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Orchestrated Coincidence

You may have noticed a bit of a running theme this week here on NAF. Posts leading to other posts on our blog, and linking to posts on other blogs that discuss similar ideas. I’ve also been made aware of even more posts that dealt with “my” topic of the dissension between Christian writers—all “coincidentally” going up around the same time.

Even yesterday, Robynn brought in a different topic—that of reading your Bible if you’re going to be writing Christian fiction. I read her post right after reading Mike Duran’s post from the same day, “When is Fiction False Doctrine.” Another coincidence.

I don’t believe in coincidence, though.

Topics like these seem to come through in waves. I’m on a couple of Yahoo loops for writers, including that for The Lost Genre Guild. Someone recently brought up the topic of cursing in Christian fiction. Another member replied by saying that the cursing discussion makes its rounds about once a year and never gets resolved. Same goes for magic in Christian fiction, sexual situations, violence, etc. Those topics seem to get discussed in several places at once.

Now sure, some of it can be blamed on one person posting, then someone else seeing it and posting on their own blog, and so on. But the topic always hits when people are hot to discuss it. That is more than coincidence.

It’s happening on a bigger scale, too. There have been handfuls of speculative novels/authors over the past few decades that could be considered “Christian”—but it has only been in the past few years that it’s coming into being as a genre all its own. That happened because Christian writers all over the globe are writing it, all of us starting into it at around the same time.

C.S. Lakin touched on this when she did a guest blog post here on NAF. I love, love, love how she puts it: “…I saw how many writers were starting to also write fantasy for the Christian market. It was if we all had gotten the memo and were doing what we were told, although there were no ‘signs’ that anyone would buy what we wrote.”

Combine that with the fact that several small presses have sprung to life in the past few years—presses solely focused on Christian speculative fiction. The two main ones that I know of are Splashdown Books and Marcher Lord Press. Others like Written World Communications and Port Yonder Press are giving a good share of their focus to Christian or Christian-friendly spec-fic. There are other small ones out there as well, springing up here and there.

There’s more to this story, too, folks. It’s not just this stuff starting like little seeds all over. That’s a cool thing, but the miracle is in the finding of the seeds. Writers of this genre are finding each other, despite physical distance and differing lifestyles. It’s almost like we’re tiny magnetic chips that have been scattered about, all drawn to each other.

NAF is a good example of that. Despite the fact that Keven started with the idea of making it solely for the MLP Premise contestants, we’ve all somehow shown up in places on the web where we’ve come into contact with each other and clicked. For me, it has been less about actively searching for places to meet fellow Christian spec-fic writers and more about simply searching for places for writers in general—and then I’m immediately led to groups centered around my genre. I’ve mentioned this to several of my writer friends and they have all agreed with me….

The whole thing feels…orchestrated.

About Kat Heckenbach

Kat grew up in the small town of Riverview, Florida, where she spent most of her time either drawing or sitting in her "reading tree" with her nose buried in a fantasy novel...except for the hours pretending her back yard was an enchanted forest that could only be reached through the secret passage in her closet... She never could give up on the idea that maybe she really was magic, mistakenly placed in a world not her own...but as the years passed, and no elves or fairies carted her away...she realized she was just going to have to create the life of her fantasies. She shares that life with her husband and two homeschooling kids. Kat is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom--everything from Art to Algebra II. Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror, with over forty short fiction and nonfiction credits to her name.

12 comments on “Orchestrated Coincidence

  1. I do not believe in happenstance. 😛

  2. Mom always says how “unique” I am, but seems to me when you think in certain circles, you find a bunch of folks having the same kinds of thoughts. Like those old Spirographs. Never the same trail twice, but similar. Add enough and ya get yerself a pretty picture.

    I wonder what we look like to God.

  3. Great insights, Kat. It’s a brand new world out there for the writers of spec fiction.

  4. Hey, thanks for the shoutout! And I agree, this can’t have been a coincidence. Hundreds, if not thousands of writers suddenly getting the nudge into this very specific genre within the last five years… It’s a wave, a movement that is still gaining momentum.

    A thought: Anyone seen the list of movies due out in the next little while? How many are speculative – most? Could it be that our stuff is intended to parallel public interest and yes, even intersect with it and share its audience? And before we get into the old discussion about targeting Christians or otherwise, remember that most Christians also go to the movies to watch those selfsame SF flicks. So I’d say our audience could be the movie audience, whatever faith they profess, and the main problem is getting them to read for once!

    • You are most welcome, Grace. Gotta give a shout-out to the publishers that are helping those writers that got the “nudge.”

      And yeah–with the percentage of speculative movies out there, I don’t understand how anyone can say it’s not a popular genre. And if we can put out some quality Christian spec-fic, then the Christians who are going out to see secular spec-fic movies would conceivably be our audience.

      I think a lot of Christians love spec-fic, but for so long it wasn’t part of the CBA, and those same Christians just aren’t aware yet that it exists outside of the secular arena.

  5. God’s sovereign purpose has been a popular theme of late in my interactions with you folks, and it has been very encouraging. It’s giving me courage to write what I want to write without worrying that I’m the only one interested. It’s not a coincidence that halfway through my first edit, I meet Grace and hear that she’s looking for a Sci-Fi book for Splashdown. How’s that for motivation? I went from thinking about taking the religious conflict out of my story to believing in the purpose of that inspired conflict and rejoicing that there may be a market for it.

    Also, I agree that spec fic is growing in popularity and see this as a great opportunity for us to put our God-given talents into the pool.

    • My dearest Tim,

      Knock and He will answer. He works in mysterious ways that Lord of ours. LOL

      My Dearest Kat,

      You know who’s orchestration this is! LOL

    • Hi, Tim! So glad you’ve felt encouraged here. That’s one of the two things we’re hoping to do with NAF–vent a little crazy, and encourage :).

      And Billie, yes I most definitely do know :D.

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