Why I Write Christian Fantasy   Leave a comment

When I first began writing, I wasn’t a Christian. I grew up in a non-Christian home where books lined the walls in a place where winters encourage indoor activities. I made up stories when I was little (some people might call them lies, but Mom said they were very imaginative). I first put pen to paper as a 12-year–old for a school assignment. I hated the process, but something kicked loose and I’ve been writing ever since.

Not a lot of my writing from that era has survived, but enough for me to know that I did not write Christian anything as a high school student. And even after I became a Christian, I didn’t immediately care that what I wrote had a Christian worldview.

That came later as the overflow of this new fountain in my life. It wasn’t deliberate. My characters just slowly began to be Christians — but not all of them. I don’t live in the Bible Belt. Most of the people I know are not Christians. I guess it shouldn’t surprise that not all of my characters are Christians.

Story-telling is an ancient tradition in almost every culture and has often been used to illustrate morals and values in a form that can be passed on through generations. Everyone learns differently, but I’d be willing to wager that most young people prefer novels and movies over sermons. My son’s age group is inundated with negative messages through books, television, movies, radio and peers. There’s a reason why horror fantasy is one of the top selling genres for that age group. Our enemy has captured their attention and glutted the market with witchcraft, demons, vampires and werewolves.

I write fantasy in part because I want to take back the genre. After reading fantasy for a number of years and finding almost no Christian influences, a character – Padraig – popped into my head and said “Write about me.” Eventually, a world developed around him and other characters emerged who would become the cast of the Daermad Cycle, of which The Willow Branch is the first book.

I believe writers can weave stories that spark the imagination and also spread a message containing morals and values consistent with Biblical teachings. I’m not saying that fantasy novels (even written by me) should replace Bible study. I’m saying that this genre might be read by those who would not otherwise get the message, so writers who are Christians are doing the Lord’s work when we place the gospel message in some way within our books.

My kids were raised in a Christian home and when my daughter was young, it was a big movement among evangelicals to not allow them to read Harry Potter or the Twilight series. I found how really difficult it was to prevent that inculcation and ended up reading the books with her so that at least I’d know what we were talking about. I learned that I was one of the few parents actually doing that and it gave me the opportunity to reach some non-believing young people, to speak to them for Christ. My personal reach is small, but imagine what might happen if Christian writers were able to market their books to a wider audience and have the kids we never may know connect with Christ through our stories?

I wasn’t looking for Christ when I picked up a book in a fog-bound Alaskan cabin, but God found me there. And that’s why I write Christian fantasy that I hope will appeal not just to Christians, because I believe God can reach people right where they are, through whatever form of communication is available to Him.

Posted July 30, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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