The Restorer: CSFF Blog Tour

The Restorer, by Sharon Hinck's

This is a tale of both high fantasy and contemporary mom fiction. Quite an intriguing combination. An average, everyday mom living in a fast-paced world of being a mother and wife, is jolted into a fantasy world where she finds herself embroiled in a battle of good vs. evil.

The reviews I've read on The Restorer have almost exclusively ranged in the "positive" to "wildly ecstatic" categories.

There is one thing I hope that comes out of all of this. And that is more Fantasy published by Christian publishers!

As an author, I realize the market for Christian fantasy fiction (as far as Christian publishing houses are concerned) is not that great. The Restorer bridges a gap that is limiting many Christian speculative fiction novels from seeing the light of day . . . and that gap is . . . bringing women into the speculative fiction world.

My co-author and I discovered this gap while trying to publish are science fiction novel, When the Sky Fell. We were told there just wasn't a market for speculative fiction in Christian publishing. We therefore sold it to a secular publishing house.

As one peruses the isles of his or her local Christian bookstore, they'll find an enormous amount of shelf space devoted to contemporary/historical/romantic Christian fiction, but as to futuristic/speculative/fantasy . . . well, A single row on a shelf if you're lucky.

One obvious thing Mike and I concluded from all of this (and we were also told this by all the Christian publishers) was that Women constitute the bulk of the Christian fiction readership. So what did Mike and I do for our next writing project? We decided to write something that we could sell in the Christian market. Women lead, contemporary fiction, romance, etc. It's a great story and we love it! And we'll likely write more of this kind. But in the end, our hearts are still owned by the future, and by fantastical worlds inhabited by creatures that live only in the imaginations of other like-minded brothers and sisters.

Essentially, we're trying to do the same thing Sharon Hinck's has done. Sharon has established herself by writing in the "normal" categories of Christian fiction (contemporary fiction), and this has eased the concerns of her publishers, who, obviously, decided to give Fantasy fiction a try, in her case.

Great job Sharon, and good luck. Thanks for helping pave the way.

Please check out these other CSFF Blog Tour member sites for more on The Restorer

Trish Anderson
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Amy Browning
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
Lisa Cromwell
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Russell Griffith
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Daniel I. Weaver


WayneThomasBatson said...

Brandon, I think you are spot on. What Sharon has done, and what you are trying to do is bend the genre so that it becomes open to new readers. What could be better?

Brandon Barr said...

Yes, an inside job.

John said...

Good Point. Christian Fic is so geared towards women that most men don't even bother to enter Christian bookstores, since they can find the theological books they are looking for at Borders.

We need to follow your advice and write books that appeal to a wider audience or that make our favorite genre appealing to a new audience, without sacrificing writing excellence.

Daniel I Weaver said...

Great point, Brandon. As a member of the Lost Genre Guild, you've undoubtedly heard some mention of the Light at the Edge of Darkness anthology. In a most interesting (and sad) turn of events, we've found a much larger number of secular bookstores willing to stock the book and host author events than Christian bookstores. The male readership is out there, but not in the Christian circles. Breaking through the mainstream genres might indeed be the way to get more of the speculative genres on the shelves.

Sharon's book is definately a positive for all fans of speculative fiction and those holding out hope that the Christian industry will "see the light" and buy a few more such titles. If women start buying it up, well then, perhaps we'll have a movement on our hands.

God Bless,

pixy said...

Great points, Brandon. Sharon's like the secret agent of fantasy writers. :)

Brandon Barr said...

Daniel, that is both sad and good news. Sad that the secular bookstores are more often hospitable, and good because secular stores aren't biased because the fiction is written by Christians.

I still have to order my copy... thanks for the unintentional reminder.

chrisd said...

I agree with you about the secular stores.

I think it's great that you're co-writing with someone!

Looking forward to hearing about what your new project will be!

Becca Johnson said...

LOL! I love it, pixy! :D
I started my family on spec fic, then my mom picked it up (now that's most of what she reads), then my brother, and now my dad! :D

Becca Johnson