By Iola Goulton
This is a cross-post with my own blog, Iola Goulton. Click here to add to the discussion.
I have an ulterior motive in asking this question.
I’m presenting at the 2017 Romance Writers of New Zealand conference later this month. My topic is Christian Romance: the biggest romance genre you’ve never heard of.
I’ve been to two previous Romance Writers of New Zealand conferences, and met many authors writing all kinds of romance, from sweet to erotica. Some of these writers are Christians, who confess their worry at breaking in to the writing world when they don’t want to include sex scenes in their novels. They’ve barely heard of “clean” or sweet romance, let alone Christian romance.
That’s what prompted me to pitch the topic to the RWNZ Conference organisers last year (among others). And I guess it intrigued them as well, because this is the topic they asked me to speak on.
Here’s what I pitched to RWNZ:Romance is one of the most popular genres in the US-driven Christian fiction market, but many New Zealand authors—even Christian authors—don’t know it exists. This session will:
- Introduce authors to the Christian fiction genre and the CBA market.
- Highlight the main Christian fiction imprints and publishers.
- Consider how Christian fiction (and especially Christian romance) differs from general market fiction.
- Discuss Christian vs. inspirational vs. crossover fiction, and the emerging trends for ‘clean reads’ and ‘edgy Christian fiction.’
Which agents represent Christian fiction authors? Also easy, thanks to a free download compiled by Michael Hyatt, the ex-CEO of Thomas Nelson.
And where can you buy Christian fiction? At Christian book stores—like Koorong.com in Australia, or Manna Christian Books and Sonshine Books here in New Zealand. And at Amazon. Of course.
But this leaves one big question. How do we define Christian fiction?
It sounds easy, but it isn’t. I’ve written several blog posts on defining Christian fiction and Christian romance. There is no easy answer.