Saturday, November 02, 2013

Day 2 - Meet The Christian Author

On The Panel Today - Ask them questions

1. Pat Simmons

2. Leslie J. Sherrod

3. Lyn Cote

4. Rose Jackson-Be​avers

5. Jacqueline Holness

6. Pastor Danyelle Scroggins

7. Dr. Linda Beed

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Jackie Holness said...

Looking forward to "meeting" everyone today:)

Piper Huguley said...

What is your favorite way of showing, not telling, that the main protagonist is living a Christian life? Thanks for being here today!


Leslie Sherrod said...

Good morning, everyone!

@Piper - I try to make my characters feel like real people; that is, they have trials, flaws, and challenges. Their faith comes out in how they respond to these things. Part of the character growth for my latest protagonist, Sienna St. James, is her realization that she has been harboring bitterness over a situation, and this bitterness has affected her relationship with Christ. It's a process, her healing and growing, because I believe that is true to real life. Two steps forward, one step back, we all are growing forward (hopefully) at our own rates.

Leslie Sherrod said...

Hey Jackie!

LaShaunda said...

There is a lot of confusion about what Christian fiction is.

What is your definition of Christian fiction?

Danyelle said...

Good Morning Everyone

To me Christian Fiction is creative writing that is based upon, resembles, or incorporates Christian values, the experiences, or journeys that are equivalent to those who profess Christianity. I believe it should represent or become the message of love, grace, humility, forgiveness, repentance, and all that embodies what Christ is, has done, or has become in our lives as the writer, for the reader.

Danyelle said...

@ Piper Huguley I love the church and one of my favorite ways of showing my characters in the light of Christian life is through their worship experiences. If I must say, I have the tongue talking, singing, praying characters, who definitely are the examples of the COGIC/Baptist church folk mix.

Anonymous said...

Good day to everyone. I'm very happy to be here and looking forward to getting to know you and answering your questions.
What is a Christian author? To me it is one who can combine real life situations with Christian principles. The work entertains and provokes thought without unnecessary drama, profanity and sex scenes. It prayerfully gives the reader opportunity to come to Christ or closer to Christ.

Linda Beed

Anonymous said...

With my characters I try to show who they are by presenting their daily lifestyle. How they react to the trial they're facing. Will they trust the God they say they serve? Will they waiver in their faith? If they do how to they return? By doing so it lends authenticity to the story and helps the reader to become invested in the character.

Linda Beed

Jackie Holness said...

Heeey Leslie,

Well, I am a Christian non-fiction author, but I am working on a fiction book right now...Also, I'm a journalist by trade...I think the best way to show and tell is to show how a Christian would react to certain things...but I think you have to keep in mind that Christians do have some similar characteristics, but realistically everyone is different if that makes sense...Also, in my book, the narrator is attempting to live a Christian life, the other characters aren't necessarily gung ho Christians...

Leslie Sherrod said...

When began writing my first novel, I had no idea that the genre of Christian fiction existed. I was simply writing out of the experience I knew as a woman and a Christian. While there are many different perspectives regarding Christian fiction, for me it is a ministry, a way of bringing a message of hope and inspiration via a format of entertainment. I am not trying to be a Christian fiction author; that's just the way my stories to date have turned out.

Danyelle said...

I had no idea exactly where God was going to lead me concerning my writing. I just had a story ("Not Until You're Ready") to tell that would prevent others from experiencing what I had. Nevertheless in my book "His Mistress or God's Daughter?", I had the urge to write about a fictitious couple that made me take notice of what was in me. This made me go back to the twenty year old bags and pull out the first short story I ever wrote which became "Destiny's Decision"; a Christian Fiction.
@Leslie Sherrod, God has a way of leading us into the areas where we can be used to bring Him glory (for me this was it...Christian Fiction), while at the same time usher our readers into a place of redemption, repentance, and most importantly for me restoration.

Anonymous said...

@Leslie & Danyelle - Being led by the spirit is what we're called to do. Each walk will be different and will be criticized by some who have become used to what some 'Christian' fiction has turned into. I actually had one reviewer ask why my characters prayed. Really? They went on to say that what they had read in previous CF books established the fact that the characters were 'Christian' then they got on with the story. That was code for 'got on with the drama'. I encourage you to remain true to your calling and not fall prey to what's become popular.

Linda Beed

L. M. Gonzalez said...

I read Christian fiction. I tried to write one a few years back to enter in a contest, but I never finished it. At the time, I was struggling with my own faith.

However, to me a good Christian fiction book is one that incorporates, the hero, the heroine and God. And if you take even one of those out, the story is totally different.

I don't believe the author can just say, my heroine is a Christian and then go on with the story and never say anything about it again. It has to be like the occupation you give your heroine. Whether she's a teacher or a stay-at-home mom - what are her days like because of it?

Thanks for the comments. Very helpful.

Thanks LaShaunda for holding this conference. I look forward to it every year.

