Fiction You’ll Actually Have Time to Read

Fiction You’ll Actually Have Time to Read

By Ernie Bowman  / 

Ernie BowmanChristians typically don’t read as much fiction as non-Christians do. This could be because much of secular fiction has content offensive to the Christian conscience, or because there is a dearth of quality Christian fiction to read. But I’d like to suggest a third possible reason.

I think Christians would like to read more fiction, but who has the time? After work, family, church, extracurriculars with the kids, upkeep at home, Christian service, continuing education, and everything else we cram onto our calendars, there is precious little time left for reading. Even among people who want to read, non-fiction becomes the default priority in an effort to make the most of our time, as Ephesians 5:16 says.

Ironically, the problem is actually compounded by the publishing industry itself! Traditional publishing practices don’t help matters when fiction offerings are as prohibitively long as they often tend to be. In the traditional model, in order to make money the economics work a typical novel has to clock in at 70,000+ words. I won’t take the time here to go into the technicalities, but anything short of that and the price points don’t work out well.

I think a lot of Christians look at the sheer size of most novels and think, You’re kidding me, right?

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Announcing a New Blog Series

Announcing a New Blog Series: A Conversation about Fiction

by Kevin Meath /

The authors associated with our new imprint, Cruciform Fiction, are commandeering the blog for a while. Yesterday’s post was the first in the series. Make sure you check out what Ernie Bowman had to say about our hopes and dreams for using novellas to help inspire the missionaries of tomorrow!

Over the course of several posts, these authors will be discussing novellas—longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. For decades the traditional publishing world has stayed away from novellas, but we think (ok, yes, we’re hoping) it may be time for a change. In fact, we’re pretty sure we have the only Christian fiction line that specializes in novellas.

To get a point of terminology out of the way, “Christian fiction”—just like Christian art or music or anything else—is admittedly a vague phrase that can be freighted with all kinds of expectations. As a familiar and convenient handle, we simply use it to mean “fiction from a Christian imagination.”

During this blog series, the authors will distinguish novellas from other forms of fiction, discuss some favorite novellas, explain why they see short fiction as especially valuable for Christians, and share about some of their own titles. They will also announce a couple of things we’re excited about: $1.99 fiction flash sales, and the giveaway of an intriguing short story that imagines a personal, private conversation between two famous, brilliant, thoughtful, opinionated, articulate, and biblically grounded contemporaries in 19th Century London.

This blog series will itself be a work in progress, and for now we’re envisioning six or eight more posts over the next month or so. The authors would love to hear from you, in blog comments or in book reviews, so check out our fiction titles, consider signing up for this blog, and stay tuned!

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Here’s What I Hope You’ll Do with My Book

Here’s What I Hope You'll Do with My Book

by Ernie Bowman /

Ernie Bowman“Buy it,” is the easy and obvious answer, but I’m hoping for more than that. I’m hoping you will allow it to motivate you to be more involved in foreign missions, either by direct participation, financial support, or prayer. And I hope that you’ll give it to a young person (or more than one) for those same purposes.

I believe the book—just released today—will thrill and entertain everyone who reads it, at least, but I am praying especially that God will use the book to make missionaries out of teenagers.

The Good and the Bad

I’ve spent the last twelve years working in youth ministries of one sort or another, and I’ve heard a lot of negative talk about today’s young people. Unfortunately, some of it is true. I could tell you stories all day that would fit the preconceived opinion a lot of adults have about “kids these days.”

I can also tell you positive stories that will knock your socks off. I can tell you about kids who love their Lord more than popularity. Teens who read their Bible every day and put most grownups to shame in the devotion department. I can tell you about the piety and spiritual fervency of today’s American Christian youth.

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Cruciform Fiction Launches with Three Titles

Our first three fiction titlesby Dave Swavely /

Today we are excited to announce the simultaneous release of our first three fiction titles. It so happens that these are all “speculative fiction”—like the novels of C. S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle—although future titles will include missionary stories, historical fiction, and more.

Please download a sampler with a lengthy excerpt from each book.

In two of the books we release today, characters travel to different worlds and times, and the other is a reality-rending ghost story by Charles Dickens—which is not A Christmas Carol but may be even better than that beloved tale.

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER: Use coupon code FICTIONOFFER1 to get 30% off any or all of these three paperbacks.

A Forgotten Classic

Haunted Man, by Charles Dickens, Abridged and Annotated by Dave SwavelyDave SwavelyOur first book is an edition of Charles Dickens’ Haunted Man, originally published in 1848. This version has been abridged significantly to make it more enjoyable for modern readers, while retaining every essential element of the story. It also includes an introduction with character descriptions and other helpful information, and a thought-provoking Afterword discussing some of the spiritual issues that are addressed in the book.

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Truth Is No Stranger to Fiction

Truth is No Stranger to FictionBy Dave Swavely  /

Truth Is No Stranger to Fiction

– We’re trying our hand at publishing fiction!
– The first novellas are coming soon…
– And we’re seeking more fiction manuscripts! Got one?
Here’s something we’ve been eager to announce for almost a year. At Cruciform Press, we’re finalizing our preparations to follow our Savior into the realm of creative storytelling!

Jesus Christ was the most skilled and effective communicator of truth who ever lived, and more than a third of his teaching in the gospels is in the form of parables—fictional stories designed to illuminate and illustrate the truth he taught. The prophet Nathan brought King David to repentance with a metaphorical story about ungodly greed and unjust murder, and other prophets and apostles were given visions by God that used fictional elements in the service of truth. Professing Christians like Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe literally changed the world through their stories, and C. S. Lewis described his Chronicles of Narnia and Space Trilogy as a way of “seeing the truth sideways.”

When we see Satan, God’s enemy and ours, using fiction throughout human history to powerfully advance his nefarious schemes, let’s remember that all he is doing is perverting a divinely ordained technique—one that God intends to belong first and foremost to his church. So at Cruciform Press, we are excited about the opportunity to help “reverse the curse” in this regard by using the God-given instrument of fiction for good purposes instead of evil.

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