Please join me in welcoming DiAnn Mills to Christians Read today.
DiAnn, thank you for joining us. It’s always a pleasure to learn from you.
Can you tell us how is a Christian Novel Different?
I’m often asked how a Christian novel is different from a general market novel, and my response is always the same.
Novels are about strong characters who have a problem to solve. It’s all about character.
But there’s more. A Christian novel is a story in which one or more of the characters solve his/her problems or strive for a goal from a Christian Worldview. God is a priority: His plan and His purpose for the character. Flaws and weaknesses are important parts of the character’s journey. Faith aspect is not an engine additive. It rises from the writer’s deep rooted convictions. Good overcomes evil. Period.
Sometimes Christian fiction is called inspirational, but the category is misleading because any religion can refer to a story that embraces core beliefs as inspirational.
A Christian novel can be any genre.
A Christian writer can create novels for the general market or the Christian market.
A Christian Publishing House understands the business is also a ministry. Many contribute to charitable organizations and pray for their writers and employees.
Here are 10 of my writing objectives in every story:
- Realistic, unexpected, and unpredictable.
- Values and beliefs are shown not told.
- Goals to entertain, inspire, and encourage readers.
- Internal beliefs fed by life experiences and often lies the character believes about life, the world, and him/herself.
- Well-developed characters with a rich backstory.
- A plot filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, with stress, tension, and conflict. The character arc includes a spiritual thread.
- Dialogue that’s fresh, exciting, and in character.
- Narrative rooted in point of view.
- Emotion and Symbolism for the reader’s evocative experience.
- Antagonistic setting – everything works against the character.
In a Christian novel, readers may be uncomfortable with what is stated regarding faith. Of course if the reader is a democrat or a republican, some may take offense to what is written. A story is about a character struggling to achieve a goal, not an opportunity to pound the reader over the head with a Bible or a philosophy.
A few distinguishing attributes are:
- Avoids cursing
- Avoids sex scenes
- Avoids violence for violence sake
What Christian fiction is not:
- A platform intended to evangelize all those who are not Christian.
- Preachy, and the characters are unrealistic, unsympathetic, and their actions are predictable.
- Filled with words only other Christians might understand.
- A narrative of sermons, people quoting Scripture, or lengthy prayers
A common theme for all novels:
- Show strong characters who are not victims but survivors.
- Pit characters into the forbidden, frightening, and unknown. Adversity is the classroom for spiritual growth and positive change and reveals who the inner character really is.
The next time someone asks why you read a Christian novel, feel assured to say, “Its all about character.”
How do you describe a Christian novel?
DiAnn’s latest FBI Task Force Novel, High Treason, releases February 6th and is available at Amazon.
Blurb: When Saudi Prince Omar bin Talal visits Houston to seek cancer treatment for his mother, an attempt on his life puts all agencies on high alert. FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson is the lead on the prince’s protective detail because of their long-standing friendship, but he’s surprised―and none too happy―when the CIA brings one of their operatives, Monica Alden, in on the task force after the assassination attempt.
Kord and Monica must quickly put aside interagency squabbles, however, when they learn the prince has additional motives for his visit―plans to promote stronger ties with the US and encourage economic growth and westernization in his own country. Plans that could easily incite a number of suspects both in the US and in countries hostile to Saudi Arabia. Worse yet, the would-be assassin always seems to be one step ahead of them, implicating someone close to the prince―or the investigation. But who would be willing to commit high treason, and can Kord and Monica stop them in time?
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian Fiction books of 2014.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Mountainside Marketing Conference with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook: www.facebook.com/diannmills, Twitter: https://twitter.com/diannmills or any of the social media platforms listed at http://www.diannmills.com.
Thanks again for joining us today, DiAnn.