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Understanding the Importance of Reviews

What is the importance of Reviews? Well, it just might make the difference in how the reader views your book. And whether a purchase takes place.

In my last blog I spoke about a very nice review I received, and I mentioned Booksprout. There seems to be a growing number of review services coming online these days. I have checked out others, and most seem to want to swap reviews.

As far as I know, that is fine as long as you are not swapping type of book review, as in ‘I will review and give your book 5 stars if you will do the same for me’. That would be wrong. But making yourself available to do reviews in exchange for someone else reviewing your book does not violate any rules that I know of. The key is there is no direct link from your doing a review to you receiving a review.

That said, I like Booksprout’s approach. With them I have choices: Free to up to 20 reviews per book; $10 per month for up to 50 reviews per book; and $20 per month for unlimited reviews.

It is easy, cost effective, and it works.

But are book reviews still important?

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

I asked if reviews were still important. In a recent book I was reviewing the author had this to say, ‘any author’s marketing strategy should include the pursuit of reviews…[and] a good number of them’.

Reviews are important. Even bad reviews can be good for you. On a previous book I wrote and published I received a 2-star review. The reviewer didn’t like the book and was highly critical of it and me (the author). I could have deleted it, but I left it up.

Why?

Because it was obvious from the review that he didn’t follow reviewing rules. He skipped around and, in the end, he never finished the book. How do I know? He said so in his review (at least he was honest). But I was getting 4-star and 5-star reviews from others. So, it made a dramatic contrast.

If he had read the book through, the negative statements and/or observations he made would not have been named. In other words, the problems he cited were of his own making! He was careless, should have known better, and ended up writing a review that even a novice could see was wrong.

So, here is a review principle you might use: If you get a negative review while you are also getting positive reviews, consider keeping it on the list. Not on the top, but further down so that potential readers will already have read positive reviews before getting to that solitary bad review. There is a way to do this, but that isn’t the topic today.

Back at that time I had a different website and I posted reviews of my books on that site. It was a good practice that I got away from when I shifted to another website, but now I am returning to that practice.

In building my new website, which is using a storefront theme, I forgot about providing reviews. And in the process of time, I have lost some reviews when changing computers, but others I have now posted to the site. And I will be pursuing reviews more aggressively in the future.

Perhaps, you ask why I am returning? Because it enables readers to check out the reviews of any books they are considering. It shows the readers that I am honest by providing the negative review, but it also shows that the reviewer was quite likely off-base. (If you look for the negative review, I haven’t found it yet; it may be lost.)

Now, if there are a great many negative reviews, you might want to consider a different response. Read the reviews thoughtfully. Do they all harp on the same errors? If so, then maybe you should unpublish the book, fix the errors and then republish. If it is a major change you might need to retitle it as a new work and then seek new reviews.

I did receive another negative review, although it was more of a communication that a true review. In that review, the writer liked the book but felt some of my facts were wrong. Some of the criticism was off, in my opinion. But some of it made me take a closer look. The end result was an almost complete rewrite. So, I retitled the book and republished it. I tried contacting the man, but he never responded. But that was a case of a bad review influencing me to write a better book.

So, if you are doing a review, where do you post it?

The answer usually is Amazon. However, Amazon is making it harder to post reviews. For example, I don’t buy a lot off of Amazon within any given year. Over time, maybe. But not within a year. While I sell on Amazon, I usually like to go into a bookstore and ‘handle’ a book that I am thinking of buying.

But Amazon has installed a requirement that you have to purchase $50 or more from them in a year’s time to be able to post a review. It is unfortunate, but Booksprout for instance lets the reviewer post their review to Bookbub and Goodreads, as well as Amazon.

Reviews are a good way to influence sales. Finding a good reviewer is a little different and I may visit that subject in the future. One source of finding reviewers is kindleprenuer. But even such listings there need to be approached carefully. You want someone who works in your genre to begin with. Check them out. And definitely check out Booksprout. I have only limited experience with them, so I can’t say positively that they are the answer. Only you can answer that question.

All three formats of World of Joseph are available at Amazon. But the paperback and hardcover are available at TR Independent Bookstore where all our books are always discounted. Now that the special discount of World of Joseph of 20% ended at midnight of the 19th, both formats are still discounted the same as all our books. So, you still have great bargains!

Speaking of reviews, why not review one of my books. Next month I plan on submitting more books to be reviewed on Booksprout, but you don’t have to wait. If you buy one of our books from Amazon, you can post a review. Or you can try Goodreads where I am listed as R. Riddle.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Ron’s Lit Tip What to Write

10 06 2020

Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.

