Prairie Romance, Little Old Ladies, and Christian Speculative Ficiton

     Hi I’m Claire and I read inspirational fiction.  And fantasy!  Ergo I read Christian Speculative Fiction.   Don’t worry most normal people haven’t heard of it either.  It’s weird, wonderful, and hard to find.  Karen Kingsbury? –Fifty copies right over there.  Prairie Romance fiction? –Right this way.  Karen Hancock? –Karen who?  Argh!  (Karen Hancock is a 4-time Christy Award winner btw.)

     I’m not alone.  Check out the Spec-fic blogosphere, and you’ll hear all about it.  Christian publishers don’t like/publish/market it, they’re all haters who only like Prairie Romance, etc.  While I too, am tired of the prairie romace formula, I think us spec-fic readers have gotten bitter.  I’m getting tired of the christian romance bashing. Let us not forget that romance is a viable genre. People read it every day. (One might even go so far as to say it is the purest form of fantasy, but that’s another post.)  

      In my library little old ladies are always saying, “I just love these books!  They don’t have any of that other trash in them!”  They are overjoyed to find romances or mysteries without graphic language or gratuitous sex.  The little old ladies, Soccer Moms, or teenagers of the world like romance.  They’re going to read it.  Christian romance fills a need that might otherwise be met by something far less wholesome.  Let’s stop hating and remember that romance readers are people too!

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