Christian Speculative Fiction

Christian Speculative Fiction

In a previous blog Why Christian Science Fiction I concluded that there may not be such a genre. But thanks to a reader I discovered I was wrong. So, instead of writing about issues today I will take this time to update my perceptions and yours.

The reader informed me that there is Christian Speculative Fiction and he mentioned Enclave Publishing, an outfit that specializes in Christian Speculative and Science Fiction. So I checked it out and he was right. So in the future I will refer to Christian Speculative Fiction.

Now that I have found a safe harbor  let me promote it. Just like any genre or sub-genre there will be all kinds. The word Christian denotes a certain worldview, but since there are all kinds of Christians it is probably wise to consider there are all types of Christian worldviews. And my research into it verifies such wisdom.

From what I have seen my novel Death Ship and the series Christland springing from it fit nicely into this genre. One writer recently commented that Christian Speculative writing is hard. Now she may have been referring to the difficulties of getting publish which I don’t have. But she could be referencing the writing itself. And with that I agree.

In writing Death Ship I didn’t have the luxury of aliens as a potential enemy. The enemy is twofold: 1) a general charged with destroying Christianity and 2) space itself.

The Christland series involves at least three elements: 1) Earth, 2) Space, and 3) another planet. And then there is General Abner Smith who hates Christians. Powerful, egotistical, and devious, he is a real danger to Christians on Earth and in space.

In addition, there is the nature of animal life on distant planets. I believe that animals may exist on earth-like planets. Only humans are said to be unique. Animals may resemble what we have on Earth or be entirely different. Imagination can provide those animals. What I find difficult is the degree you wander from Earth bound animals. Some science fiction books I have seen and read get real creative with animals. But I think a good solid story doesn’t want to get too creative. There is a story to be told and these additional factors should enhance the story not detract from it.

But so far I have found that writing is still much the same. Christian Speculative is simply telling a story with a Christian worldview and placing it in another part of our universe. You’ll notice I’m not talking about a new world. And why should I? There are other solar systems out there just begging for writers to discover. And mankind has begun not only looking from afar but planning on visiting them. Enter speculation or science fiction.

Actually I think the hardest part of being a writer of Christian Speculative Fiction is the marketing. You go to the Library and try to find that genre. I go regularly and I haven’t found such a genre yet. Part of the problem is that Christian Speculative Fiction is considered, at least in a library, as a sub-genre of science fiction. Which is fine, but it makes it that much harder for readers to find. Avid science fiction readers may consider that statement laughable, but readers who don’t naturally read science fiction might find themselves in agreement.

Having discovered the appropriate sub-genre (whoever came up with ‘speculative’ anyway?) I am more upbeat than before. I’d much rather be in an established genre or sub-genre than to start one.

Reading other authors in your genre is always a good thing. So that is one thing I will now be doing in the Christian Speculative sub-genre. Who knows, I may even do a review. I have just downloaded a novel and have started reading it.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Insights: Christland

Insights: Christland

This new feature is called Insights. It may concern a book within the series World That Was, Christland, or any other series or book I’ve written or will write. I hope you find it interesting.

Christland is a new series within the Science Fiction genre. As noted previously it is better known as Christian Science Fiction.

Death Ship, the first book of the series lays the foundation for the series. In this novel you will find two parallel stories occurring. In Space you follow eighty Christians  arrested, examined, and placed upon a ship whose destination is a distant star and a fiery death. It is a story of courage, romance, and danger.

Meanwhile on Earth you have General Abner Smith the mastermind of this evil persecution as he watches the ship and makes additional plans. Unknown to him the Underground Church, made up of evangelicals and fundamentalists, resists the worldwide ban on worshiping God. They also aim to thwart the general’s plans.

I enjoyed writing this novel. I’ve always liked science fiction to an extent, but it all too often was evolutionary and therefore unbelievable. I found myself wondering why there can’t be science fiction that embraces a Christian view and a more practical plot. I found it challenging and exciting to write. And the amount of research needed and available was simply overwhelming!

Through research I discovered that since the days of Star Trek the idea of space travel has come a long way. They are now seriously looking at things like warp drive, ION engines, replicators (which to some extent already exist), and much more. Since I was already interested in science (not as a student) I found these new developments exciting and thought provoking.

