Summer’s coming, a great time for lazy-time reading. Actually, a great time for all types of reading! Yep, even fiction with a sharp edge of truth.
I like it-really-happened fiction. I get a great story, but I also end up knowing more about some specific thing than I did before. And I get to The End infused with a new energy and hope.
Maybe part of the reason I feel this way is because I cut my literary teeth on ripped-from the-history-book fiction. My first “real” book was Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. I can quote many passages from it, but not without tears running down my cheeks. (“It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done. It is a far better place I go than I have been.” sniffle…) In more recent times, I was transfixed by Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonder and then by her People of the Book. (In your face, Da Vinci Code!)
Certain time periods and situations are especially difficult to write about–or to get published–as I discovered when I wanted to set my novel in the days of the African slave trade. “What if we offend someone?” editor after editor worried aloud. And then Abingdon Press decided to launch a fiction line–in the fall of 2009. Yep, right in the middle of the Great Recession. Editor extraodinaire Barbara Scott pushed aside the oft-repeated can’t-offend-anyone concerns and grabbed up my Grace In Africa trilogy. Book 1, The Call of Zulina, was released eight months ago.
Not just my issue-tinged saga, either. Abingdon’s fiction line also includes Linda Clare’s book The Fence My Father Built, set on a Native American reservation (see my past blog interviewing Linda), and Christa Allen’s great book Walking on Broken Glass that centers around alcoholism (an essay by Christa is forthcoming).
All those editors who insisted “No one will read such books”? All those who said, “Unfortunatly, people don’t really care”?
Wrong! People are reading all of them. People do care!
I was just notified that The Call of Zulia is in the running for the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) book club choice for the month of September. Perfect timing! That’s the month book 2 will be released (The Voyage of Promise). A number of great books are in the running, including Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s Highland Blessing, also an Abingdon book.
Want to vote for a winner? (No, you don’t have to be a member!) Here’s the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/acfwbookclub/surveys?id=2294022
***You Must Vote No Later Than Thursday, May 13!***
“There is nothing so important as a book can be.”