I’m prepared to have my writing style criticized so long as he cause is valid. It’s conceivable that the reader doesn’t like medical novels. Perhaps I don’t pack a particular book with enough suspense. Maybe the characters are one-dimensional. All these are valid criticisms. But I bristle at criticism leveled at my work simply because it was written from a Christian worldview.
Every time one of my books is available as a free download, I can look forward to several one-star reviews, generally with the same comment: “I don’t like Christian fiction.” It’s not that I fill my novels of medical suspense with altar calls and conversion scenes. True, one of the characters sometimes quotes Scripture, but that’s rare, and always in context. What I do is write fiction from a Christian worldview, knowing that following Jesus isn’t a “get out of jail free” card, but rather a promise of strength most of us don’t know we had.
I’m often asked by interviewers from secular sites to explain Christian fiction. Here’s some of what I’ve said in the past: The books portray characters that are flawed, as we all are, and who struggle with their relationships, both with God and their fellow man...What I’ve frequently said is that the only difference I really see is that these novels don’t contain anything I’d hesitate for my mother, wife, or daughter to read.
I’m pleased that my latest novel, Critical Condition, has been given great reviews, including 4 ½ stars from Romantic Times Book Reviews. But I’m holding my breath until readers weigh in. Will some of them criticize my work because it’s “Christian fiction?” I hope not, but you never can tell.
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Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and author of “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have been a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel, finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award, and winner of the Selah Award. His latest, Critical Condition, is his seventh published novel. You can follow Richard on his blog, on Twitter, and his Facebook fan page. Links for the purchase of his books are found on his web page.