In fact, before I ever got the idea for this book I was already following SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, two competing space developers. Both are exploring the outer rims of space travel and will eventually break through. Death Ship takes place in the 22nd century, therefore allowing more than enough time for the two programs to succeed. In fact, the novel presents a world that has advanced in many ways.

It also depicts a world where Christians are persecuted. This is simply a practical outgrowth of the worldwide persecution we now see. Even here in America we see it starting. Only a nationwide revival can truly overturn this trend. It is true the Trump administration is increasingly acting as a friend of Christianity, but the next president may once again allow attacks against Christians to go unchecked and unpunished.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Insights: World That Was

Insights: World That Was

This new feature is called Insights. It may concern a book within the series World That Was, (as today’s blog is), Christland, or any other series or book I’ve written or will write. I hope you find it interesting.

My very first book ever written was Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles. This book would later be incorporated into Perished: The World That Was. It was a look at the 120 years leading up to the Flood. Some people ignorantly speak of the Flood as a myth. But if they bothered to do research they would discover that it actually happened. I find it instructive how people can throw up challenges that prove to be rather easy to refute simply because they desperately want to disprove the existence of God.

Some people say there were local floods around the world at the time of what we call the Flood. But they don’t consider the difficulties such a belief faces. One simple problem is ‘the magnitude of so many Earth damaging local floods all happening about the same time in history.’ For a flood to cause the traumatic effects discovered through the study of fossils it would have to be huge. So the problem becomes even more difficult and can be stated as, ‘the magnitude of so many huge Earth damaging local floods all happening about the same time in history.’

In other words, for such a scenario to be believed requires huge faith. Greater faith than I have. Because it is a faith in ‘chance.’ It is a blind faith in an arbitrary god called ‘chance.’

What do I mean?

Well, by chance:

  • The Universe was formed (currently called Big Bang)
  • The Earth evolved
  • Local floods around the world appeared at same time
  • These floods were huge, mighty floods
  • They all worked together to change the Earth’s surface

And all this occurred without ‘real observable evidence’ and contrary to what is observable and reproducible. Both evolution and creation have one thing in common, they are both theories. However, creationism looks to the God of heaven Who created the Earth while evolution looks to no god unless he is called the god of chance. Both beliefs require faith, but evolution requires faith in a god that is ever changing; a god who is cruel, unhearing, and without a soul.

Perhaps we should worship and learn more about the God of heaven.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why Christian Science Fiction?

Why Christian Science Fiction?

In my previous blog Announcing Death Ship I touched on the subject of Christian Science Fiction. I mentioned that to my knowledge CSF is not an existing genre. But there are significant differences between CSF and your run of the mill SF. Let’s do a review.

What is Christian Science Fiction? It is:

  1. Futuristic
  2. Space travel
  3. Warp drive
  4. Alien animals
  5. Conflict
  6. Exotic weapons
  7. Far off planets
  8. Spaceships
  9. and more.

Just like science fiction. But the difference lies in what is missing. There:

  1. A Christian worldview
  2. No alien intelligent beings
  3. No vulgar language
  4. No extreme graphics

Why not just operate within traditional Science Fiction?

I may just end up doing that. But if I do I will probably continue to tag it as Christian Science Fiction. Why? Because I don’t want to deceive my potential audience. They will never see some being from another planet who is alien rather than human. Animals, may tend to be exotic, gigantic, or have other unearthly features but nothing that evokes evolution (evolution is non-Christian and is best known as Humanistic Evolution). While there may be Christians that actually believe in evolution it is a sign of their lack of Bible knowledge. So I will be upfront with them and anyone else who prefers traditional science fiction.

Is there a market for CSF?

I really don’t know and it would be very difficult to ascertain as this time. Since there isn’t any definitive genre as CSF it makes research that much harder. Having said that, I believe that the Left Behind series by LaHaye and Jenkins and other End Times novels are at least futuristic and possibly borderline science fiction. The only thing keeping them from being considered such is the lack of space travel, etc.

Probably my biggest argument for Christian Science Fiction is my personal preferences. Our world has been and is plagued by the nonsensical belief in evolution. It defies observable science, masquerades as scientific fact when it can only accurately be called a scientific theory. To be a fact it MUST be observable and repeatable which it is not (which is why Creationism is also a theory).

