? Are agents and publishers willing to take on such a novel? Please forgive my ignorance on the matter.


Since I posted my first message on this site (it was my second post on the net...ever), I have done a little reading among the posts elsewhere in this forum. I see that perhaps I have been a little too delicate.

Not that I intend to be unkind. Not at all. As before, I wish to be helpful. But I no longer have reservations about weighing in on an uninvited particular. That seems to be par for the course.

If your motive for writing "Christian Horror" is only for personal gratification, monetary reward, or such, then I have nothing to say to you. But if you are a Christian, writing to a Christian, or prospective Christian readership, then I encourage you to qualify the message(s) in your story according to this standard: Does it ultimately bring glory to God?
There is nothing intrinsically evil about communicating a horror story. As other posts in this thread have shown, the bible has its share of gruesome details. In fact, the most famous horror story of all tells of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. But the deepest message of that story was not about gratuitous violence, it was about incomprehensible love and sacrifice.

We have all heard of the movie "The Passion of the Christ," and many have seen it, including myself. As I watched this story unfold, I was deeply disturbed by the graphic portrayal of Christ's suffering at the hands of his assailants. This was "Horror" in its clearest form. But when I left the theater that night, I was not buzzing from some kind of negative high that appealed to my dark side. I was stricken with remorse for the part that I had (and still have) in putting the Son of God on that Cross. I saw myself, and others in a new light: If Jesus would willingly die like that to redeem us and show us what surrender really looks like, then we are all of immense value. And if he could be so far outside of himself that he was able to pray for his killers while they were killing him, then maybe I can forgive those who follow me too closely in traffic.

I wept all the way home, and accepted his gift that night.

Now, certainly, the story in that movie is a hard act to follow. But it is a perfect example of how a horror story can bring glory to God. It depends on the content of the story, and the spirit in which it is written. Getting published is not the ultimate goal, it is pleasing the Ultimate Editor that matters most.

Ralyks
03-27-2007, 01:44 AM
I think authors of horror would have better luck trying secular markets and keeping the Christian message subtle. Horror is, ultimately, about good vs. evil, and thus, at its core, can lend itself well to spirtual themes and Christian values. I have definitely observed Christian currents in some of Stephen King's writing, for instance. However, I think most Christian publishers will be reluctant to touch horror as a genre because the supernatural elements so often risk becoming "theologically incorrect," so to speak, and because of a general feeling/belief that it isn't "Christian" to take pleasure in creating or experiencing fear, which is what horror, as a genre, is about--the thrill of being scared. This is not to say that Christian horror can't be done; it's only to say that your chances of finding an explicitly, specifically Christian publisher are slim.

Ezy Rider
03-27-2007, 05:48 AM
I got banned from a Christian forum for posting a story that was considered too gory. Have they ever read the Bible! It is full of sin and gore.:wag:

Ralyks
03-28-2007, 04:27 PM
I got banned from a Christian forum for posting a story that was considered too gory. Have they ever read the Bible! It is full of sin and gore.:wag:

However, there's no detail. It's the detail that most Christians object to. You are told Jael drove a tent peg through Sisera's head, and that is all you are told. You are not told about the blood, or the fracturing of the skull, or his screams, etc. There really isn't "gore" in the Bible. There is only horror directly and briefly stated in the context of a larger lesson. The horror genre, on the other hand, may have a larger lesson, but the thrill is in the detail. I can understand why many Christians have a problem with the genre, even if I do not personally.

Of course, Dante's Inferno has plenty of detail...so great Christian horror literature has gone before.

small axe
04-08-2007, 03:54 PM
It is one of my big disappointments that the Christian message is so easily relegated BY CHRISTIANS to the ghetto of niche markets. The comments above showcase the problem: Christian "horror" must not be allowed to be "too horrible" -- when in theory the Christian doctrine is perhaps BEST SUITED to deal with the Horror genre.

Our Evil Guy is ... the BIGGEST BAD EVIL guy.
Our Hero against Evil is ... THE BIG HERO against Evil.

And our audience of billions of devout, to the core Believers?

Wimps. Softies. Who don't like to be challenged, who don't like to examine their OWN inner worlds.

Please.

Jesus hung with the prostitutes to preach His message of Salvation.
Jesus chatted with Demons and the Devil.
Jesus didn't SHY AWAY from the scary stuff, he went and faced it down.

Has anyone seen the excellent Horror movie FRAILTY? There's a challenging movie. FALLEN? THE EXCORCIST? Heck, even CONSTATINE.

The Christian message should be taken where it's most needed, period.

The Goths have something to teach us. My favourite part of any Vampire movie is the Crucifix. How many "Christian Movie Goers" refuse to see a movie where the Crucifix conquers Evil?

Shame on them. Too bad.

Plot Device
04-15-2007, 08:51 AM
"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" was written and directed by Christians. The director in particuar, Scott Derrickson, has repeatedly explained he sees horror as an ideal vehicle for conveying the truths of God. To paraphrase him: when one considers the existence of Evil, one is, by default, forced to consider the existence of Good. And the question of God is then brought to the forefront.

And as for the validity of the term "Christian horror", Frank Peretti is called the father of "Christian horror."

Plot Device
04-17-2007, 04:35 PM
And on the subject of Scott Derrickson, because of his resume as a horror director, and his known-around-Hollywood grasp of the deeper philosophical points and theological aspects of the Christian religion, and most especially because of the box office success of TEoER, he has recently been given the honor/responsibility of directing the huge huge budget film Paradise Lost.

Going back a few years in time, here's an interview with him from around the release of TEoER:

http://www.christianweek.org/opinions/artsreview/vol19/1913.html


“My whole trajectory in this genre started when I was in film school,” he says during a phone interview from his home in Glendale, California. “I knew that I wanted to integrate my faith with cinema in some way that was relevant to the culture.”

