Everyone knows that the economy is a great concern to citizens around the world. People are losing their jobs, losing their homes and yet—surprisingly—sales in the realm of Christian fiction have soared. Hearing this fact over and over made me stop and think about why that is.
Why out of all the books out there today is the Christian market not being hit by this deficit? I believe it really has to do with the message of not only Inspirational fiction but also fiction in general. Being a trained historian, I look at current events through the eyes and ears of the past. We really aren’t experiencing anything that hasn’t already happened—occasionally many times over—throughout history.
Back in the 1930’s we had the Great Depression (which ended due to WWII and not government intervention—by the way). At this time, book readership and also movie attendance grew by leaps and bounds. Why? That’s easy. The people wanted a distraction from real life. And they found that in cheap entertainment which took them away from reality if even for a short time.
Think about the Andy Hardy films that were so popular with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The Marx Brothers. Musicals with Fred and Ginger. Gangster flicks (where the law always caught up to them in the end).
What about books? Detective stories such as The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett and The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Agatha Christie mysteries, and even The Hobbit all came out during this time.
What does this have to do with today? Just as in the past, when things start going bad in our economic stability we need a reprieve if just for a little while. If just for a moment of time between work and bed. Between changing diapers and making dinner. And that respite seems to be coming in the form of Inspirational fiction.
What about secular fiction? There are some great works being published out there, but what is the message? We have lots of agnsty reads with reluctant heroes. Entertaining, it’s true. But where does that leave the reader?
What Inspirational fiction does is bring a Christian message and that is a message of hope, and in this ever uncertain world I think we all need a little hope in our lives. We who write Inspirational fiction do it to entertain, to make you think and also to have you realize that there is hope for your life if you would only accept Him in.
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