While it is possible that characters in my books may swear, I never allow the words to be spelled out. I have been against using swearing words in print long before I ever wrote my first book or (for that matter) became a Christian. It doesn’t add anything to a novel, often detracts from the book, and is just in bad taste. People who favor its use usually talk about reflecting the reality world; that everyone swears. But that isn’t any truer than to say everyone is slim. Some people swear a lot, some swear moderately, some swear a little, and some don’t swear at all. Let the reader supply the words just like they did in older fiction with symbols.

So the question was is there a market for CSF and I believe the answer is probably yes. Unless I am an aberration (a definite possibility) then there are others out there who believe the same as I do whether or not they are Christians. They may not be a huge market but they could be a decent size and profitable market.

How realistic can CSF be?”

Actually, it is more realistic than traditional science fiction. Somewhere within the story line there must be a track back to the Earth we know. Since I am, for example, establishing a whole new world there needs to be answers to how it all came to be. Death Ship will answer a lot of those questions. The next 2 books will provide additional answers even while speculative science becomes more pronounced.

There is another idea about reality. Star Trek and Star Wars books, and similar stories, create new worlds that have little, if any, relation to what is presently known about space. My book actually reflects a discovery about a real planet relatively close to Earth. It is possible, I suppose, for other CSF writers to invent imaginary worlds. I have no opposition to this since in fact I do invent an imaginary planet. But generally speaking the more often the reader can identify a real planet or weapon or anything else, the better.

Why do you emphasize the reader’s imagination?

I do that for any genre. And the answer is simple: A reader’s imagination is a tool that every successful writer seeks to stimulate and use. I make use of it in all my books. There are successful writers that I don’t like (their books) who violate my principles but they are still trying to make use of imagination. That is where graphics comes into play. Graphics are word pictures that can go to the nth degree.

As a writer you may have an ideal reader in mind, but you really don’t know what that reader is bringing to the table. Too much graphics can turn them off; too little graphics can be boring. That is the difficult part, finding the middle road that appeals to the widest audience without the author selling out.

But more important than that is the fact that it is the reader who determines the success or failure of a book. Some readers have very little imagination and some a great deal, but how they understand the book is directly related to their imagination. When I write a scene it at first reflects strictly my imagination. My job as a writer is to try to put myself in the reader’s shoes and edit the scene appropriately. Not an easy job, but important.

Do you think they’ll create a Christian Science Fiction genre?

Short answer is probably not. If authors start writing SCF books that prove to be successful then there will be pressure to create such a genre. I do believe that it will take time, perhaps years.

Do you plan on writing other CSF books other than Christland?

At this time the answer is no. Christland will involve a number of books over a period of years. That will keep me busy. Especially since I plan to write at least two more World That Was books and perhaps other Bible based books in the future.

Since I am now 75 it is safe to assume that such writings will take me into my 80’s and 90’’s.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), or World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One of Christland) I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review Death Ship.’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Announcing Death Ship

Announcing Death Ship

I am proud to announce a new novel, Death Ship, that I have just published. You might also say I created a new genre, as well: Christian Science Fiction. I have been unable to find such a definitive genre although I have looked for it. Below is a quick take on the difference between traditional and Christian science fiction.

What is Christian Science Fiction? It is:

  1. Futuristic
  2. Space travel
  3. Warp drive
  4. Alien animals
  5. Conflict
  6. Exotic weapons
  7. Far off planets
  8. Spaceships
  9. and more.

Just like science fiction. But the difference lies in what is missing. There:

  1. A Christian worldview
  2. No alien intelligent beings
  3. No vulgar language
  4. No extreme graphics

If you’ve read my books you know that I do cover such things as immorality, murder, and other types of sin, but I don’t get into the graphical nature. Aside from my Christian conscience I have discovered that all of these things are unnecessary and often detract from what would otherwise be a good book. Actually I came to this conclusion long before I ever became a Christian.

I am aware that there are readers and writers who disagree with me, but their arguments generally are weak. One of my cardinal rules of writing fiction is to leave the reader room to imagine. It enriches the story. This even applies to curse words. In the old days they used symbols to indicate swear words which allowed the reader to provide their own if they wanted to do so.

Today we live in a world where people want “realism,” yet often settle for sensationalism. It’s like reality TV is anything but real. That is sad. But just as Christian fiction takes a different route, Christian Science Fiction takes another route.