After graduating from Biola University, Derrickson pursued a master’s degree in film at the University of Southern California; it was at that time that he read C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and Walker Percy’s novel Lancelot, which states that “evil” is “surely the clue to this age, the only quest appropriate to the age...God may be absent, but what if someone should find the Devil?”

“It really started to resonate with me,” says Derrickson, “that this was the genre where a Christian could connect with mainstream culture, and there was potential there to not preach to the choir—and to not even preach to the culture, but connect with the culture. And that is certainly what I have been trying to do with a lot of my work.

“In the case of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, I was very committed not to make a movie was intended to give spiritual or religious or metaphysical answers to the audience. I really just wanted to make a film to provoke the mainstream audience to ask themselves what they believe, and cause them to come away from the film provoked to think about and discuss spiritual matters and spiritual issues that I think are profoundly important.”

AzBobby
04-19-2007, 02:08 AM
Do we always use the term "horror" correctly?

The idea of "Christian horror" made me scan my mind for good examples, and immediately I thought of a few that don't qualify. First, I thought of parts of C.S. Lewis's space trilogy that I happened to find scary (hero is stuck in a cave with a devil-possessed corpse mocking him at one point, if I remember correctly). But those aren't horror stories. They're adventure tales, "romances" as Lewis called them using the old-fashioned definition of the term, that happen to contain a few scary and suspenseful passages.

True horror challenges the reader with a skewed look at the world. It's more than scary moments added to an adventure tale. Horror reaches inside and gives the reader a thrill ride based on that horror. They read it with the expectation of entering the dark side of life, even some irrational dark side they don't believe in... in fact, the more irrational, the better the horror. A good horror story might dole out the gore, violence, and other ostensibly evil moments in small doses to merit better suspense; yet the underlying universe of that story is supposed to support that dark nightmare content, as if it's inevitable and always waiting in the background, as if the reader might turn around and see the same thing happening outside his/her own window. Some would argue that's the whole point of a horror story, including the fair share of horror stories with a somewhat happy ending (e.g. where the main characters escape the immediate danger).

So I'd suggest that a horror story is different from a story containing horror. Passion of the Christ is borderline horror to me, but I have other issues with that film that separate it from a straight depiction of the passion story (pick any other film about Christ), in the way I see it as salivating a bit much over the violence, and presenting a (new) point of view that the degree of superficial horror in Christ's passion was key to its spiritual value. Some Christians would disagree with me on that very point and embrace the horror-view of the Passion, so that may be an exception for some. Otherwise, I can't agree that some biblical tales are horror tales. They merely contain horror scenes.

There's a bit of controversy in most of the circles I've belonged to, whether one can consider a true horror tale a wholesome endeavour either as a reader or a writer. I for one enjoy it now and then, in writing and film alike. There are many explanations for what's "good" about horror, psychologically, culturally, and so on, that I won't get into... but if horror means a tale is actually immersed in a skewed world view, I can see how it's difficult to define a thing like "Christian horror."

small axe
04-19-2007, 11:32 AM
... but if horror means a tale is actually immersed in a skewed world view, I can see how it's difficult to define a thing like "Christian horror."


'I walk as an angel
Through the streets of Sodom
Kneel in prayer
By the stained bedsheets of Gomorrah
My soul flutters in my breast like a trapped songbird
Singing God's Love,
God's Mercy,
God's Holiness
I would reach out to them
The Lost Souls around me
The beautiful souls, the lost precious prodigal souls
And Heal their Sadness,
Their Lonliness,
Their Fear
Here
They come they come outside my window
I rise to greet them, to embrace them with
God's Love,
God's Mercy,
God's Holiness

In the form of Fire
And they are made
to Burn'

It may suck as poetry, but it's 'Christian Horror' I suppose.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a340/TabulaRasa408/LoveForgives2.jpg

III
04-20-2007, 08:24 PM
All it takes is one or two little old ladies to be offended by a book cover or hear that their grandson read a "Christian Horror Novel" with lots of blood, and they'll be complaining to the manager of the local Christian Bookstore. What do managers of Christian Bookstores care about? I'd conjecture "not getting complaints from little old ladies". Frankly I'm amazed that Ted Dekker's latest book Skin is getting such prominent display space in Christian and B&N stores. Maybe the times are a' changing?

On a related note, KLOVE only met 61% of their fundraiser goal, so maybe the whole Christian Media Machine is being forced to re-examine itself? Wouldn't that be great if there was a revolution within Christian Fiction (Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy) where publishers were scrambling for new authors? I know, I know, it'd also be great if it rained doughnuts, but still ...

Plot Device
04-20-2007, 09:13 PM
All it takes is one or two little old ladies to be offended by a book cover or hear that their grandson read a "Christian Horror Novel" with lots of blood, and they'll be complaining to the manager of the local Christian Bookstore. What do managers of Christian Bookstores care about? I'd conjecture "not getting complaints from little old ladies". Frankly I'm amazed that Ted Dekker's latest book Skin is getting such prominent display space in Christian and B&N stores. Maybe the times are a' changing?

On a related note, KLOVE only met 61% of their fundraiser goal, so maybe the whole Christian Media Machine is being forced to re-examine itself? Wouldn't that be great if there was a revolution within Christian Fiction (Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy) where publishers were scrambling for new authors? I know, I know, it'd also be great if it rained doughnuts, but still ...

I know nothing of Skin. Please tell me about it.

III
04-20-2007, 09:39 PM
I know nothing of Skin. Please tell me about it.

I don't know much about it, but here's the link to it on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Skin-Ted-Dekker/dp/1595542779/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-9752343-1288621?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1177090635&sr=8-1). My wife has read a few Ted Dekker books and enjoyed them. He looks to be about the biggest name in Christian Horror right now. At least his books are stacked high and wide in the stores.

small axe
05-19-2007, 06:35 AM
I wonder (but don't begin to know) how many "Christian" publishers would reject Horror out of principle (good for them) versus those who would publish and sell Horror if it were a big seller for them?

