Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Writing on the Edge

By Rose Dee

When my first novel, Back to Resolution came out in 2011, it was widely considered a novel before it’s time. Why? Mostly because, while it had Christian themes and a faith-driven story, it also had characters who drank too much alcohol, wore bikinis, made bad choices, and didn’t go to church.

You don’t find these actions in traditional Christian novels.

While I knew my work was different from the traditional market, I naively thought there had to be others, like me, who wanted to read about imperfect Christian and non-Christian characters who are changed and redeemed by the love of Christ. I was correct—there were—but the prediction that my books were before their time was also true.

After flagging around in the marketplace for years, working my guts out on marketing and promotion, and getting next to nowhere, I knew something had to be done. My recent attendance at the ACFW conference in the US produced two possible lines of attack:

  1. Change my work to suit the traditional Christian market. This meant rewriting the books I have and ensuring any new releases meet the conservative guidelines this market demands.
  2. Embrace the Edgy tag, self-publish my work and join the growing band of Indie authors.

Edgy Christian Fiction/Romance is not a new term. My work has been classed as edgy for years, but what I have noticed is a recent emergence of this type of storytelling as a genre. There are a growing number of authors and readers who class themselves as ‘Edgy’. Groups dedicated to this genre are popping up everywhere, and there is a lot of internet talk about the movement.

This is how I have termed my work in the Edgy sphere (taken from my website);
Edgy is a term relating to the emerging market of inspirational/clean stories incorporating Christian values and faith, but still retaining the fallible nature of humanity. My characters are young men and women who suffer the drastic consequences of bad choices. One female character finds herself stripping for a living; another is a single mother, and in my latest novel, my main character is a celebrity has-been.
While my books are not traditional Christian fiction, they are written from a Christian world view. You won't find any sex scenes or severe profanity between the pages.

What I hope you will discover are entertaining stories of redemptive characters, and a myriad of spectacular word landscapes picturing my home, Australia.

So why have I decided to go Edgy?


  1. Because it’s where I know the Lord wants me to be. He’s always wanted me there, but there was no ‘there’ when I started out, so He had me wait and learn, until there was an open door.
  2. Because my work has been edgy from the start. Every story I have written has been edgy, by the traditional definition. It’s who I am, and I know the Lord can use it for His purpose.
  3. Because no matter how hard I try, I will never fit into that traditional mould. It’s not me. As a reader, my growing frustration with the narrow confines of most Christian romance was one of the reasons I decided to write my own stories. It makes no sense to change to suit an industry ideal, especially one that didn’t suit me as a reader.

So how will life be, writing on the ‘edge’? I have no idea.

Emerging markets are unpredictable and hard work. But they are also exciting, and for me, having finally found my place means I have a newfound sense of peace and a clear way forward.

I don’t expect the path to be easy. I’ve had a good cry to the Lord about having to start all over again, but I have a mandate to trust, obey, and work. Onwards and upwards!

Please check out my newly revamped website embracing my Edgy tag.

If you are interested in more edgy news, please sign up to my newsletter. I’ll only contact you when I have a give-away, promotion, or new release – only news that matters. There is a link on the side bar of my websitehttp://rosedee.com/.

If you are interested in a free review copy of my new release, Ehvah After please contact me at: rose.dee@bigpond.com.

About Rose Dee 

Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, was born in North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel, Back to Resolution.

Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women. Beyond Resolution and A New Resolution are the second and third books in the Resolution series.

Rose’s debut novel Back to Resolution won the Bookseller’s Choice award at the 2012 CALEB Awards, while A New Resolution won the 2013 CALEB Prize for Fiction. She has also released The Greenfield Legacy, a collaborative novel, written in conjunction with three other outstanding Australian authors.

Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband, young son, and mischievous pup, Noodle.


19 comments:

  1. Good for you, Rose. And well done on persevering for so many years. The Lord loves that.

    Edgy - that's probably where we'd find Jesus. He spent a lot of time with the lost, the rejected and the downhearted while speaking strong words to the traditionalists about love.

    Keep holding on to Jesus. He'll guide you to those "edgy" readers but most importantly the two of you will draw closer together as you write.

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    1. Thank you, Ian. Boy - is that music to my ears. You are right - He's already teaching me so many things. I'm done with selling books - now it's about giving away the message He's given me through my work. And the message He's planned to give others through it. Love how He works. :-)

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  2. I'm excited to see what God does with the stories he has given you to tell! :D

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    1. For the first time, in a long time, I'm excited too, Traci. And it feels so good to be excited again. :-) xo

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  3. Oh, Rose! THANK YOU for staying true to your calling!!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    It was lovely to meet you at ACFW!

