Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Interview with Nona King, Christian Speculative Fiction Author
The first time I heard the phrase 'Christian Speculative Fiction' was from Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press. Speculative Fiction is an umbrella term referring to the genres of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, paranormal, etc. Christian Speculative Fiction means that these genres are written from at least a Christian world view.
One of your books, Resurrected Honor, is listed as Medieval Fantasy/ Christian Speculative Fiction. But another book entitled, To Save A Soul, is termed a Paranormal Fantasy? Why wouldn’t they both be considered speculative fiction?
They do both fall under the Speculative Fiction umbrella; however, I prefer to hone my novels' classifications from that broader spectrum. Not everyone who reads speculative fiction enjoys each and every genre, so it's best to let them know what they're getting into. For example, I don't like reading horror, regardless of whether it is Christian Speculative Fiction or not. If the author only listed the genre as Speculative Fiction, imagine my irritation when I discover blood and guts splashed on a majority of the pages!
Who is the target market for this sort of fiction?
The targeted audience would depend on the Publisher, the specific sub-genre, and the Author. It's my belief that Christian Speculative Fiction should target all ages. "Christian Spec Fic" is one of the premier ways to introduce "spec fic" lovers to the Christian perspective without "beating them over the head" with the Christian message.
How did you get involved in writing Christian speculative fiction?
Fantasy has always been a favorite genre to read. C.S. Lewis introduced me to the Christian approach to fantasy when I was a young adult. As an adult, that introduction was broadened by Karen Hancock and Kathy Tyers.
My involvement with writing Christian Speculative Fiction began in my twenties when some friends and I began a game development company. My role in the company was Storyboard Development. Thanks to growing up playing RPG (role-playing) video games such as Breath of Fire by Capcom and the Final Fantasy series by Square-Enix, I had been introduced to a variety of fanciful worlds and conflicts of good vs evil. Pair with this my being raised in a Christian home and you have a lover of the fanciful inspired and influenced by faith.
Who are the most popular authors in this genre?
This differs depending on who you ask, but a few are C.S. Lewis, Jill Williamson, Karen Hancock, and Kathy Tyers.
It is quite the challenge to find a publisher for Christian Speculative Fiction. Marcher Lord Press specializes in it, and a few of the larger houses such as Bethany House have published such sagas as The Firebird Trilogy by Kathy Tyers and The Legend of the Guardian King by Karen Hancock.
This genre is growing in popularity, so I believe more of the larger publishing houses will begin to venture out into this 'experimental' genre. The challenge is determining whether or not what some see as 'magic' is outside the Christian faith. But how 'magical' did Jesus's miracles seem to those first believers? True faith unlocks our potential, and Christian Speculative Fiction allows authors to enhance that presentation as a subtle witnessing tool.
What do you know now about writing books that you wished you had known earlier in your writing career?
Write down at least a general outline of the basic story! I find that this simple task helps keep me from some outlandish tangents. It also is a great reminder as to the original story idea, which can sometimes undergo quite the alteration when inspiration strikes.
What advice would you give to other writers for encouragement?
Don't give up when writer's block hits you! Take notes as to your feelings and see if your characters are going through the same emotions! Also, remember that despair and disenchantment are a part of the writing journey. AND READ READ READ! Reading and critiquing others' work can oftentimes open your eyes to the same weaknesses and strengths in your own writing.
That's it for today's interview. If you would like to learn more about Nona and her writing, here are a couple of links to follow up with her...
http://www.nonaking.com - My Author page
http://www.wordobsession.net - My Blog page