Not comparing THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST to "Horror" per se ... but I suppose many were surprised by that audience's acceptance of bloodshed (when offered a proper context or message)

Obviously, that was a very very unique context however, so maybe extrapolation is pointless ...

Given the moral emptiness of much "Horror" though, it'd be cool to have Meaning and Morality play a bigger role in the genre (as religious issues are beginning to move into Fanrasy genre)

Calla Lily
05-20-2007, 12:22 AM
I wonder (but don't begin to know) how many "Christian" publishers would reject Horror out of principle (good for them) versus those who would publish and sell Horror if it were a big seller for them?

Not comparing THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST to "Horror" per se ... but I suppose many were surprised by that audience's acceptance of bloodshed (when offered a proper context or message)


Two opinionated opinions, take 'em for what they're worth.

1-I'd object to a Christian bookstore rejecting any fiction sight unseen. Heck, I'd object to any bookstore doing that. I learn about something before I make a decision. I've exposed myself to a lot of dreck and some very disturbing books that way, but I then made informed decisions--and I know what and why to protect my kids from.

2-I definitely compare PotC to horror. My gut reaction after seeing it the first time: it was a snuff film. Yes, I saw it again and it is a groundbreaking movie, but it's nothing less than horror. The tiny breaks in the gore and evil (carpentry, Sermon on the Mount, Last Supper) only heightened the awfulness of it all.

Hey--that's how I try to write!

Off soapbox now.

small axe
05-20-2007, 10:31 AM
Two opinionated opinions, take 'em for what they're worth.

1-I'd object to a Christian bookstore rejecting any fiction sight unseen. Heck, I'd object to any bookstore doing that. I learn about something before I make a decision. I've exposed myself to a lot of dreck and some very disturbing books that way, but I then made informed decisions--and I know what and why to protect my kids from.

2-I definitely compare PotC to horror. My gut reaction after seeing it the first time: it was a snuff film. Yes, I saw it again and it is a groundbreaking movie, but it's nothing less than horror. The tiny breaks in the gore and evil (carpentry, Sermon on the Mount, Last Supper) only heightened the awfulness of it all.

Hey--that's how I try to write!

Off soapbox now.

1) But I suppose Christian publishers wouldn't have to reject it 'sight unseen' ...

They could simply say "Know what? We don't wanna publish or sell your book because we don't like the scene where the psycho-killer rapes and decapitates the six cheerleaders. Even if all the other ones are saved by the angel, and the psycho-killer repents and it saved by the Lord while escaping to Damascus."

And another publisher might say: "Well, our readers will see the rape and murder in the morning newspaper or on the nightly tv news, no matter what we do ... and that book has the most-inspiring psycho-killer redemption scene ever written ... and it might sell a million copies. So we'll publish it and sell it!"

Some folks don't want to hang out in brothels, even if it's to save the prostitutes' souls who work there, I suppose ... It's a judgement call.

2) Well, I just meant PASSION OF THE CHRIST wasn't meant to be a genre "Horror" film, just like a documentary about the Holocaust serves a different purpose and intent than watching HOSTEL. Both can be brutal and intense ... but one can hope to enlighten and elevate the audience, etc.

Calla Lily
05-20-2007, 06:15 PM
small axe, if you can find a Christian publisher who'd take a book with multiple rape and mutilation scenes, I'll be looking for Wilbur the pig to fly past my 2nd-floor window. :D Even I don't expect that from the CBA. Heck, I don't READ books with rape, let alone write them! I'm the "don't look over your shoulder" writer/reader. (Who splatters gore when the story calls for it.) I'm also a writer who doesn't hang out in the church basement--my friends are the marginal and the non-Christian, generally, so I look to the ABA for my reading material--and my hopes for an agent and publisher. (And, yes, a little corner of me whispers that when (never "if"!) they read my fiction, they'll strat to ask questions about Jesus.) I'm too extreme for the CBA, even tho I'd seriously consider trading a limb for Zondervan or NavPress.

I see what you meant now about PotC.

small axe
05-21-2007, 04:03 AM
small axe, if you can find a Christian publisher who'd take a book with multiple rape and mutilation scenes, I'll be looking for Wilbur the pig to fly past my 2nd-floor window. :D

Yeah, I was imagining an extreme example there ... but in response to the suggestion that Christian publishers necessarily reject things sight unseen.

I was imagining two ends of the Christian fiction spectrum:

Some might say "We will not depict the sins and fallen-ness of the world and man" ... while others (certainly less common, no debate there!) might say "Our mission is to hold a mirror up to the sin and Fallen-ness of Man, showing it in all its despair ... and offer the Cure to the Disease" so to speak.

Dancre
05-21-2007, 05:04 AM
small axe, if you can find a Christian publisher who'd take a book with multiple rape and mutilation scenes, I'll be looking for Wilbur the pig to fly past my 2nd-floor window. :D Even I don't expect that from the CBA. Heck, I don't READ books with rape, let alone write them! I'm the "don't look over your shoulder" writer/reader. (Who splatters gore when the story calls for it.) I'm also a writer who doesn't hang out in the church basement--my friends are the marginal and the non-Christian, generally, so I look to the ABA for my reading material--and my hopes for an agent and publisher. (And, yes, a little corner of me whispers that when (never "if"!) they read my fiction, they'll strat to ask questions about Jesus.) I'm too extreme for the CBA, even tho I'd seriously consider trading a limb for Zondervan or NavPress.

I see what you meant now about PotC.

