Truth-Filled Fridays: A Frightening Trend Among Christian Authors, Bloggers and Publishers

 

This is a subject that can be quite difficult to approach. . . mostly because no matter what is said, it sounds [looks] like finger pointing. However, as mostly an outsider looking in, I feel I have somewhat of an advantage.

So, I’m going to give it a go.

 

Publishing is an ever-changing thing that can, at times, be impossible to actually keep up with. And, while I understand that Christian Authors, Publishers and Book Bloggers have to make their way through this digital minefield and make a living and/or a name for themselves if they hope to survive, there have been some very alarming trends that have leeched over from the non-Christian world of dog-eat-dog, cut-throat, back-alley, under-the-table type dealings that we as followers of Christ are supposed to avoid at all costs.

In the last few years especially, there have been more and more Christian small presses popping up all over, filling the void left behind by the large presses that have either gone under or been swallowed up by the big 5. For the most part, they put quite a lot of effort into sticking to a mission statement, but there are more than a few (I will not name names, but if you look around a little, it’s not hard to figure out who is who) who proudly proclaim themselves to be a Christian press. However they only publish a handful of actual Christian fiction.

Sadly, the story is usually about the bottom line. They publish just enough Christian fiction works to get on the lists of the Christian Author/Publisher/Agent organizations’ lists and then they publish whatever they darn well please, while still putting out the occasional Christian fiction title (or edgy Christian fiction – as the term stands now) solely to keep up appearances so they do not lose their footing in the Christian fiction world.

And, sadly, that is the least of the reprehensible behaviors I am exploring today.

Next I would like to shine a spotlight at the bloggers who are on an ever-present slippery slope of trying to make just enough waves with their snarky “critical” reviews, while skating the line between truth and complete fabrication with either the authors or the publishers they do not want to fall out of favor with.

It’s a slippery slope to slide down, trying to make yourself sound more professional by tearing down authors who are published by small presses, while blatantly fabricating praise about others just so you’ll continue to receive free books and not fall out of favor with big-name authors.

It’s also a dangerous game to play with the emotions of authors who are notoriously an unstable bunch to begin with. To rip their work to shreds simply because you did not enjoy the formatting their publisher picked (which means they had ZERO control over it personally) or you don’t find enough murder and mayhem or drama between the pages of a book that specifically states it contains none of the above is not what it means to be an impartial or “honest” reviewer.

And the worst is yet to come. . .

Leaving aside the personal habits of Authors of Christian fiction who should be setting a Godly example, I am going to focus solely on their behavior within the realm of the Publishing world.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there is a fine line between writing a book on a particular subject because it is currently popular, and taking someone else’s ides, tossing in a few name and place changes and calling it your own, especially when it is at the expense of a single mother who is struggling just to make ends meet. Sadly, this is happening more and more with authors who are small-press or Indie published–and because the mainstream authors have a large following and a big house behind them, no one bothers to notice that their stories are a blatant rip-off of someone else’s work. And if the Indie author ever pointed a finger, not only would they end up mauled by the social media monster, they would be effectively putting an end to their own career in the process.

 

It is a sad state of affairs indeed.

 

The bottom line here is that God calls us to lift each other up. . . not tear each other down or use, abuse and then leave behind an empty, bleeding shell of a person like the man from the well-known parable of the Samaritan.

 

 

©Naomi Claire 2018

Truth-Filled Fridays: Difficult words about a difficult subject…

There have been a lot of conversations lately about abuse, especially sexual abuse – and since this is an area I deal with in some of my work, I thought I would take the time to talk about it a bit.

Abuse – even sexual abuse – is nothing new. Thousands of years ago, in Biblical times, it existed. It was often punishable by death and in many cases ruined more than just the victim’s life (as it does now), but it’s nothing new. Unfortunately, the practice of covering it up or hiding it away is nothing new either…

The most difficult part of abuse (speaking from personal experience) is often how the victim feels that their family and friends will perceive them once they let that secret out. It’s nearly impossible to get up the nerve to tell family and friends – or in the case where they already know – to make yourself open up about it and talk over the event.

It’s easy to say that people need to be forgiving and accepting and gracious about speaking to the victim, but in my own personal experience, ultimately it wasn’t my family and friends’ reactions that made me feel ashamed and unimportant and dirty. It was the abuse itself. No amount of gracious acceptance can make you feel less ashamed when you have been abused – and sadly, many victims are never able to move past that feeling of shame… no matter how much time passes.

In my personal opinion of the subject, though it is a fine goal to educate people on finding a way to show compassion to the victims of abuse, a much more important (and often ignored) goal would be to educate our children on what abuse is, why abuse is wrong, and how important it is to NEVER put themselves in the type of situation that could lead to abuse.

We cannot just pretend that it doesn’t happen… in the dark, in the places where kids go to be alone. We need to shine a light into those dark places and bring the truth out where it can be seen and dealt with. And our kids need to know what can happen, and what does happen every day.

Pretending something doesn’t exist does NOT make it go away!

No, it’s not easy, but then, nothing about being a parent is.

Nothing about being a human is easy. It’s a hard world… and a hard life, but it’s worth living.

And yes… what makes it worth living for me just happens to be God. But that’s me.

What makes your life worth living?

 

 

©Naomi Claire 2018