Introduction from Writing the Christian Romance

Romance has been the top-selling genre in popular fiction for many years. In 2004, romance earned 1.2 billion dollars in sales revenue. Book Industry Trends 2005 predicted a 50 percent increase in religious books sales (including fiction) over the next five years. And though Christian romance is a smaller slice of the romance pie (coming in at 11.4 percent in romance paperback sales), it increased 30 percent in 2004 and continues to grow. Romantic suspense has also gained momentum: Steeple Hill added the genre to its program in 2005, and the line has already doubled.

WHO READS CHRISTIAN ROMANCE?

Christian romance is read by Christian women, men, and teens who read other types of Christian books, as well as secular romance readers who have also discovered Christian romance. Reading romance novels begins in the teen years, drops in the twenties when careers and parenthood fill people’s time, and then it rises in the retirement years. The strong interest in romantic fiction has drawn readers into other Christian genres that provide romantic plotlines as well, such as romantic suspense and women’s fiction. This has broadened the reader base of Christian fiction in general.

WHY DO CHRISTIAN AUTHORS CHOOSE TO WRITE ROMANCE?
With more romances being sold than any other type of popular fiction, the need for good stories is increasing, opening doors for authors to obtain contracts and reap royalties. However, money and book sales are not the only motivations for many Christian fiction writers. In an informal survey of Christian authors, a variety of motivations were indicated for writing Christian romance; however, a large number expressed a motivation beyond fame and fortune. Almost half write Christian romance because of the opportunity to promote Christian values and share their faith. Janice Thompson, author of Hurricane and Banking on Love, says it this way, “If I can, through my stories, show the reader the parallel between ‘human’ romance and ‘the sacred’ romance, then I’ve nudged them one step closer to the ultimate ‘Romancer.’”

The decision to write Christian romance offers an amazing opportunity to spread God’s Word and touch lives through stories that inspire and offer hope. While life can press on hearts and souls, these novels can be a release to readers. They enter into a world of people who, like themselves, are dealing with life’s problems, and are shown how God’s love and the characters’ faith make all the difference. Ministering to readers through a beautiful love story is serving God in a unique way.

I’ve been asked, as have many Christian authors, if it is necessary to be a Christian to write Christian romance. The answer is easy: Since the message comes from the heart and from a deep understanding of God’s Word, laws, and promises, writing believable Christian romance is impossible if the author lacks true depth of faith. Writing Christian fiction is more than having characters utter a prayer or attend church or Sunday school; it is reflected in the language, actions, deeds, thoughts of the characters, and Christian worldview that is difficult to represent if not from the heart. Sincerity, truth, and an abiding love of God are what make Christian romance an emotional, spirit-filled journey of love and commitment.

This book offers detailed explanations on the craft of writing Christian romance, illustrated with examples from published Christian romances. It also provides thoughts and advice from Christian authors about writing while staying authentic and true to your faith.

Writing Christian romance has opened doors for me beyond my wildest dreams, and I know it can open doors for you. I often think of Psalm 21:2: “You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips.” Imagine the joy you will feel when God grants you the desire of your heart.


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Writing the Christian Romance

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