I believe all humans are spiritual beings and most of us love stories, even if we don’t read them. The fact is you don’t need to be a Christian to enjoy a book written by one.
Yes, I totally get that it’s not for everyone. Regardless. Duh. And, yes, I love you too.
The first thing you’ll notice is the common theme – Variety. I’m a girl who loves a buffet. Some readers prefer just one genre or subgenre, at least for a while. Not me. I’m all over the place.
I got into reading Cozy Mysteries for the same reason. It’s Contemporary Fiction, but a whole heck of a lot more variety than I was finding in the Romance Genre at the time.
You want to be truly diverse and inclusive? Stick around.
1) Inspirational Fiction is not actually preachy, well, most of them.
There are different levels of religiousness and it really depends on the publisher and imprint. There is Inspirational Fiction with pretty much none, all the way up to books best suited for readers of a particular denomination. I stay away from the overly preachy books, so you should be able to find your comfort level somewhere in my recommendations.
2) Gorgeous Cover Art
I mean look at this. It’s like a painting in a historical art gallery. Amazing what happens when an artist doesn’t have to slap washerboard abs on every book cover, right?
3) Variety of Characters
This is especially true in the Romance Genre. Ugh. I love reading Romance, really, I do, but I have to periodically step away from it while they dig up something new, or at least recycle something old. (Psst, I’m in a mostly stepped-away period of reading right now, hence the grumpiness.) Nevertheless, it’s still over-run with Alpha Clones and Kick-Butt Knock-Offs. So are several other genres and subgenres right now.
A woman doesn’t need a sword to be powerful. If she *chooses and enjoys* staying home and raising children, she is powerful too. What’s the saying? ‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?’ Pretty awesome, if you ask me.
J.K. Rowling’s books cannot be classified as Inspirational Fiction, but she had the clarity of mind to realize something vital. “Very early on in writing the series,” she said, “I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, ‘Well, you know, she’s just a mother.’ And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.”
One of the reasons her books became instant classics was because of the huge variety of multi-dimensional characters.
You don’t need to insult someone to feel better about your own choices. So, knock it off with the Anti-Traditional Roles already, sheesh.
4) Variety of Topics
I just read a Historical Fiction set 2000 to 2500 years ago. I could smell the sweat and taste the sand, it was that good. If I stuck rigidly to secular publishers, I would’ve missed out on a great story. END OF THE MAGI at Amazon
5) More Time Devoted To Emotional Development
Characters jumping into bed whenever the mood strikes or blowing up trucks for fun…well…it takes up a lot of page space. Living happily ever after in real life takes a lot more work than your general adrenaline rush can provide. A reader has time to dig deeper into characters’ hearts and minds and relationships when gratuitous sex and violence are not included. I’m a very character-driven reader who’s been married for decades, so this is a big deal for me.
Book publication is a business, and that’s the bottom line for the way things are on the book shelves.
Everyone involved, from authors to cover artists to the powerful leaders of the major companies, they’re all trying to make money. So they try with all their might to follow buyers’ trends. You can go to a neat little site called Google Trends and enter any word or phrase you wish and it will spit out how popular it is in any given population.
This is a double-edged sword. It gives the bulk of the readers what they want, but it leaves the rest of us rolling our eyes and groaning. I just set aside a brand-spankin’ new, super-hyped up novel from a major publisher, which I’d actually preordered in my effort to review more New Releases. The characters bored me. Sorry.
The New Releases section quickly loses any variety.
But, this is good news for older releases and Indie Authors! They can go on selling books indefinitely in the digital age. You spend more money on them, the big publishers notice and start putting out more variety too. Win-Win.
Stick with me, kid, and I’ll help you find the books you want.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m surrendering to the overwhelming urge to read something from Tudor England, even though I’m supposed to be reading a Star Wars novel right now. What can I say? (((sigh))) It’s just the kinda girl I am.
Ooh, shiny cover! So pretty!