Calla, speaking of Christian horror, whatever happened to your submission you sent to that publisher who was interested in your book? Have you heard from him/her yet? I hope so!!!!!!!! Let us in on it!!!

kim

Calla Lily
05-21-2007, 03:37 PM
Calla, speaking of Christian horror, whatever happened to your submission you sent to that publisher who was interested in your book? Have you heard from him/her yet? I hope so!!!!!!!! Let us in on it!!!

kim

Alas, that was the reason for my post in R&D titled "Rejected in 5 hours."

However, last week an agent gave me suggestions for chapter 1 and invited me to resubmit. Did that last night. Here's hoping!

Calla Lily
05-23-2007, 03:31 AM
Just learned I didn't final in either category I entered in ACFW's Genesis contest. I finaled last year, but didn't win.

I'd pretty much given up on the CBA anyway--I'm too extreme. Contest judges are pubbed CBA editors and authors. To give entrants a feel for what the market wants.

I think this confirms what I've been thinking for awhile: I don't belong preaching to the choir. I need to be out in the real world with the marginal folks like myself.

But, well, poop. Losing = meh.

Gotta get some alone time and open my heart and make sure I have my calling straight.

III
05-25-2007, 10:06 PM
Just learned I didn't final in either category I entered in ACFW's Genesis contest. I finaled last year, but didn't win.

I'd pretty much given up on the CBA anyway--I'm too extreme. Contest judges are pubbed CBA editors and authors. To give entrants a feel for what the market wants.

I think this confirms what I've been thinking for awhile: I don't belong preaching to the choir. I need to be out in the real world with the marginal folks like myself.

But, well, poop. Losing = meh.

Gotta get some alone time and open my heart and make sure I have my calling straight.

I'll toss up a prayer for ye. We need more marginal folks like you. ;)

Dancre
05-26-2007, 05:20 AM
Just learned I didn't final in either category I entered in ACFW's Genesis contest. I finaled last year, but didn't win.

I'd pretty much given up on the CBA anyway--I'm too extreme. Contest judges are pubbed CBA editors and authors. To give entrants a feel for what the market wants.

I think this confirms what I've been thinking for awhile: I don't belong preaching to the choir. I need to be out in the real world with the marginal folks like myself.

But, well, poop. Losing = meh.

Gotta get some alone time and open my heart and make sure I have my calling straight.

Ah, Calla, don't be down. You know the first book I wrote, flopped big time. It was a christian spy novel involving a pastor, a hitman, and terrorists. It never got off the ground. But I learned how to write. Then God called me to YA books, so I'm writing my YA book and hope to one day turn it into a manga. In fact, I want to write manga scripts. It's a long way from spy novels. But God has a plan, do don't be down. It'll be ok, you'll see. Just trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.

kim

Calla Lily
05-26-2007, 06:41 PM
But God has a plan, do don't be down. It'll be ok, you'll see. Just trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.

kim

kim, I got a request for a full this morning!

Um...Woo-hoo. :D

Dancre
05-27-2007, 12:31 AM
kim, I got a request for a full this morning!

Um...Woo-hoo. :D

:snoopy:

I'm sooo excited for you!! I pray this is it!!! My pastor's wife used to say, God loves Suddenlys!!!!

kim

Mirtika
06-05-2007, 01:43 AM
For those who write short fiction, a new venue has been created for horror that accepts Christian horror. (No cussing, no graphic gore, no graphic sexuality, yadda). I'm editing poetry there, but they take fiction. It doesn't have to have a Christian element, btw, but since this is a Christian horror thread--Hi, Lily!--I thought I'd mention it: www.fearandtremblingmag.com

Payment is virtually zip, but we're aiming for quality and the site looks pretty cool, if I do say so.

Mir
http://mirathon.blogspot.com

Calla Lily
06-05-2007, 05:10 PM
For those who write short fiction, a new venue has been created for horror that accepts Christian horror. (No cussing, no graphic gore, no graphic sexuality, yadda). I'm editing poetry there, but they take fiction. It doesn't have to have a Christian element, btw, but since this is a Christian horror thread--Hi, Lily!--I thought I'd mention it: www.fearandtremblingmag.com (http://www.fearandtremblingmag.com)

Payment is virtually zip, but we're aiming for quality and the site looks pretty cool, if I do say so.

Mir
http://mirathon.blogspot.com

:hi: Hi, Mir! Good to see you!

Plot Device
06-05-2007, 07:11 PM
Hey! Congrats, Cal! :cool:

Calla Lily
06-08-2007, 02:03 AM
I send my full off just 10 minutes ago. I spent a week revamping details based on the agent's suggestions for chapter 1.

Please say a prayer that He'll show me where I'm supposed to be.:popcorn: Now the waiting begins!

It's a relief to get it done--I've been major stressed over this.

Now I can get back to my murder mystery--it'll seem like a vacation--no psycho killers with nails and crosses--just an ex-GF with...issues.

Although now that I've been immersed in horror for a solid week, the 2nd in the series is reeeeally calling my name. :e2poke:

Decisions, decisions...

Plot Device
06-08-2007, 04:31 AM
I send my full off just 10 minutes ago. I spent a week revamping details based on the agent's suggestions for chapter 1.

Please say a prayer that He'll show me where I'm supposed to be.:popcorn: Now the waiting begins!

It's a relief to get it done--I've been major stressed over this.

Now I can get back to my murder mystery--it'll seem like a vacation--no psycho killers with nails and crosses--just an ex-GF with...issues.

Although now that I've been immersed in horror for a solid week, the 2nd in the series is reeeeally calling my name. :e2poke:

Decisions, decisions...



This is so exciting! You MUST keep us posted!

Mirtika
06-13-2007, 09:57 AM
Oh, I hope we both find our place, Calla.

And, who knows, it might be BOTH places. :)

I've been working like a fiend on mine, because I still don't know how it'll end, and I need to work up a synopsis and some solid chapters.

