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Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Gritty Christian Fiction

This is a kind of new thing for me here at Urban Fiction Unreleased, but I was invited by dear friend, Donna Fletcher Crow:, to participate in this month's books and blog promotion. As some of you know, I recently released NHI: No Humans Involved under the new title NOTORIOUS. I am very happy to announce that during the week of November 17TH NOTORIOUS ranked at #47 on the Amazon.COM’S African American Authors' listing. Due out later this month or early next is the second installment of the new look Nate Richards' series DEAD LIST. My newest book, due in December 2012, is being produced under the title I.A.I.(Internal Affairs Investigation) and will be the third book in the Nate Richards Mystery Series. As a 23-year veteran of law enforcement, one of the things that hang heaviest over the head of a police officer is the dreaded I.A., internal affairs. I wondered what it would be like as an officer to experience this type of grind; and being on the inside; I had the chance to interview several different officers from many different agencies and then combined their experiences to create the story-line. As a work of Christian fiction, the entire Nate Richards Series is a reflection of Noir, Urban fiction, Christian crime thriller/drama. If I had the pleasure of seeing Nate Richards realized as a TV drama, the actor I would most imagine playing him would be Michael Ealy. As a rich diverse actor, I feel Ealy has what it takes to pull off the diverse cultural, both cop - civilian and church - civic, that is integral to the Nate Richards. I don’t know about you, but I always love the one word or short phrase descriptions done for books. (Cynicism) But, if I had to give a short phrase description for NOTORIOUS it would be Gritty Christian Crime Fiction. How did I do? While I have nothing against indie-publishing, I preferred to use NCC Publishing, LLC out of South West Idaho, the Treasure Valley. I pursued the more traditional route for NOTORIOUS. To complete my book took me just shy of five months to finish the manuscript's first draft, but to clean it up for print ready I'd have to add another two months. Working with NCC gave me a great opportunity to fine-tune the work with the use of an objective perspective. As I look around the landscape of Christian Crime fiction, the books that most remind me of NOTORIOUS are Dee Henderson’s Full Disclosure, and Joshua Graham’s, The Accidental Hero. The thing that drove me to write NOTORIOUS was my desire to bring my readers into the world of the active duty police officer. So many books talk about the cop world and about the cops themselves, but what I wanted to do was bring my readers in the mind and heart of the cop by experiencing that world through the eyes of Nate Richards. If you enjoyed NOTORIOUS and I know that you will, you will love the books by these other authors, check them out they are some of my favorites. Gideon's Call, by Peter Leavell, Winds of Wyoming, by Becky Lyles, Scent of Lies, by Debra Burroughs, Nadia's Hope, by Lisa Buffaloe, A Midsummer Eve's Nightmare, by Donna Fletcher Crow, D.R.T. (Dead Right There), by Ray Ellis,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christian Fiction

Someone asked me recently what I thought of the concept of Christian Fiction. This question caught me off guard to a certain degree, because the purpose for the question appeared unfounded. Let me say it this way: To ask for the need of Christian Fiction is like asking why create Christian music, or paintings depicting the glory of God. I never hear anyone wonder of the need of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel or wonder at that miracle in marble of the sculpture of David, or the depth of sorrow, loss, and hope captured in the Pietà.
In every culture and in every ethnic group recorded in human history, the chief vehicle of education has been the story. First in the oral tradition and then as civilization grew, the story grew right along with it and evolved into the written form; and finally in the forms of movies and cinema we enjoy today.  But the question before us is why should we as Christians’ leave our generation’s stories in the hands of an unbelieving populace.
When we consider the mechanism of story, of course, even the Bible tells of the use of the oral tradition, but the question to us is that of fiction. For that, let us look to the New Testament and the use of parables.  According to, a parable is a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson. This was the chief tool used in instruction by Jesus.
As writers of fiction, we have at the tip of our fingers the ability to carry on the tradition of Jesus by using stories to teach about the principles and philosophies of Christianity. Consider the wonderful lessons of creation as described in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The With and the Wardrobe or the power revealed in General Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur, A Tale of the Christ, and ask yourself where would we be without them.
Now think of the power of hope and salvation woven in the pages of Francine River’s Redeeming Love as the lead character, Michael Hosea, loves and established the heart of his wayward wife in the truth of Christian love.  In my own story, NOTORIOUS, the lead character, Nate Richards, deals with contemporary problems in a metropolitan setting and the reader is allowed, through Nate’s interaction, to experience the leadership and guidance of the Spirit of God as he deals with real life situations.
This is the power of story. We have at our disposal the means to bring our readers along into any of life’s situations and allow them to experience the truths of Christ. As writers, if we fail to do this, I wonder if we won’t be among those who will find themselves numbered with those giving an account to Jesus for the talents we left unused.  Just saying…. Think about it.