In Death Ship you have all the elements of good science fiction and so much more. You have the latest planet Ross 128 b, which was discovered in 2017; you have modern day inventions that either are currently existing or on the drawing boards. In addition, there is a spaceship that is definitely future yet already we see true science speculating about such ships.

The story revolves around a world in turmoil. World War III is started by assassinations of city and national leaders in England and Europe. These take place at the instigation of Arab terrorists. England, Europe, and the United States attack the terrorist’s camps bringing on a world war. While the Arab terrorist network is wiped out, the western world is weakened, including the United States. A new world government is formed and their first decision is to ban religion of all brands, including Christianity. But the Christians, although driven underground, remain faithful. This brings on the campaign to exterminate them that results in 80 Christians beings selected as scientific guinea pigs.

Placed onboard the Gardenia, a converted luxury Science Research ship, they are sent off into space to be used for scientific research. The ultimate aim is to crash into a Red Dwarf star (Gliese 876) and a fiery death. But General Abner Smith, eager to see how Christians would react in space to unexpected problems, has prepared the ship with obstacles for them to face. And he purposely chose Christians, unused to leadership roles, with both knowledge and experience. His goal is for them to rebel and take over the ship only to find that they remain in his hands.

Death Ship is now available on Amazon both in print and digital format.

Title: Death Ship
Series: Christland
Book #1
Publisher: T&R Independent Books
ISBN: 1986066045
ISBN-13: 978-1986066044
Pages: 254
Retail: $17.99
Ingram’s Availability: Yes

And because this book has just been published you have the opportunity to be among the very first reviewers. Don’t let that scare you, embrace it. If you took the time to read the book then you have the right to do a review. Read the book, Review the book, and Post the review on Amazon.com. For further information read the following paragraph.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), or World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One) I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review Death Ship.’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and I will rush you a free PDF copy.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Expanding Your Skill Set

Expanding Your Skill Set

As you know I primarily write novels based on the Bible. I am also interested in writing novels based on American History. In both cases I’m writing Historical Fiction. This is a genre that I have always been interested in both as a reader and a writer.

But there is another genre that I enjoy reading. That is Christian Science Fiction. You might think that is a conundrum, but have you read the Left Behind series? Aside from being Bible based these books also involved futuristic science. In fact, Christian Science Fiction can involve history pre-written (prophecy), history, and science.

As I said I enjoy reading such books. But I have never written in that genre before. That is about to change as I am in the process of writing a science fiction story that takes place in the 22nd Century. It is a story that takes place after World War III that leaves the world in a mess and ready for a one world government. But along with the new government comes the banning of all religions, including Christianity.

The resulting persecution of Christians who continue in the faith is terrifying and thorough. It leads to mass arrests, murder, and a plan to use Christians as guinea pigs in the name of interstellar research. And that is just the beginning of the story.

Why Christian Science Fiction?

Because I believe we need good Christian fiction in as many genres as possible. While stories of aliens and alien cultures are entertaining, they are also not possible in the Christian worldview. As Christians we know that God uniquely created humans. Alien animals are ok, but not beings equal to or superior to humans. The Bible is quite clear about that.

But what about Christians facing the perils of space and a new world? I think that we Christians can create an exciting world that eventually has new heroes and villains because not everyone who says they’re Christians are Christians. Also the children of Christians don’t always become Christians.

Why me?

For one thing I don’t want to get stale or be limited to only one type of genre. I certainly will continue my World That Was journey through Genesis, but I feel that as a writer I need to be willing to explore other areas and expand my skill set. It can only make me better as a writer.

What about you?

I’m not asking about your interest in science fiction but your willingness to expand yourself and be willing to learn a new craft. As long as you continue within the Christian worldview and are willing to do the research (yes, even science fiction requires research), then I think it is a valid endeavor.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for reviews. Not only for World of Shem (Book Three), but Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), and World of Abraham (Book Four to be released soon) . If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review World of Abraham.’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Announcing World of Shem

Announcing World of Shem

I am happy to announce my latest novel World of Shem is now in print and digital format. This novel, a major rewrite of the Rise of Shem, is book 3 of my series The World That Was.  world-of-shem-kdp-11-14-17-for-kindle.jpg

All three books (Perished, World of Noah and the Ark, and World of Shem) are told in a manner that is not only faithful to the Bible but strives to bring the Bible alive to both Christian and non-Christian reader alike. Perhaps because it is a rewrite of a previous novel or perhaps because it is my latest novel, it is my current favorite.

