Prolific and-or breakthrough authors inevitably impact the genre they write in. Therefore, authors working in the genre or preparing to work in the genre do well to study some of the notable names in their genre.
I’ve looked at certain individual authors who are only marginally classified, or even arguably classified, as Christian fiction authors in previous columns. This time, I’m going to talk about some authors who have had a stronger influence on the genre in part because of their prolificness and in part because of groundbreaking work.
The first author I’m considering is Francine Rivers, and in particular the book The Last sin Eater, also made into movie form. Rivers is a prolific author as well, but I can best speak to that particular book. The Last Sin Eater is a fascinating read, and explores the advantages of Christian faith through the lense of a tainted corruption of Christianity’s tenets. She also achieves this through the mechanism of an unusual viewpoint usage.
Janette Oke provides another seminal reading experience. Considered effectively the foundress of the Christian romance genre through the Love Comes Softly novel, which expanded in an 8-part novel series followed by the 4-part Prairie Legacy series, Oke’s work stands the test of time as engaging reads through the overall 12-part collection of books which follows the exploits of at least two generation of a prairie family. Oke’s Love Comes Softly series was ultimately made into a television miniseries.
More recently, Oke has had an impact on the Biblical historical novel through a 3-part collaboration with Davis Bunn (sometimes identified as T Davis Bunn), with the books The Centurion’s Wife, The Hidden Flame, and The Damascus Way: also known as the Acts of Faith series.
One author who seems to making a mark on the C hristian fiction market by virtue of her books making it into broader markets, such as major supermarket chains and onto library shelves, is Karen Kingsbury. In particular, her novel The Bridge is a thought provoking read.
Finally, another author enjoying popular distribution similar to what Karen Kingsbury has attained is author Debbie MacComber. Her offerings are also worth a look for those studying the Christian fiction market.