A Request for Ideas

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do a guest post for the Christian SF/F blog Speculative Faith and given a range of openings throughout the summer from which to pick. Since Arena in its repackaged version is due to release the first of July, I thought a guest post on something relating to that might be a good idea and picked July 6 for my publish date.

I’ve been brainstorming and thinking about the Spec Faith post for a week or two, but so far haven’t come up with anything that keeps going past a paragraph or two. So I decided to see if you all, my readers, might have some suggestions of things you might be interested in seeing a post about. If so, please let me know, in the comments or by email.

So far I’ve thought of:

telling the story of how Arena/Light of Eidon were published;

talking about how things have changed in the publishing field since those times;

discussing the idea that sex, violence, and dark events are not appropriate subject matter for Christian reading and should not appear in books;

grappling with the still prevalent idea that fantasy is only for kids, and why that isn’t necessarily so;

examining some of the specific elements of the allegory in Arena;

pr relating some of the responses I’ve gotten to Arena, both good, bad and wacky…

If any of those ideas seem particularly appealing, or you’re curious about a particular aspect of them I didn’t mention, or one of them triggered an entirely different idea or…

Please! Feel free to fire away.

11 thoughts on “A Request for Ideas

  1. Patrick Aquilone

    Well, obviously all of those are good topics. However, I think you should play to the theme more. By that I mean, your topic shouldn’t be about writing or publishing but about “Speculative” fiction. For example, how about writing on how you came up with the Arena (extra-worldly land to explore and survive) or how you worked a medieval style theme into an inspirational tale or (and this is my personal favorite) give us some insight on your next novel and some of the sci-fi-ish ideas you are tossing around. They don’t have to make it into the novel but will give other writers some of the process that you have gone through. In short, I would focus on something that is SciFi/Fantasy based in what you are writing about.

    Of course, whatever you post I am sure will be fine. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Erin McFarland

    Hmmm can’t decide…would love to know your thoughts on all of those lol!
    Ok, maybe the pr relating to Arena. Since you had mentioned a reviewer saying they felt the “book contains much graphic horror and implied sexual abuses and could not recommend it as a positive experience for anyone seeking to grow closer to God.” For me Arena is a story that very much pointed me back to God and His great gift of salvation. So there alone you have two very differing opinions from readers. Maybe that even ties into the 4th point you suggested. I feel like this is a much discussed topic right now in the Christian publishing world and would love to hear your opinions.
    PS I used to think fantasy was for kids too…until I found adult fantasy I truly loved! Most people just don’t know what they are missing 😉

    Reply
  3. Dawn Michelle King

    Hi Karen,

    I like these:

    discussing the idea that sex, violence, and dark events are not appropriate subject matter for Christian reading and should not appear in books;

    grappling with the still prevalent idea that fantasy is only for kids, and why that isn’t necessarily so;

    examining some of the specific elements of the allegory in Arena;

    In my mind these three ideas could flow together and make a nice article.

    Reply
  4. Dave

    Hi Karen! I’d definitely like to hear on the PR angle of Arena! Some examples of wacky responses might be fun. I am also interested in the idea that sex, violence and dark events are bad for the Christian reader. Makes me wonder if I should stop trying to get into the Bible. 🙂

    Reply
  5. ChristineLevitt (@cslev129)

    Karen, I believe that in ARENA you have mastered the development of romantic love, emotion and character in a dark and/or violent setting, which in my opinion makes it more powerful and meaningful. The love story of Callie and Pierce is magnetic and satisfying in a world of Christian fiction that is often shallow and unreal. I’d really like to read a blod addressing this subject.

    Reply
  6. Kim

    Good morning Karen 🙂 I agree with these previous posts in that the most powerful topic is probably about addressing sex, violence and dark/events (basically sin and its consequences.) The whole story of God is about God continually pursuing his people after the fall. What makes a good Christian book powerful is when it addresses our own sin and the sin of the world and how Christ pursues us through it and brings us from death to life. It’s astonishing to me when I read some of the critiques to Arena that say those kinds of dark topics shouldn’t be in a Christian novel!!! That completely diminishes the work Jesus did on the cross. Love you and love your novels.
    (Lily says “hi”) 🙂

    Reply
    1. karenhancock

      Thanks for the comment, Kim! You made my day. And I appreciate your elaboration, as well. You’re right: trying to take away all the darkness does diminish what Christ did on the cross. I think the key, as Mary said, is not to pretend it doesn’t exist or has gone away but to deal with it in accordance with what God’s word teaches. 🙂 Love you, too. And give Lily a hug for me!

      Reply
  7. Nona

    I would love to read/hear your take on:
    – discussing the idea that sex, violence, and dark events are not appropriate subject matter for Christian reading and should not appear in books;

    – grappling with the still prevalent idea that fantasy is only for kids, and why that isn’t necessarily so;

    🙂

    Reply
  8. mylittlebub

    -discussing the idea that sex, violence, and dark events are not appropriate subject matter for Christian reading and should not appear in books;

    It is a subject that comes up frequently with Christians and how they try and hide their families from these things instead of learning how to navigate through them and address them with God’s word. Also how sci fi and fantasy address these topics in an alternate reality format which gives readers the objectivity to observe and make connections that otherwise might get befuddled by familiarity.

    It would also be cool to get a glimps of the new book and how that relates because who would say no to that. 🙂

    Reply
  9. CK

    For your guest post on the Christian SF/F blog, I agree with Patrick’s comment the most and think that you should stick to something speculative fiction specific. What about sharing how you came up with the different worlds you created to tell your stories? That might be the same suggestion Patrick had too, just worded differently 🙂
    I would be really interested in hearing what you have to say about the sex/violence/dark events topic maybe through your own blog? It’s obviously stirred up a lot of thoughts, and you can’t be opposed to including them in some way because I believe all of your books have some element of them. I think what you meant was that there’s no place for gratuitous detail regarding them, and that it’s wrong to glorify sinful lifestyles, which is such a huge problem in the storytelling realm of books and movies. That being said I think you deal with these subjects masterfully (in other words, you just tell us what we need to know for the story) and I’d love to hear what you have to say on the subject.

    Reply
  10. karenhancock

    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your thoughts! This was a great idea, and you all have really energized me!

    The subject with the most “mentions” so far was on the matter of whether sex, violence and dark events have a place in Christian fiction, but I also had a couple of votes for focusing on the speculative elements of my fiction, an idea which I quite liked as well. So I’ll have to let it all settle for a bit and see where I’m led.

    In any case you’ve definitely given me enough ideas for the Speculative Faith blog post and a few to do on my own blog.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *