Introducing Christian Fantasy Author and Reviewer Kimberly A. Rogers
I'll let her tell you a bit about herself.
Part of the reason my blog focuses on reviewing fantasy books is because I am a fantasy author and I firmly believe in the advice that you should be familiar with the genre you're writing. When I first started writing, Christian fantasy involved dragons and that was pretty much it, which was scary for me because my books weren't about dragons. I prefer to write about shapeshifters but I did NOT want to write the sort of stories that the secular branch of fantasy was offering. When I started collecting fantasy books to review, I was pleasantly surprised to find the non-dragon Christian fantasy books did exist . . . in the indie publishing realm.
The talent present in the books, even the ones that occasionally needed more editing help, has astonished me. I read and reviewed over twenty books for my blog last year and only three books truly disappointed me. But the goal of my reviews has been to provide help for both readers and the writers since I grade the book on its plot, content, and technical before giving an overall grade. My hope is that the authors will see my notes and take away a positive critique instead of dealing with the frustration of having readers who know "something" isn't working but they can't express it clearly enough to be of help to the author. As a fellow writer, I know how frustrating vague feedback can be but as a reader, I also know how frustrating it is to get a book that only has glowing if vague reviews but it has serious content issues such as gratuitous sensuality, violence, and language. Therefore, I try to write reviews that assess possible issues, taking into account that what bothers me might not bother other Christians and vice versa, without giving away too much.
By focusing my blog on the book reviews, I have also established many new connections in the world of Christian indie and hybrid fiction. This is definitely an unlooked for bonus from my perspective since it has led not only to more books for review but also to establishing a better sense of camaraderie with fellow Christian authors who have been where I am on my own writing journey. Although, I must admit that my absolute favorite part of blogging is when I receive a review copy. I currently have one that I've been bouncing off the walls waiting for newly arrived and it's taking everything to sit here and write instead of reading.
This year I am looking forward to reading more books by new favorites and discovering new must-reads. My blog has taught me that not only am I not the only one writing Christian fantasy but the reviewing process also helps me to grow in my own writing as I learn from other writers' mistakes and triumphs. Some of the books I've reviewed have been clearly influenced by the author's faith even when the story was not meant as an allegory and others struggled to weave faith with fiction, either coming on too strong or too weak. Both the struggles and the triumphs of writing Christian fantasy experienced by other writers reminds me of why I started writing ten years ago. I write for God and myself first. I am writing the stories I want to read—the fantasies that range from urban to epic to a sweeping medieval-esque romance—and all of them are written to honor God. My characters are not always human; in fact, my first book, Tiger's Paw, focuses on shapeshifters trying to protect their secrets in a world of humans and elves, but I hope when others read my stories they will still see how my faith influences my writing.
Kimberly A. Rogers writes in-depth reviews of Christian and secular fantasy as well as articles for Christian fantasy writers at her blog So You Want to Write Christian Fantasy? Of course, only when not in the midst of writing papers and taking exams in the pursuit of her Masters in Religious Education. Kimberly lives in Virginia where the Blue Ridge Mountains add inspiration to an over-active imagination originally fueled by fantasy classics such as the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Her first book, Tiger's Paw, is scheduled for release in May 2015.
Connect with Kimberly on:
Twitter - http://twitter.com/KimberlyRWriter
Blog - http://kimberlyrogerscfwriter.wordpress.com