In every generation there is a defining moment where the younger looks at the older, and while they deeply respect the routes they have plowed ahead of them, the next generation knows it must go onward into a new uncharted territory. Today I stand at that Y in the road and know that there is a shifting in Christian Fiction. There is a stirring up and a passion to do something new in the industry.
For so long Christian Books, Theatre, Movies, and any entertainment in general have held various stereotypes. Many works have come across as fake, phony, and cheesy. I’m not saying everyone has, but that stereotype is there for a reason.
People not in the church have seen or read these works that display slivers into the lives of Christian people and they just don’t get it. It is no longer that our society is a ‘Leave It To Beaver’ culture. Our problems aren’t all solved by the end of the sitcom, and people won’t always receive Christ by a three part sermonette. As a woman my hair isn’t always in a perfectly coifed style, and I assure you I don’t sleep with mascara on. I have emotions. I am loud. I am outspoken. The characters that I write in my works reflect all of this. It’s my goal to show real people, who go through real experiences. I loathe the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’, and my characters are written with that in mind. I have even been told by particular large Christian publishers what their formula is, and by what page everything should happen. The Christian Fiction of the past was a formula and it had to fit inside of their mold.
I believe people want to see authentic Christian Fiction. I believe they want genuine characters and stories that don’t just preach to people but show a very real God. I am not talking about compromising the Word of God, or watering down the gospel. I believe that the world is tired of fake Christians, and their tired of fake Christians in their books and movies. I believe it’s time we let the Holy Spirit direct our writing, and we break out of the boxes of the days of the past.
As I stand looking at the Y in the preverbal road reflecting on Christian Fiction in the past and where it is going, I don’t think the old way is bad. But I want to bring up to the next level. I consider myself as one of the many pioneers who is seeing to take the genre further than just the traditional Amish Romance. My book ‘An Ember In Time’ that was released in April is currently selling better in Sci-Fi than it is in Christian Inspirational. This ‘Quantum Leap’ meets ‘Back To The Future’ tale, is part of that next generation. May more and more authors, publishers, and producers find that the consumer wants the new trend in Christian Fiction. We all need to be confident to follow the leading of God whether it fits in the box of days gone by or not. May each and every one of us boldly go where no ‘man’ has gone before and blaze a trail for His glory. Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!
By Anna M. Aquino
Anna M. Aquino is a published author, guest minister, and the online show host of ‘Real Solutions with Anna Aquino.’ Her books ‘Cursing the church or Helping it?’ , ‘Confessions of a Ninja Mom’ and ‘An Ember In Time’ are available wherever books are sold. Please feel free to check out her website at www.annamaquino.com