My wife and I leave for the Christian Bookseller Association’s international convention in Atlanta Thursday. I’m looking forward to it for a variety of reasons.

Of course, the primary reason is to promote Sharon’s new novel, The Armageddon Strain. (If you’re going, she’ll be signing copies at the Personality Booth next Tuesday the 29th at 5:00 p.m.)

But I’m also curious to see how other publishers are promoting their authors, and what the industry thinks is marketable right now. Sharon and I are new at this, and we’re writing stories that appeal to us, which is basically X-Files type conspiracy science fiction filtered through the eyes of Bible-believing Christians.

There is a supernatural world that surrounds us, and things happen that can’t be understood within the framework of the naturalistic, scientific physical world in which we live. The slow, seemingly inexorable change in the pop culture of our society is not an accident. It’s being guided by an intelligence that is far older and wiser than you or I. It is to his benefit to convince us that everything has a natural explanation. Those who realize that this is a lie discover that they are very much alone in this knowledge.

It’s sort of like being John Nada, the Roddy Piper character in the sci-fi cult hit, They Live, when he put on the special glasses. He suddenly saw that many of the seemingly normal people around him were really hideous, malevolent aliens.

Anyway, I don’t have any idea whether that approach to fiction fits the accepted formula for successful Christian fiction. The reading I’ve done suggests that it’s not. Oh, well.

In a previous life, when I talked on the radio for a living, I got hired away from my nighttime slot at KZ-93 in Peoria to do nights at a new Top 40 station in Philadelphia (“Electric 106”, a short-lived and rather spectacular failure). That was a jump in market rank from #125 to #4, something that doesn’t happen often in the radio business. Suffice it to say that I was a bit insecure about my ability to make it in a market that size.

One night, I shared this with one of the other jocks on staff. “I don’t sound like any other night jock at any other CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio–disc jockey jargon) station in a top ten market,” I said.

He stared at me for a moment to give his words more effect. “Why do you think you’re here?”

We’ll see whether that strategy translates to writing.

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