Who are the Christian fiction authors that you find your people can connect spiritual truth in their stories? Charles Martin, Lisa Wingate, Richard Paul Evans, and Cathy Gohlke come to my mind.
Perhaps as people return a book, we ought to ask them what spiritual truth they gained from the book. I doubt anyone else will ask them to think that way. Reading Christian fiction can be a remarkable spiritual transformation experience. Some of us have started keeping a journal along side a book so that we can capture those experiences by writing about our reading experiences.
Morlee- I was the one who put down Blackwell - It's Lawana Blackwell, and she is an excellent historical writer. My favorite is an older series, the Gresham Chronicles which begins with the Widow of Larkspur Lane. Books I can re-read are high on my list. T. Davis Bunn/Janette Oke co-wrote Women of Faith series (I think). It begins with the Centurian's Wife. Usually, I don't like novels set in Bible times, but this one is different. I've re-read it numerous times, and get a blessing each time.
During the June 4 conference in Richmond, VA, I asked the participants to write the names of the fiction authors whom their people find spiritual truth throughout their books. The names include Marie Benedict, Karen Kingsbury, Lori Wick, Cawana Blackwell, Jen Turno, C.S. Lewis, T. Davis Bunn, Janette Oke, Jan Karon, Wanda Brunstetter.
Our readers like Lynn Austin, Lisa Wingate, Charles Martin and Robert Whitlow. I've been introducing new authors such as Billy Coffey, Mario Escobar, Jaime Jo Wright, and Amanda Dykes.
I love mysteries and romantic suspense and have found a number of authors that write suspenseful stories from a Christian perspective that keep me turning pages (Terri Blackstock, Lynette Eason, Colleen Coble, Irene Hannon, and Nancy Mehl to name a few). Historical fiction is also high on my list, love Jane Kirkpatrick's books. A couple of other authors I like are Julie Klassen, Lynn Austin, and Jen Turano (she always makes me laugh out loud). Christina Suzann Nelson (an Oregon suthor) writes wonderful family and relationship stories that are compelling.
We sometimes address this issue in our monthly newsletter. We also occasionally sponsor a year-long spiritual growth reading challenge; this always includes a few books which are fiction, and encourage them to look for spiritual truth/growth in those books. We try to encourage this in all reading, as a matter of fact, even books which are not written specifically from a Christian perspective or by a Christian author. So often we can identify truth, areas for growth, consequences of NOT believing in Truth, etc. in all kinds of books.
This is so true about looking for examples, good and bad, in fiction! I always encourage parents to read what their teens are reading (and watch what their teens are watching), so that they can have conversations on this very topic.
I have a ladies book club called Literary Ladies: Finding God through Fiction and we have been reading Christian fiction to help our own Spiritual Growth for about five years now. We also love Lisa Wingate! I'll have to look into some of the others. Some of our other favorite authors are Francine Rivers, Kate Breslin, Sharon Garlough Brown, Tessa Afshar, and Stephanie Landsem
Oh, and interestingly, most of my ladies never read the Narnia series as children or young adults so we are going to read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe next. We did read The Screwtape Letters, but most of the women didn't like it. I had to reassure them that this book is very different. LOL