I recently spoke with a college friend who challenged me to also market to the secular community rather than alienate it.
In reaction, I mentioned the multi-faceted characters of The Lost Testament: namely a Louisiana Creole that practices voodoo, a prostitute, Klansmen, and a church girl with slippery morals; in short, I made a statement that, if published on a large scale, would likely alienate the secular audience.
The Christian fiction I’ve read before is very “churchy,” in that there’s a pastor who is the protagonist (guilty as charged) who meets a wayward girl (guilty again) that becomes his love interest. Sprinkle in some church politics and some stereotypical/archetypal characters and there you have it. This does not mean it’s “bad” fiction; to me, it just speaks of what we’re used to seeing as a Christian audience.
So, I took a look in the African-American interest section of a bookstore the other day. I found Christian lit., next to Erotica and modernist and post-modernist works and, of course, street lit. Conversely, the Christian lit. section is just Christian lit.; there’s no color differential. Eventually, when I hit major distribution, I wonder where The Lost Testament will go. I don’t believe it lends itself to a purely African-American audience. There’s something in there for everyone.
If you are not a Christian and you are looking for a good book to read, may I recommend The Lost Testament? Not because I’m looking to convert you to Christianity, though ultimately, whether you do or not has little to nothing to do with my efforts. If you have ever lost a fiancé or spouse to death or divorce, the love story in this book will speak to you. You can find love again. Found yourself headed down a career path you never saw coming, but did so out of desperation or due to a tragic occurrence? There’s empathy for you in Charlie and Jolene. It doesn’t have to be the end of your story. Done something so horrible, you thought redemption was out of the question? Read the book and see what Jack Miles faces.