I love to write, but there is something special about writing Bible based stories. I think the reason is that the stories not only bring the Bible alive to readers but to myself as well. In so doing I am able to dig deeper and gain an understanding of the events and people. And of God!

I imagine this is akin to any writer who bases their books on history. In the process of writing you dig deep finding out about the foods people ate, the clothes they wore, and the methods of transportation used. Such knowledge grants both the writer and the reader a greater appreciation of both the events and the people involved.

My study of the people, places, and events of the World of Shem impacted my life. I was particularly impressed with how rapidly civilization grew after the world wide flood. Everything had been destroyed. Yet within 300-500 years a thriving civilization existed again. The only explanation I have is that Noah must have taken a great many tablets (probably mostly clay) with him upon the Ark. These tablets would have contained a great deal of the knowledge of the Old World that perished.

But it was the character of Shem that attracted me the most. The Bible tells us very little about this man, but as I wrote the story I watched his character develop to the point I felt like I knew him. I don’t claim my characterization of him is 100% accurate, but I believe it is a good representation of him.

Having written the book and now published it I am looking for potential reviewers. I can provide the book in a variety of formats (Epub or PDF, for example) at no cost and no conditions, other than the reviewer reads the book through and gives an honest appraisal. I would prefer the 1 through 5 ranking system. If you are able to provide an Amazon review, so much the better.

If you are interested in reviewing the book please email me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Please put “Book Review Request” in the subject line. That will get my immediate attention and response. It would be helpful if you would state the format desired (such as paperback, PDF, or Epub). If you have another format you’d like mention it and I will try to accommodate you.

Whether you review the book or not, happy reading!

Title: World of Shem
Publisher: T&R Independent Books
Printer: CreateSpace
ISBN: 10: 154242383x or 13: 978-1542423830
Contact for Reviews: Marketing@tr-indbkstore.com
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

When I consider Thy heavens

When I consider Thy heavens

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

This passage is deep with a rich supply of theology and application. But I want to zoom in on the first part: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained.

The pride of men is such that they see all the handiwork of God, but refuse to believe that it was created by God. That view has pervaded our schools, government, and some churches. But the truth is that God is the Creator!

As a Christian author I have more than one motive for writing. Like all novelists I write to entertain, but I also have a Christian  motive: Psalm 71:18b, “until I have shown thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”

I don’t know what your motive is, but I imagine that assuming you’re a Christian you want to be a witness and to influence people for Christ. That doesn’t mean your book(s) have to preach or present the gospel, but it does mean that your book(s) should reflect your Christian beliefs.

As an example, I write historical fiction, primarily Biblical, while my wife is writing her first novel which is a mystery aimed at teens and adults. My Biblical books are based on actual events recorded in the Bible, whereas my wife’s novel will reflect modern living. In other words, we are writing for two entirely different genres.

Let’s get back to my books. My writings explore the relationships man has had with the Creator. Since my books are based on actual events they also include actual people some of which are good and some bad. Exploring this relationship excites me. It takes me deeper into God’s Word, which not only benefits the books but it benefits my own spiritual journey.

The worship of the Creator has been and still is a foundational doctrine for the Christian faith. Only the Creator has the right to be worshiped. Not only that but He has the right to demand our obedience to His will! He didn’t create us and then walk away. Every day He watches us and takes pleasure in us when we do His will. And I find that to be a blessing and an encouragement rather than a threat.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard

Go to the ant, thou sluggard

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” Prov. 6:6.

Has God called you to be a writer? Is it hard? Do you feel like quitting?

Here in Proverbs we learn that God takes a dim view of laziness and basically not doing the work. It is true that writing can be hard work. But if God truly called you to be a writer He never provided the option of quitting.

But I know how you feel. Before I ever published my first novel I often felt like quitting. Especially when a story would suddenly hit the wall and I knew it was going nowhere. While I did quit the novel, I never quit writing. And it is important to know there is a difference!

Anyone who has been a writer for awhile has had to change directions at least once but probably more often than they might want to admit. When writing you are investing a part of yourself and it becomes very difficult to stop and reject the work. However, if you consider what you have learned about writing during the project then it has not been a waste of time and effort. Instead you have learned something you can use in your next project.