Finding subjects to write on can be difficult or easy depending on your approach. Experts advise that you find what is popular and write accordingly. I suppose that works if all you are interested in is sales. But if you want to write something good, write upon subjects you find interesting.

For example, I love history, so my favorite genre is Historical Fiction. In that genre I’ve written about Bible based history, which are historical events that are seen from a biblical view. When you use the book of Genesis you get history often written by eyewitnesses.  Out of this genre has come my The World That Was series.

Another genre I enjoy is Speculative Fiction. This and Science Fiction are like kissing cousins. Very much alike, but yet different. I usually explain this way, Speculative Fiction is Science Fiction without little green men. Often Speculative Fiction deals with future events, sometimes events recorded in the Book of Revelation. In one sense this is Historical Fiction in that it is history prewritten. The famous Left Behind series would fit in this genre.

My point is that I write what I enjoy.

Another genre I enjoy reading is Mystery. And that will soon produce Mystery novels. So, I have a question: Are you writing what you enjoy or just what someone else enjoys?

I may get negative feedback on this but writing only what others like may be financially profitable, but it is likely going to be less than your best work. Ideally, you want to write books that sell and that you like! This combination should bring out your best writing and sell.

I do not know of any guaranteed method that will meet that standard. As a general rule I would say first write down possible stories and then search the internet for the most popular genres out there. But just because no one else hasn’t written what you plan to write doesn’t mean your book shouldn’t be written.

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to write in an unfamiliar genre. Study it, learn some basics, and give it a try. Who knows, you might just find something new that you like to write.

Tip: Don’t let $$$ determine what you write.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to write in a popular, yet unfamiliar genre.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. #Writingservices

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Ron’s Tip of the Day What to Write About

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Today I am looking at What to Write About.

Ever wonder what you should write about?

I have. And arriving at the answer is not as difficult as you might thing it is.

Genre?

What genres do you enjoy reading? In my case, I love to read books on history, such as seen in the Bible or national history. I love history past and history prewritten (i.e. Old Testament and Revelation). I love reading books about wars and warriors of our past, such as Rome, Israel, England, and America. I have enjoyed our revolutionary war, our civil war, and modern day wars in Iraq and the Middle East. Then there are the stories that take place in the future and concern the End Times.

But I also love Science Fiction plus Mystery. Guess what? These genres have recently become the genres I write in. And that is not an accident. Looking at what you enjoy reading is a good place to go when considering what to write. Yes, check the market. But first check your heart.

Tip of the Day: Enjoy the Do. Whatever you’re doing, enjoy it!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Our Free booklet tells you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review our 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).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. 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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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: One Genre or Multi-Genre?

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am looking at One Genre or Multi-Genre?

Should I focus on only one Genre or multiple Genre?

That’s actually a good question. I focused for years on one genre, namely Historical Fiction. It remains my preferred genre, but I’ve now completed my first series in Speculative Fiction and I loved it!

Recently I began writing in the genre Mystery. And again I love it.

The real question is Am I able to Write in Multiple Genres?

Ultimately it is your audience that determines the answer to that. However, it is possible that you could end up with a different audience for each genre. In fact, I’d say that is likely that your audiences will change from genre to genre.

Breaking into a new genre (for you) can also be tough. In my case, my primary focus is writing good fiction no matter what the genre. Getting people to like my books is more a matter of marketing than anything else.

So How Can I Know?

Another good question.

Sales will tell you how good your marketing is, although it might have something to say about your writing quality also. But primarily it is about marketing.

Here’s a question for you?

When you write in a different genre, what do you think of your work? After writing, editing, and getting ready for publication sit back and read your book as a book not as a manuscript. Read it through. Did you enjoy it?

Obviously in a mystery you will already know the solution, but the question is, did you enjoy the book? If you did then that is a major plus!

Then try to get Reviews.

How Do I Get Reviews?

There are a lot of people who want to review books. Some will charge you money. Nothing wrong with that as long as they abide by Amazon rules. Why Amazon? Because they are the biggest seller of books out there and your reviews will go online and be visible to their vast number of followers.

So be careful about paid reviewers.

The biggest problem with paid reviewers is the fee charged. Some are costly and some are not. I suggest you google paid reviewers or something like that and check for yourself.

Then there are those who are unpaid reviewers. They love books and maybe certain genres, so they offer to review your book. They get a copy of the book from you, get to read it for free and then they comment on it. It is sort of a win-win for the reviewer and for you the author. It is worth checking into.

What if I’ve Already Started in a Different Genre?

Not a problem.