If anything's poking me, it's the two short story ides I have....but right now, I gotta ride the wave of enthusiasm I have for this WIP.

Mir

HorrorWriter
06-13-2007, 07:10 PM
Jonereb,
Plot Device spelled it out correctly, Frank Peretti is the man. You should read The Visitation and watch the movie. The man is brilliant! :D And as far as if there is a market, Lori Perkins, uber literary agent, stated that some of the most religious text is horror; due in part to the perpetual fight between good and evil. You need to look at agents who rep horror. Good luck! :)

Calla Lily
08-20-2007, 04:33 PM
In case y'all didn't hear the party over on the Horror board:

I have an agent: Phenomenon Books. :snoopy:

Thanks in no small part to SYW, lots of revision--and prayers. And yes, this is for the horror...er...speculative thriller. :D

:snoopy:

Roger J Carlson
08-20-2007, 04:48 PM
In case y'all didn't hear the party over on the Horror board:

I have an agent: Phenomenon Books. :snoopy:

Thanks in no small part to SYW, lots of revision--and prayers. And yes, this is for the horror...er...speculative thriller. :D

:snoopy:Congratulations, calla. I'll even throw in a dancing brocolli: http://www.rogerjcarlson.com/Forum/writerforum/smileys/smiley37.gif

III
08-20-2007, 05:44 PM
In case y'all didn't hear the party over on the Horror board:

I have an agent: Phenomenon Books. :snoopy:

Thanks in no small part to SYW, lots of revision--and prayers. And yes, this is for the horror...er...speculative thriller. :D

:snoopy:

CONGRATULATIONS!

ned
08-22-2007, 06:42 PM
My feeling is that since the appeal of horror has more to do with the thrill of graphic death or of the pain and fear of the victims, I don't know how this could be translated into a story that glorifies the Lord. Horror, by tradition, must include such descriptions. I don't know of many Christian fiction readers who would find these things appealing, uplifting or appropriate.

I do think it's possible to include horrible things in a Christian novel, but Horror fiction makes those scenes the focus and the source of the reader's response. In horror, the escalating plot and suspense depend on more gruesome, more graphic scenes as the story progresses. I'm just not sure how this can work for a Christian novel, which are generally character-driven rather than plot-driven, and show, however subtly, the character's spiritual growth.

The genre of horror would have to be defined here before the question can be discussed seriously. Based on the many replies here, everyone has a different idea of what horror includes. Graphic scenes of carnage? I've written one story that begins with this, and so have many other Christian writers. I suppose the difference is that in horror, the physical suffering is described at length, often lovingly. Fear and pain are the point, and the source of the reader's emotion.

If your idea of horror is something else altogether, then perhaps you should define it first, or supply some sort of synopsis so we understand what you mean by Christian Horror.

Calla Lily
08-22-2007, 09:32 PM
Okay, I'll play.

My bottom-line horror criteria are:

- It has to make me cringe/jump/afraid to look over my shoulder.
- Judicious gore is fine. Not splattered on every single page.
- I have to give a hoot what happens to the MC (okay, that's a given in all writing, but IMO sometimes horror gets so caught up in the horrifying that I end up with no one to relate to).
- A believable villain. That can be vampires, werewolves, space aliens, demons or the guy next door. No limits there. But the villain has to be 3-D.
- (This is just my personal peeve.) It has to make sense. If the MC's boss wants to use the MC for his latest Satanic blood sacrifice, fine, but GIVE ME A REASON. Not just: Oh, well, I'm bored with the American lifestyle; let's try Satanism.

All that being said, I write Christian horror. It's set in America 200 years post-nuke. Cottage industry is the norm. The villains in my series are descended from Benedictine monks who went quite mad from the horrors of nuclear war. (Hey, I used to be a Franciscan; couldn't pick on them. Besides, Benedictines grow their own food and make their own wine. Important survival skills.) They are 100% certain that they exist to carry out God's willon earth. Part of that is making a useful society again. The other part is crucifying certain heretics--according to their definition of the word. (I won't give ALL my plot twists away here. ;) )

My MC spends the book running from them, and trying to figure out what the odd words "God" and "Christ" mean, and she'd better do it fast, because she knows what will happen if the villains catch her again.

IMNSHO, that qualifies as Christian horror. I don't preach (THAT would be horror for me :tongue), I don't use Christian-speak, and the "Christians" in the book are for the most part, a bunch of scared rabbits rationalizing their inaction. It's the average Joe who drives the plot, and that's my audience.

Thus endeth the lesson. :D

jurched
08-23-2007, 01:10 AM
Anyone read those "Left behind" books? I haven't but a friend's got a shelf of em, and its about to break! I just gazed at the cover and judged the books to be horror.

Hey, if yer not supposed to judge a book by its cover, then why do books have such eye-catching covers?!

Anyway, what exactly is Christian horror? Strictly exorcism? Gory tragedy solved by biblical virtue and miracle? Or just setting a story, any story, into a biblical-based world?

J

ned
08-23-2007, 07:19 AM
Based on your (very fine) synopsis, I'd probably categorize this (in my mind) as suspense. When someone says "horror" to me, I just picture pointless slaughter and gore. But I haven't read an industry description of the genre, which may well be quite another thing.

This does sound like a book I'd read. I've been interested in groups who kill in the name of God in history. I feel sure it will continue in the future, so I'd really get into the world you're creating in which this is happening again. Honestly, it sounds as though you planned and thought this out. I don't see any reason it would be banned by the Christian book stores. I was doubtful, but I'm convinced and wish you the best with this.

Calla Lily
08-23-2007, 03:35 PM
Thanks very much, ned. I've labeled it as a "speculative thriller" to avoid any possible "horror" stigma, but honestly, at its heart it's horror. Kind of builds up to the final WHAM, and has several breaks so the reader can catch their breath.