K. R. Raye said...

I agree with the other posts. However, sometimes it's frustrating for me because although I understand as Christians we encourage people not to use profanity or to engage in unwed sex, sometimes I just like to keep it real and write about people and their everyday struggles. So, although my characters cures and have sex, they ultimately find and/or rediscover their Christian roots and try to improve.

K. R. Raye said...

"curse" not "cures"

Jeanette Hill said...

Christian fiction books are stories that, if successful, incorporate Christian principles with not only day-to-day living but how they handle (or mishandle) life's crises. When I read about a character who is too perfect I am not engaged by the story nor do I 'believe' them. Our stories should reflect that Christians stumble and then show how they recover (redemption/restoration).

Leslie Sherrod said...

@Linda - Thanks for the encouragement!

Danyelle said...

@K.R. Raye being a Christian does not mean that we are infallible; so whether or not you choose to write about a character that cuss or fornicates is entirely up to you. A writer must be led by their own convictions. As for me, I have learned that blessings and cursing can't proceed out of the same mouth so one of the very things I purposely asked God to do was to clean my mouth. This doesn't make me blind to the fact that some people still struggle with what I'm delivered from but I try to remember the reader who has not been delivered. I ask the questions: Will what I write cause a person to fall? Will I stir up lust for a person who is trying to be free? I can remember when I was single, there were just some books I couldn't do. Not because I didn't like the author or the story line, but because I was fighting hard to have self control. So we must write how we feel but always with our reader in mind.

Danyelle said...

@Linda Beed thanks for the encouragement. I promise it has not been easy and I can assure you that my denials are plenty. Nevertheless, the joy I have when one woman reads my book and declares that her walk was strengthen and that she's considering a relationship with God...I'm overwhelmed! I remember always that only what I do for Christ will last! Be Blessed and stay encouraged.

Missy said...

Thanks so much for sharing

Unoma Nwankwor said...

Hi everyone. Been out and about all day, just joining in on the fun. I am an avid reader of Christian fiction and also have just authored my own book. I think Christian fiction should bring the reader closer to Christ through real life experiences without overwhelming them. I love the character who are human but show their journey with or to God. In my writing I show that by their worship experience or a sermon they listen to.

Missy said...

I have a "pondering" for any or all of the Christian authors. I have 2 book clubs, one we read all genres, and the other only Christian fiction and non-fiction.

I've been trying to figure out why is it that my sisters don't seem to be interested in reading Christian fiction unless it is poking fun at the church?

I know this is not a fair question any of us have authority on, but I would like to hear you thoughts.
This have baffled me since starting Readers Paradise in 2006.


Danyelle said...

@Missy we are living in a day and time when the church has set itself up to be mocked. When the church starts doing what the world does (making excuses and trying to make the Word justify the sin), it's no longer set to some the Word and the church has because null and void and for some people a joke. That's why it's important for those of us that profess Christianity to walk in that light. The joke is when we profess what we are not and try to tell people to do as I say instead of as I do. That no longer works so people would rather mock and read things that mocks this side of the church (and often this is what a lot of people have seen and experienced). It goes back to my statement concerning what I write. If I'm going to write what uplifts, why give glory to the things I've come to consider wrong.

Anonymous said...

@Danyelle - Amen Sis!

Linda Beed

Leslie Sherrod said...

In conversation with other authors and readers, I've noticed a downward trend in readership of Christian fiction. Echoing what Danyelle wrote, this trend seems to be consistent with people's attitudes toward church and Christians overall. So many have had bad experiences at "church;" a clear, accurate picture of Jesus has been lacking in popular culture; and an overall desire to focus on matters and desires that have little to do with Christ make it difficult to promote books that have God as the foundation.

Anonymous said...

@K.R. - I hear where you're coming from. Christians face the same trials as others. However as the Christian author it is our responsibility to present those issues by showing flaws of the characters without dragging the reader through the muck and the mire. That's called keeping it real and keeping it holy.

Linda Beed

Danyelle said...

Thank you all for allowing me to spend my day in your midst. I hope that if you have a heart to write; and whatever you write let it reflect your heart. Be Blessed and I'm praying for you all!

Danyelle Scroggins

Anonymous said...

To all - It has been a pleasure being with you today. If you have more questions feel free to contact me at You can also visit me at

Take care and God bless - Linda!

Missy said...

Thank you for all you comments and shares. After reading these comments all I can heat in my head is Kirk Franklin and Rance Allen, At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.

I found several names to introduce to my online book club I will be reaching out soon.

Pat Simmons said...

I apologize for being a day late to the table. In Black Expressions Book club Magazine, there is a genre listed "Church Drama." I don't write it.
Keeping it real to me as a Christian author is showing Christians as overcomers and victorious according to Jude 1:24. My goal is to inspire readers that they can live holy despite the temptation they face. People don't have to fall. If I put my characters in certain situations, it's to show the reader how God has a plan of escape so they won't sin. I think at the end of the day, Christian authors should not write anything that would make God ashamed. Again, I apologize for being late and missing a wonderful discussion.

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