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    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I loved being at ACFW. I learned so much, and met so many wonderful new friends - Isn't getting together with other authors just the best thing! I would love to go to an author's retreat sometime too.
      Staying true to my calling hasn't been easy. I think because there was no 'Edgy' movement when I started out, but now the course is clear. And I have to tell you, it's such a relief to know where to take that step out.

      xxo R

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  4. Hi Rose,

    I just love the new ‘edgy’ look of your website. I purchased “Ehvah After” a few minutes ago. I have wanted to read this for a while now. I am pretty backed up with work, study and health problems; so I don’t think I will get to review this until December. I will definitely be taking this on my ereader to hospital with me when I go. I already have a few reviews to do (that I owe to some beautiful people), but I shall get to this asap.

    The reason I am so excited to read this book is because, although I just love romance (clean of course) and happy endings, I also like the story to be realistic. We human beings are far from perfect and it is refreshing to see that “Edgy” Christian Fiction is taking on. I love to read a story where people’s personalities are portrayed as honestly as possible (warts and all). There is only so much sugary sweet I can take. When we then see the transformation of these personalities, upon meeting and forming a relationship with God; it gives promise of hope for anyone, no matter their circumstances.

    I am also looking forward to reading “The Greenfield Legacy” – in fact Paula Vince is one of those lovely people that I am still owing a review to. Thank you Rose for persevering and accepting God’s call. It isn’t easy, and I look to you with absolute admiration.

    Best wishes for the release of the hard copy.

    Blessings, Jo’Anne

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    1. Hi Jo'Anne.

      You sound just like me. Before I started writing I wanted clean stories with 'real' characters. And Aussie characters. I wanted to read more stories set in my country. That is one of the reasons I started writing - I was writing what I wanted to read.
      I have so much excitement for this 'Edgy' movement. It feels like I've finally found my place. It also feels like my work has found it's place. Now I''m just trusting that the Lord will find a way forward for it all.
      Thank you for purchasing Ehvah After. I would have happily given you a review copy, but for someone to actually buy it, makes my day. :-) It's a double blessing - a purchase and a review. Please do not worry about time-frames. I'm just so happy that you would take the time to review. And get better. Praying everything goes well at the hospital and you enjoy a swift recovery and healing. xo
      The Greenfield Legacy was a labor of love for us all. It came together so well, and we all had a ball writing it. I hope you enjoy it.

      I'm always delighted to answer any questions, or just chat online. Please contact me anytime.

      Love to you, and prayers for good health.

      xx Rose.

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  5. Love your discovery re your genre. Yes, gotta stay true to your calling. I never thought of your stories as edgy...just straight-shooting honest, If that;s edgy, then that's what you're meant to write. Actually my historical, Signed Sealed Delivered, could be called that because of my main character's big mistake. But then isn't it great to show how God turns weakness into strength when we turn to Him. God bless you gal, and I'd love to review Evah After on ritastellapress/author_blog,com

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    1. Hi Rita,

      I never 'got' just how different my books were to the traditional fiction romances until I was sitting across from an agent at ACFW. The agent was detailing the absolute 'no,no's' for a traditional story. Between all my books - I had every one of them. LOL. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I was pretty embarrassed in that moment too, because it was very clear that I had nothing that agent would want, and I also knew that I couldn't change my work to suit them.
      You hit the nail on the head when it comes to my working goals. It's to reveal the heart of God. To show how He can turn our 'weakness into strength', and our mistakes for our good.
      Thank you for your offer to review Ehvah After. Can I send you a Kindle copy? or would you prefer a hard copy. The hard copy will still be a few weeks wait.

      xo Rose.

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    2. Kindle is fine, Rose, and more convenient.

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  6. Good on you, Rose! There's too much bland, safe fiction in Christian circles. It gives readers an unrealistic image of life and certainly doesn't help them relate to non-Christians.

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    1. I agree, Lynne. There was so much of it that I couldn't relate to as a reader - so I knew I couldn't change to suit that industry. I would never term the message of Jesus as 'safe', so why should our work be? It should be what He has placed on our hearts to write. And I have to be true to that. No matter how hard that road looks at times.
      xo

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  7. Rose, great post! I'm so glad you've found your niche and have the opportunity to reach your readers via indie publishing. I loved spending time with you at ACFW. Those late night deep and meaningful conversations in Dallas were a definite conference highlight for me. We need to catch up again soon, maybe in Australia this time, lol. Ehvah After is up next on my Kindle to-read list :)

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    1. Hi Narelle, We do need to meet more often. I love spending time with you. Thank you for being a big part in my road to decision making. You are a great mentor, and an even greater friend.

      Love xxoxooxoxoxo R

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  8. Beautiful, Rose. I know God will bless the road ahead for you. And I just adore that cover.
    Congratulations. :)

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    1. Hi Dorothy,

      It delights me to hear you say you like the cover. When I saw it, I just knew how perfect it was. Don't you love that!. :-)
      xo Rose.

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  9. Hi Rose,
    I love and appreciate your edginess. Thanks for this post, making your reasons so clear. Enjoy your adventure.

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    1. Adventure it will certainly be. Stepping out is scary, but it's where I'm at and I know I'm not alone. :-)

      xx

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