I started writing in other genres because I liked to read them. For Christland, a speculative novel, I delved into it because I liked Science Fiction. Most Science Fiction is evolutionary in concept and I don’t believe in evolution. Did that rule it out for me?

No!

My Christland novels have human beings contending with other human beings. They travel through space and they face obstacles. There are super weapons and bigger than life characters, but no little green men from Mars.

The thing to remember is that while the genre may be different you are for the most part dealing with human issues, such as war, peace, crime, murder, rape, government, religion, and so on.

Do You Help People Who write in Different Genres?

At TR Writing Services we are there to help you take your manuscript from rough draft to published book. Do we accept all genres?

No.

For example, we will accept books that have sex and violence in them. My own books have those elements. But there is a right way and wrong way to involve them in your book. If your book uses blasphemy, curse words, etc. then we will deem it unacceptable.

Another example is violence. Is it too graphic? Although my books are aimed at adults, that doesn’t mean that excessive and graphic violence is acceptable.

There are other genre’s that we won’t look at, but I’d suggest you contact us at marketing@TR-IndBkstore.com and we will, if interested, request your manuscript. If we reject it, we return the manuscript via email.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

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) and World of Jacob (Book Five). Or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

And now we add to the list. You may review Tess Riddle’s novel Haney Place Secrets simply by following the steps below.

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).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative 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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How to Absolutely Use Breakthrough and Sensational Writing

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at How to Absolutely Use Breakthrough and Sensational Writing.

That’s a long title but it conveys what all of us writers, and I definitely include myself, need to learn to do better. To put the subject in a more explicit form: Learn to use emotion when writing.

I believe that every reader comes to our books with a tool available for us to use. It’s called their imagination. Think about it. Even if you are only eighteen you have had experiences, learned knowledge, and gotten acquainted with others. All of this impacts your imagination. So our job as authors is to tap into that imagination wherever possible and however we are able.

I am not going to cover every possible way to do this. So, up front, I’m already tapping into your imagination. In this case, to imagine ways to use your reader’s imagination.

Emotional Words

Emotional words are powerful words and are encourage in writing headlines. But you also want emotional words within your story. Now I’ve come across an outfit called CoSchedule. CoSchedule offers many things but one thing they offer I think we can all use and it’s FREE! That’s called How To Write Headlines and I use it to assist me in writing good blog headlines. But again I believe you want to write stories that accomplish the goal of triggering the reader’s mind and imagination.

So the use of emotional words is recommended. And the tool referenced above provides a list of words.

Emotional Scenes

This is not always easy to write. One reason is you have to get into the character and possibly experience the anger, the frustration, and the pain. One trick I use is to be that character, whether it’s a man or woman, a good guy or a bad guy, or whatever. I immerse myself into the character so that I think and experience things as he or she does. It usually works.

Often times I have to write, rewrite, and rewrite again to get the right feel for a particular scene. This is drudgery sometimes but it is also a necessary part of writing.

Colorful Scenes

By color I’m talking descriptive. Think of writing as if you were a painter (remember the old saying, A painting is worth a thousand words). Part of my rewriting involves me adding color to the scene. Instead of writing, ‘He stopped beside a try and sat down,’ I could write, “Stopping beside a fully grown Oak tree in full bloom, he sat down.’ Not perfect, but it adds a dimension to the story. If the reader is familiar with Oak trees, then the picture might form of the protagonist leaning against an Oak tree that he or she envisions.

You can also add color by describing the tree in more detail. Or maybe he’s sitting beside a stream. How big is it? Is it blue? Is it moving fast or slow? These are all questions you may want to answer.

I can’t tell you how many times I rewrite scenes. Sometimes I rewrite the entire scene, but most often I rewrite a word here and a phrase there. I keep doing this until I have a scene that empowers my imagination and I can visualize the scene for myself.

If you have the ability to step back and read your novel as a reader and not the author I recommend you do that often. And not just scenes involving your primary character but every scene and every character should benefit from such an approach. If you make this a practice it will eventually become second nature to you and will improve your writing.

Sensationalize Your Writing

Now you have to be careful here. This often involves being somewhat graphic. If you’ve read my blogs in the past then you know I’m opposed to being excessively graphic. But having graphic details in your book is not necessarily bad.

For example, in one book I wrote about a man being beheaded. You, the reader knew it, but I didn’t describe the actual beheading. In another scene I wrote about a woman being raped. I wrote about events leading up to it and leading away from it, but not the rape itself. Still another scene showed a sword fight in which one man lost his hand. All of these were somewhat graphic, but I let the reader fill in the missing parts.

