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A Letter to Christian Fiction Writers

(Please read with the awareness that in part it was tongue-in-cheek and partly the sorry plea of an overweight grandmother. I have hesitated to post this because I’m not really the complaining type…I just had these thoughts and threw them into a letter…so here it is)

Dear Inspired Author.

For many years I avoided reading fiction. I was a pastor/counselor and all my reading was associated with my work. In my mid 40’s, I found myself working outside of those fields, with time to begin reading for pleasure and edification. Friends introduced me authors like Dee Henderson and Karen Kingsbury. Soon I was devouring everything in our church library and then the public library. The purchase of a Nook opened even more opportunities to become acquainted with new authors.

Recently I have been feeling discouraged by my reading. A few months ago I turned 56, but I don’t feel old–certainly not like a senior citizen which I’m finding in more books lately. I have also struggled with issues related to my weight since I was in high school. I was never a single digit size, but it seems to be a prerequisite in every book I pick up. Which is odd since I did a Google search and learned that the average woman in the US is a size 14. The women have perfect hair and green eyes, while the men are all runners with sculpted bodies worth drooling over.

I can understand secular authors feeling the need to appeal to sensuality due our over-sexualized culture. I’m just getting really tired of this emphasis taking up so much space in Christian fiction. I just keep hearing Mary Poppin’s description of “practically perfect people” and feel more and more discouraged.

Oh I’ll keep reading and struggling through my Zumba dvd, and maybe someday I’ll even get close to a size 14 again. In the meantime, I’ll keep hoping. Hoping that someday I’ll read a Christian mystery or suspense with real people, people who might even look like me and carry an AARP card without needing a cane.

Until then, I remain your faithful reader,
Tina

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