Lovecraft is my idol. :D

small axe
08-28-2007, 02:43 AM
"Frailty" the movie is certainly "Christian Horror" isn't it? "The Excorcist" is certainly Christian Horror?

If the writer above is asking us to "define" Horror, then one might reply by asking the "definition" of "Christian" fiction as a whole.

But I'd suggest (imo) that ANY amount of evil and excess could be depicted and -- put in the context of Demon Possession -- qualify as VALID Christian Horror.

Wouldn't a Christian be allowed to face Demonic Evil in real life ... if their goal were to COMBAT Demonic Evil (to the Glory of God)?

Extending that, then why cannot a Christian be allowed to READ fiction that chooses to depict Evil and Horror graphically ... combating Evil in a fictional context as others would choose to read "happy" and "innocent" tales of Christian victory or living properly in the world?

I don't dispute that one might go astray or into temptation by putting their attention deeply or compulsively into images or fictions of Evil manifest.

But one might equally go astray living a "pure" life if that life consists of imprisoning oneself in a soap bubble of saccharine bliss.

we are Spirits in a Material World, as the saying goes. Good is won by overcoming temptation and Evil ... not fleeing from it, not retreating into a sanctuary while Evil is left to corrupt the rest of the world.

If you would fight Evil ... first know its ways. :) A demon with its head spinning around a la Linda Blair -- is doing you a favour revealing itself AND not the sort of "Evil" that corrupts 99.9% of human souls (imo).

Evil is more than Seductive, Evil is Subtle. Both those can be practiced against, and Christian horror could be a tool there.

The World, The Flesh, and the Devil, as they say ... all three can lead us astray. But I doubt we should retreat (or surrender, or surrender the fight) to them either.

I'm not saying anyone should feel the need to bathe in Christian Horror if that's not their calling ... but we shouldn't dispute that one might HAVE a calling to write or read Christian Horror fiction.

Simple Living
08-28-2007, 11:47 PM
There have been some good points made in this thread and some things I'd like to clarify.

First and foremost, whatever we, or anyone, writes, cannot be compared to the Bible. First, the Bible was written by the Author of life itself and there is no comparison. Secondly, the Bible isn't a book of stories. The horrific events told in the Bible are real life accounts that can't be compared to fiction writing of today.

Secondly, remember that publishing is a business. Even Christian publishing. Christian publisher are just more specific on what they'll publish. They need to make money, too, so they must both consider the market and honor God with what they publish.

Ted Dekker (http://www.teddekker.com/)writes supernatural thrillers, not horror. Here's an interesting interview (http://wherethemapends.com/Interviews/Ted_Dekker.htm) with Ted Dekker about his style and his experiences with Christian publishers.

Frank Peretti, on his website, in the FAQ's (http://www.frankperetti.com/frequentlyaskedquestions.htm) says that he's a suspense writer. Here's his whole comment on the question:

Q: All of your novels deal with unknown evil- demons, sin, oppression, and now monsters. Why does your writing explore the dark side?

A: I know that Iím a suspense writer. I guess I find those types of stories interesting. But if you donít have some kind of evil- well, at least some kind of struggle- then you donít have a story to tell. Youíve got to have something to drive the story. Youíve got to have something to keep the pages turning.

Thirdly, motive is a big part of what God considers with us. Frank and Ted both state publicly that they write to honor God, for the benefit of the body of Christ. They are writing what they love, but not for themselves and not for their own fame and glory, but for God's. This is a huge reason as to why they are successful.

As writers, we need to examine our motives. What are we doing with our writing? Whom are we trying to please? What do you want the reader to walk away with when they're done reading your story? That's a good question right there. Frank Peretti answered it in his FAQ's:

Q. What do you hope readers get out of your novels?

A. Itís surprising to know that a lot of folks- good Christian folks- donít realize what kind of a box they might be living in. You have to test the truth, but some folks donít even do that. My role is, believe it or not- are you ready?- Iím a builder: The Lord says, ďFrank, you just build. Build the Body of Christ. You equip them. You build them. You help them to think. Help them to see the Truth. Help them to walk closer to the Lord. Help them to just, through stories, test ideas, test things that theyíre living or believing or doing or teaching or growing in.Ē Thatís what good fiction ought to do- just get you thinking.

Today, we're on this side of the cemetery gate. One day, if the Lord tarries, we'll be on the other side. When that happens, and we're faced with eternity, the only thing that will matter is what we did to further God's kingdom. God gave us the gift of writing and what we do with it is our gift back to Him. We are responsible for the decisions we make, including what we write.

Heath
09-01-2007, 05:24 AM
My recent novel can also be considered Christian and horror. It seems that many horror movies/novels dwell for a moment on the Christian theme to draw in some sort of hook or angle or prophecy, and they tend to get the whole genre a stigma of being heretical.

But I think one can be (as mine is intended to be) inspiring as well. The theme of mine, for example, is that evil is what shows us what is good and pushes us to be good human beings. Yes, there are Christian and Jewish and Native American legends and prophecies, and yes there is a source of evil behind it, but the protaganist can and should overcome evil, which is a common theme in biblical texts.

BrookieCookie777
09-08-2007, 10:53 PM
Great ideas usually fall in the gray areas. I say go for it!

Judg
10-25-2007, 09:31 AM
OK, help me out here. I just don't get it. But maybe that's because I don't really understand what it is.

So sit me down and explain patiently to me what it is and why it is. I saw in another thread Peretti being referred to as a Christian horror writer and that has only deepened my confusion. Is he? Why?

Calla Lily
10-25-2007, 03:35 PM
I write Christian horror. And darn proud of it! :D I explain myself on the 2nd page (of this thread), I think.

I think Peretti is labeled horror because he shows demons screwing up people, and the whole evil side of Hell.

Roger J Carlson
10-25-2007, 04:53 PM
Mod Note: I'm merging the two Christian Horror threads.