Quitting as a writer is altogether different. By quitting you are saying that God never called you. If you say no, God called you and it didn’t work out then you are saying God made a mistake. God never makes mistakes! So you need to re-evaluate your calling. Did He call you to be an author or not? If He did then you can’t quit, because it would be disobedience.

Assuming therefore God called you to be a writer then you need to evaluate your writing. What is stopping you? Are you in the right genre? Do you need additional skills?

When I was trying to write and not succeeding it was very frustrating. To offset this I wrote computer programs (most of which were used only personally) and poetry (which helped me win my wife). But behind it all I still had that drive, that calling to write. I often prayed about it and would pick up pen and paper and try again. I even developed a model train hobby that I converted into a story. It didn’t work, but my point is I kept trying.

In my case the solution came through my daily devotions as God showed me that the Bible is loaded with true stories waiting to be the foundation for novels. Your experience will probably be different except that God is just as interested in your success as mine. So keep your prayer life strong and listen for His guidance.

Not only did God open the door for my writing career to open, He also opened the door for my wife and I to become the publisher of our own books (soon she will have her first novel published). In 2014 God gave me the idea for being a self-publisher in the truest form. I talked to my wife and she immediately was enthused. Thus was born T&R Independent Books with her as president and yours truly as vice president. This decision opened the door for us and provided us not only with greater potential earnings but with greater control over every aspect of writing. But it wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t listening to God!

It is my belief that roadblocks in a Christian’s life are there for a reason. Sometimes it means quit  a project to be sure, but never to quit doing His will. Roadblocks come with multiple solutions which could include plowing through them, going around them, going over them, or even going under them. In other words, roadblocks are often opportunities. We just need to stop, pray, and seek to discover what the opportunity facing us might be.

So if you’ve been called to write don’t let a roadblock stop you. It might just be God trying to get your attention and redirect your path.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Bind them continually upon thine heart

Bind them continually upon thine heart

“Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” Prov. 6:21

This verse is referencing the Word of God as the Father’s commandments. Today I want to apply it specifically to authors.

Perhaps because I am an author I am slightly biased. Since we deal with communicating to people, albeit through fiction, I think we need God’s wisdom to a very high degree.

Thousands of books are published every week and tens of thousands every year. All authors are trying to sell their books to the widest audience possible. I am no exception. And we need God’s wisdom if we are to succeed.

I’ve talked before about the principles of God’s Word and I don’t want to be merely repeating myself. So instead of talking about marketing advice seen through the lens of the Bible, I want to talk about God’s wisdom and how it helps us write better.

Every book I’ve written has been bathed in prayer. It is not enough to merely follow principles, whether they are secular or spiritual. Writing is more than that. It involves the plot of the work, the characters involved, and the cohesiveness of the story. For that to happen requires a great deal of skill. But it also demands more.

People talk about inspiration being required. I’ve talked about being inspired, but it goes beyond simply being inspired to write. We need God’s guiding hand as we write every scene and develop every character.

It can be taxing, but when we have God in our corner it makes things much easier. Whether writing Perished, or World of Noah and the Ark, or even the current writing of World of Shem I have needed God’s guidance. I seek God’s guidance. I’m not talking about formal prayer, which I do, but of communicating to God throughout the process.

This involves talking to Him about every scene, indeed every word. I approach my writing in the spirit of open prayer. Sometimes it is unconscious praying and sometimes I actually ask Him directly. I ask questions like,

  • How do I write this scene?
  • Is this scene too suggestive?
  • Is this character believable?

Sometimes I have typed several words or entire sentences and upon further evaluation have erased them. We’ve all done this, but the question is was God involved in the process.

How do I involve God?

That’s not a hard question to answer. If you are a Christian, having received Christ as your Savior and you have been called to write, then you can expect His involvement. He doesn’t call and then abandon.

On the other hand, He doesn’t force His Will upon us. According to Psalm 32:8 He will guide us. That is a two-fold promise. On the one hand, God promises to guide us, but on the other hand we are responsible to listen to Him and obey.

What a great feeling it is when we have written a story and can say that God helped us all along the way! Whatever genre you write in you can count on His help as long as you are doing it His way. And that is a source of a huge sense of confidence and peace.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.