Every writer has to find his/her own level of what amount of graphics to include. I would, however, suggest the following rule: Always leave room for the readers to use their imagination as that is your most valuable tool.

Be Willing to Experiment

This is more than emotion, more than graphics. It is being willing to think outside the box. Not only about words but about ideas, things, etc. For instance, when I decided to start writing novels in the Speculative Fiction genre I knew upfront that I wasn’t going to be using any alien beings. My characters would all be human (or robots), but no little green men.

That created a problem. How do I make my story believable? So I was faced with the dilemma of devising a story line that would be interesting, that could hold attention, and that could be entertaining. The result was Death Ship to the Stars. Was I successful? That’s up to my readers to determine. Personally speaking, I like what I wrote.

Conclusion

Writing is a challenge. If you love writing as I do, then you embrace that challenge. You are always open to new ideas, new methods, and even new genres. You actively keep your mind on the task of being a better writer.

I never sit down and ask myself what kind of books sell. I read advice that you should check the market out first before writing. From a marketing standpoint this makes sense, especially for nonfiction. You don’t want to waste your time.

However as a fiction writer I want to write what interests me. That is my first question, What do I want to write? It is never a waste of time for me because whether the book sells or not is not my primary concern. I have a story to tell and I want to tell it.

So I decide to writen and then all the remaining questions relate to how to write an entertaining book. Translated that means the following: When I, the author, have completed the novel is it a book that I, the reader, would read?

I don’t ever want to put a book out there that I wouldn’t enjoy. Then, after that, I want a book that others will enjoy.

So the conclusion of the matter is to be yourself, but also keep learning and doing. Write what you want to write. But also be willing to spice up your writing with emotional words and scenes, sensational scenes, and more.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

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 (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), 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).

 – – – – – – –

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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Everyone Has A Story

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about Everyone Has A Story.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Everyone has a story” sometime in your lifetime. I believe this is true. Most people don’t realize it, aren’t interested in writing, or don’t know how. But all of us have life experiences that can be instructive or entertaining to the rest of us.
I write stories. I write Bible based stories and I write speculative fiction; I also write historical novels. In fact, you could say I write Biblical historical novels, American historical novels, and Futuristic historical novels. In the last cast it would be a history that hasn’t occurred yet.
What Kind of Stories Are You Talking About?
All kinds. You could write about your trip out west. It could be instructive, entertaining, or just a plain telling of the trip. Your story can go in a lot of different directions. How you write the story is up to you.
The same could be said for a purely fictional account loosely base on an historical event. This would require some research, but the labor would be worth it. Research usually enriches the story being told, so I encourage you to do research.
What Kind of Research?
Depends on your story. The more complicated or extensive it is the more research you need. Good research tends to enrich the story.
But I’ve Never Written A Book Before!
There’s always a first time. And while I don’t necessarily recommend it there are ghostwriters who’ll write your book for a fee. But before that try writing a rough draft by yourself. The draft won’t be perfect but it will be a start. You can also purchase books or borrow books from the library to help you write.
Writing can be fun.
But What About Finding an Agent or Publisher?
I’m neither for or against agents, but I don’t usually write about them. The reason is I favor Indie Publishing where you are the publisher. My Friday blogs deal with publishing. I favor KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) because it is easy and generally free. And the quality is good.
Most of your Traditional Publishers require you having an agent. The process of finding an agent who is willing to represent you can take months, perhaps half a year or longer. Then the agent may take months to find a publisher and the publisher may take up to two years to publish your book. In my view that is way too long!
What About Genre?
Genre is basically a category of artistic expression. It is not just writing books, but that is all I will cover here. It is one of the first things you should check out. Different writers may have different ways of discovering their genre. The best way that I know of is to find other books that are similar to what you want to write. Then find out what categories those books are under.
When I wrote my first novel about space I thought the genre was science fiction. But a reader of this blog told me that Christian Science Fiction is known as Christian Speculative Fiction. So friends, family, and others can help you find out what your genre is. Once you discover that then learn the principles regarding it.
Can I Make Money Writing?
The short answer is yes. There are multiple ways of making money. Whether you can or not is something you must decide. However, if you enjoy writing than I believe that should be your first consideration.
Hone your craft, stick with it, and publish it. All of this can be done for free. And you can get your book out there. Then there’s the matter of advertising and other marketing ideas. In the end a love for writing or a real commitment to writing can sustain you for a long time.
If you have a story to tell why not tell 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 (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), 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).

– – – – – – –

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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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

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).

– – – – – – –

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: 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).

– – – – – – –

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.