Judg
10-26-2007, 08:11 AM
Thanks Roger. My bad. I should have done a search first.

Calla, from the description of your novel as you've given it, I have no troubles with it. I've read plenty of novels with horrific elements in them, and I could accept it. Others I have refused to continue reading or have continued and wish I hadn't.

I guess my concept of horror was stories that wallow in the horror. I've heard preachers do this on occasion and I deeply resented them for it too. Knowing in loving detail the kind of atrocities that Christians have been put through in other parts of the world... Maybe if they had followed it up with, "and here's what you can do to help" but no, they just wanted us to hate evil. My imagination is too good for those things. You tell me in detail what happened and I am there with them. I was traumatized for months. And this was in church!

On the other hand, I can read something like Groot's Madman, where unspeakable horrors are evoked. She gave us a psychological buffer, by having a character recall what he saw, and with great reluctance, only giving enough detail to let us know what happened. If I had been forced to live the scene, I would have closed the book.

Maybe I'm hyper-sensitive. I prefer to think that I have not been hardened into indifference. I have stalled my reading of a superbly written novel, because it looks to me that the protag (1st person), a little girl, is about to be gang-raped. I didn't object to the foreshadowing - I know horrific things happen in this world - but I really don't want to go through it step by step. I've had enough of my own suffering already thanks. I don't need to go through it for a fictional character. I'd do it for a real human being, because then I would have an opportunity to be a channel of healing, but I have no agency in a story; I am only a helpless victim. I do not care to go there. (Rereading this, I see I should probably make it clear I have never been raped, but I've been through some pretty intense stuff and have no need to experience it vicariously. I have also never seen The Passion of the Christ, even though the DVD sits on our shelves.)

A belated thank you to everyone who participated in this thread.

Now if I can be permitted a tangent: is Dekker's Black pretty much representative of his work? Let's just say I was supremely unimpressed, but if enough people are willing to certify he made significant progress since then, I might try another.

Calla Lily
10-26-2007, 03:52 PM
The only Dekker I've read is Thr3e, and I was so utterly annoyed at the ending I threw the book across the room. Before I reached throwing stage, his characters were decent, his plot interesting, his overt villain crazy but not gory. The ending was cheap and annoying...have I made that obvious enough? :)

I used to love Peretti, but Monster was so painfully obvious I felt he tossed it out because he had an overdue bill he needed to pay. His collaboration with Dekker, House, used gore and evil, but I was too bored to care. Like the first Left Behind, ALL the characters could've been slaughtered, and I wouldn't have minded one bit.

I've seen PotC 4X--twice in theater and twice on DVD. I stand by my original posts (on Beliefnet)--it's a snuff film that should have been rated NC-17. That being said, it could've been a brilliant film (it nearly is) if Mel had not used as a basic script the visions of a nun who had a rather weird obsession with blood. (Ever read her visions? Weird, and not in a good way.) AND had inserted a few more non-torture scenes of Jesus before His life went into the crapper.

If extreme evil and torture freak you out, DO NOT WATCH IT. Rent the Zefferelli film from the 70s. Much more balanced. And Robert Powell was hot. :D

III
10-26-2007, 05:19 PM
I've started to read a few Dekker books but could never get into them. I really wanted to like Thr3e (pronounced Thr-three-ee), but it seemed so self-serving but purposefully obscuring the MC's background right from the start - a MC I couldn't get into at all. And while I loved Peretti's "Darknesses", I couldn't finish any of his other books. Now I'm just waiting for Lily's book.

Calla Lily
10-26-2007, 05:46 PM
You're such a sweetie, III.

HorrorWriter
10-26-2007, 07:31 PM
Forgive me, Lily. I just found out! Congratulations! :hooray: I can't wait to read your book! :PartySmil

Calla Lily
10-26-2007, 08:09 PM
Forgive me, Lily. I just found out! Congratulations! I can't wait to read your book!

No, no, you didn't miss anything! III is looking on the bright side of things at the moment.

My ms. is at 3 large (eep) publishers. One has the full, and 2 have partials. I'm trying to pretend that's not on my mind every single minute while I work on the next book.

It's a struggle. :poke:

Judg
10-26-2007, 10:49 PM
III, you couldn't finish The Visitation? That's the only novel my husband has read in years.

Doesn't sound like any of you are trying too hard to sell me on Dekker. I found him painfully amateurish, to tell the truth.

Calla, make sure you yell loud when you get the good news, OK?

Simple Living
10-29-2007, 10:15 PM
OK, help me out here. I just don't get it. But maybe that's because I don't really understand what it is.

So sit me down and explain patiently to me what it is and why it is. I saw in another thread Peretti being referred to as a Christian horror writer and that has only deepened my confusion. Is he? Why?

This post (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1586213&postcount=51) I made earlier might help you understand. Peretti calls himself a suspense writer, not a horror writer.

Gravity
10-29-2007, 11:37 PM
Oddly enough, I had a reviewer term my Joe Box novels, "by turns harrowing, hilarious, deeply moving, and utterly horrifying" (bolding mine). Are they? I dunno; to some extent, probably. But I didn't set out to write horror, per se. Just tales of a barely-saved man trying to right wrongs in a world gone mad.

That's all.

Calla Lily
10-29-2007, 11:42 PM
Yep. My agent and I are marketing my books as thrillers. Wider audience appeal. And no mad slashers/chainsaw wielders/supernatural slimies.

HorrorWriter
11-01-2007, 08:31 PM
No, no, you didn't miss anything! III is looking on the bright side of things at the moment.

My ms. is at 3 large (eep) publishers. One has the full, and 2 have partials. I'm trying to pretend that's not on my mind every single minute while I work on the next book.

