Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Getting Inspired With Inspirationals

One of the reasons I decided to represent romance and women's fiction was the message I get from the story I read. I love the feel good endings. I am a sucker for the happily ever after. I have found that for me, inspirationals work very much the same way. The goal of the story is to really get across a great message of humanity and faith to the reader.

But, a great inspirational can do this in such a way that you don't see it until it has run you over. The message is subtle but powerful.

I am a firm believer in the Apostle Paul. O.K. I got a lot of that from my grandfather who was a Methodist minister. That connection led to the writing of my first book of poetry, Pulpit to Poem: Grandfather to Grandson. But enough about me. The key that Paul stresses is the idea of "justification by faith." Faith and personal growth come from just accepting and believing and not about "doing" certain things.

When it comes to inspirationals, this is what I love the most (and also why I have turned away so many). Great inspirationals are not going to be based on the insertion of Bible quotes everytime you turn around. I always joke about this. I have read stories that are so heavy with quotes I want to barf. "Samantha listened to the toast pop up as she looked at the pile of dishes. This reminded her of a passage from Habbakuk..." Really? I don't think so.

The ultimate goal of an inspirational is to watch someone who is missing faith come to it. We want to see someone guide someone else back to the safety of that faith. Add a romance into the story and you have a complete package. Not only do we get the happily ever after from the romance, we also get the satisfaction of watching the characters learn something about their faith. The added bonus is also the reader understanding something about themself!

Now, to answer a question many of you might be asking. Why don't I represent inspirationals beyond Steeple Hill. The answer is simple. The Christian book market is TOUGH!!! Agents have to know this industry inside and out. This is something I simply am not immersed in. Could this change? Sure. But for now, it is best if you are interested in heading to those bigger houses, to head to agents that specialize in inspirationals.


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