Last month we gave away a signed copy of Brandilyn Collins’ new novel Over the Edge. (If you didn’t win, you can buy Over the Edge here.) This month we have something for those of you who prefer historical romance instead of suspense–a signed copy of Lauraine Snelling’s A Heart for Home.
When an epidemic strikes the Red River Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Astrid Bjorklund is overwhelmed by their need and decides to use her medical training on the mission field. Astrid faces opposition not only from the tribe’s elders but also from Joshua Landsverk, the man she once thought she loved.
Will Astrid find a way to help the people she’s come to love? And will Astrid and Joshua be able to reconcile, or will her work push them apart for good this time?
Lauraine Snelling is unarguably one of the CBA’s most prolific authors. With over 60 books in print, over 2 million copies sold, and almost 30 years in the business, she still writes three books a year and finds time to teach at writer’s conferences across the United States.
So we thought it’d be great to ask her some questions. Here’s the first of our three part interview.
GWP: Christian writers tend to fall into one of two groups. The first believes that the purpose of Christian writing is to make a point or to get a specific message across. The second believes that the purpose of Christian writing is to entertain readers (in a God-honoring way of course). What do you think is the goal or purpose of Christian fiction?
Lauraine: I have always believed that my first goal has to be to entertain my readers. If someone were to write to me and said my book was boring, I would be crushed. I want readers to be carried away to a different time and place, out of what is too heavy in their life at the moment, transported to a world where they can watch someone else go through much of what they have experienced, but they are through it, not caught in it. The characters, I mean.
Now, if I do that well, and the reader cares about the characters and their lives and their struggles, then that leaves the door open for the Holy Spirit to get His point across and His message. I have had people write to me and say “I got this or that out of this book.” And I know that I did not put that particular thing into that book. That’s seeing God at work and then I know that I am doing my job.
If I try to preach the message, the book will then be preachy and I really dislike preachy fiction. I quit reading authors who get on a bandwagon. Let their characters tell the story. Oops, now I’m preaching. Arggg. This is one of those areas that it is difficult to know the difference and to recognize when you’ve stepped over the line.