I’ve already mentioned a few reader reactions–though I have to say, I don’t think I have personally received any negative letters on these books, I know they are not everyone’s cup of tea.  In fact, I just looked at the Amazon reviews of Afton, and the most recent one says I have a sick mind.  Sigh.  She also mentions the dead cat. (What would she have thought if I wrote that one as true to history–it was actually the lover’s heart, not a cat.  But I digress . . . )  

If I were writing those books today, I probably wouldn’t be as graphic– or maybe I’d describe things more . . . gracefully.  (Notice how careful I’ve been about the “ick” factor in the funeral home books.) I have learned.   That most recent Amazon review mentions how a king cut off the noses of some children (and obviously, the writer thinks I’m twisted for reporting it), but that was a historical incident.  Today, I might couch it in gentler terms, but still . . . those were perilous times, and I tried to be honest about the period.  Historical fiction that reads as “too gentle” doesn’t ring true with me, but today I think I’d be more careful in how much detail I included. 
But . . . we live and we learn.  I’ve learned a lot about my readers’ sensibilities over the years, and readers have learned what to expect from me.  And Christian fiction has matured to the point that there are now lots of genres with something for everyone. 
Do you have any questions about this series?  If so, just leave your question in the comments box.  Happy Monday! 


  1. Carrie K.

    I haven’t read this particular series of yours, but the reader results make me think. The market for “evangelical” fiction must have diversified, if there is a place for authors like Ted Dekker, whose work can be fairly graphic and disturbing. I enjoy his books, but I can imagine that there is a segment of the Christian population of readers that think it is inappropriate for Christian fiction.

  2. Angela

    You’re absolutely right, Carrie, about how the market has diversified. Christian readers are a diverse lot, with diverse tastes, and that’s a good thing.

    My mother just emailed to say that Afton is her favorite of all my novels–LOL! And she is not a woman who likes gratuitous anything.

    Ouch. I hit my thumb with a hammer this weekend (home project) and it’s purpling in various places. (Speaking of gratuitous comments . . .) LOL!


  3. amy beth @ ministry so fabulous!

    This topic reminded me of a question I have for you: how do you personally deal with critics? Do you take what they say personally or are you able to brush it off?

  4. Kathy

    Well, if people are still posting reveiws then the books are still being read : )

  5. Mocha with Linda

    These sound so intriguing, but that doesn’t surprise me since you wrote them! I guess I need to read the stack I have (including The Novelist and the 4 in the series The Heirs of Cahira O’Connor) before I get any more, though. Sigh.

  6. The Koala Bear Writer

    On the topic of graphic… I just finished reading Seize the Night by Dean Koontz and found it disturbing. He gets graphic in some parts about death or about terrible genetic viruses corrupting humans. I never found Afton disturbing, even when parts were graphic. Maybe the difference is that you were writing history (and by the time I read it, I was aware of the reality of that period of history), while Koontz is dealing in the realm of imagination. I do agree, however, that Christian fiction is getting very diverse and that readers want that diversity.

    Question: how did you research the stories? Just by spending hours at the library reading books? Did you have a specific topic that you looked up, or did you just start reading books in general about the period and build your story from there?


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