It's a struggle. :poke:

Lily,
Well congratulations all the same. let us know what happens! :D

Judg
11-05-2007, 02:39 AM
SL, that's why I was a bit confused. I never thought of Peretti as a horror writer.

Simple Living
11-05-2007, 02:51 AM
Just tales of a barely-saved man trying to right wrongs in a world gone mad.

That's all.

Wow. That sold me. Sounds like something I'd enjoy reading. I like the concept. Sorry for not being familiar with Joe Box. I'll have to look for you at the bookstore. (See, plugs work, people.) :)

Michael Scott
06-10-2008, 12:09 AM
I think Christian Horror is a perfect genre fit. Has anyone contemplated the fact that the doctrine of Grace itself is a horrific concept? That the most innocent should be willingly sacrificed by God to save the corrupt and guilty?

I've written what can honestly be described as a Christian Psychothriller. The Coppersmith is about a serial killer murdering pastors in Upstate New York. From small towns to big cities he selects his victims, seemingly at random, and subjects them to a torturous death. The BAU and the State Police are unable to unlock his message until... well I don't want to give it away.

I have three sequels planned - and suspense/thriller/horror type novels are the only kind I'm really interested in writing.

It's annoying that so many Christians are so afraid of having their stained glass and soft-organ music sensibilities offended in the slightest.

Deb Kinnard
06-10-2008, 02:41 AM
All it takes is one or two little old ladies to be offended by a book cover or hear that their grandson read a "Christian Horror Novel" with lots of blood, and they'll be complaining to the manager of the local Christian Bookstore

I am still trying to find out statistics for this oft-quoted habit of Christian book-readers/buyers. Does anybody know how frequently it happens? its demographic? Is it concentrated perhaps in one geographical area of the US, or is it everywhere?

Some figures! Please!
:banana:

Deb Kinnard
06-10-2008, 02:44 AM
PS, anyone ever googled Marilyn Meredith? She has a Christian horror book out, unabashedly referred to as such. Check Treble Heart Books, the publisher I think she sold it to.

III
06-10-2008, 06:56 PM
I am still trying to find out statistics for this oft-quoted habit of Christian book-readers/buyers. Does anybody know how frequently it happens? its demographic? Is it concentrated perhaps in one geographical area of the US, or is it everywhere?

Some figures! Please!
:banana:

Unfortunately I don't have any figures, only personal experience. I've had many friends who have worked at Christian Bookstores over the years and they've shared what a fine line must be walked so as not to offend patrons with the merchandise, whether it be literature, music, children's materials, etc.

A good friend of mine was a purchaser for the music dept of a major Christian bookstore chain and went on to be a rep for Word back in the 90's. He said his job was 50% trying to get rock music for the people who were clamoring for it and 50% listening to complaints of people who didn't think rock music belonged in a Christian store, regardless of the message. Change comes slowwwwwly. And why go through the headache of getting one Stryper CD on the shelf and dealing with the complaints when you can fill it with 50 Point of Grace CD's which will fly off the shelf and help you make your sales goal?

But I don't think that's neccessarily a bad thing. Many people view Christian bookstores as a safe haven and a place of comfort. If my favorite guitar store started selling bagpipes and I had to listen to bagpipes when I was trying out acoustic guitars at lunch I'd probably complain too.

Deb Kinnard
06-11-2008, 06:15 AM
That's the problem, III. I get the sense that ALL of this "offended readers will kvetch to the bookstores" thing is anecdotal. And stories do not statistics make, if ya get my drift.

I would still like to know how often this happens, Christian-fiction-industry-wide.

Michael Scott
06-11-2008, 11:19 PM
Maybe blue-haired ladies complaining about rock music and what kind of Christian fiction fills the shelves is its own kind of horror.

Deb Kinnard
06-12-2008, 06:31 AM
Michael, LOL. I remember, long ago, seeing a TV sketch in which a bunch of hippies were condemned to hell, and when they walked into the room, it didn't seem so bad. Then two blue-haired, friendly strangers came in and put Lawrence Welk on the stereo, and began showing their slides from their summer vacation...

...and when they were finished, they started over again...

...and the hippies began to scream.

Horror is in the eye of the beholder, methinks.

Gravity
06-12-2008, 07:20 PM
Here's a good quote by someone we all know; seems to sum it up nicely.

Ever since there have been such things as novels, the world has been flooded with bad fiction for which the religious impulse has been responsible. The sorry religious novel comes about when the writer supposes that because of his belief, he is somehow dispensed from the obligation to penetrate concrete reality. He will think that the eyes of the church, or of the Bible, or of his particular theology have already done the seeing for him and that his business is to rearrange the essential vision into satisfying patterns, getting himself as little dirty in the process as possible.

--Flannery O'Conner

Michael Scott
06-12-2008, 09:55 PM
Flannery O'Conner! Pulling out the big guns, now!

That quote nails it on the head. Thanks for sharing, Gravity.

I remember, maybe twenty years or so ago, whenever it was that Peretti hit the stands, how frustrated I was at how "black and white" his story was. Where was the complexity? Where was the mixture of good and bad that so seems to characterize biblical characters (Moses, the murdering-savior; David, the adulterous-worship leader; Abraham, the lying man of faith; Elijah, the panic-stricken prophet, etc.)

People are mixed up and complicated, and Christian fiction mustn't shy away from that. Nor should we only write those things safe for Kindergarten. We're adults, here, let's deal with adult themes, and show that God can handle the tough stuff.

Just my humble opinion, 'course!

http://Christian-Suspense.blogspot.com

Deb Kinnard
06-13-2008, 07:02 AM
Well said, Michael!

It's the "mix" of good and evil in all of our characters that makes them memorable. I don't know of any "all-good" or "all-evil" character I've read about, whose story or name I can recall.

And yes, we Christians CAN tolerate multi-layered characters...even stories with more at stake than whether they play the guitar or the organ at worship.