Sunday, January 29, 2012
Sink your teeth into Australian fiction
Last week, we Aussies celebrated Australia Day. It's a good marker between the end of the summer holiday period and the beginning of the working year, as for many of us, January is considered a holiday month in which we enjoy our summer sports. I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to highlight our Christian novels and their authors.
Australia was basking in its colourful beauty for years before being added to any map. The original settlers mostly had desperate reasons for moving there. Some were convicts who'd been driven to their paltry crimes through starvation. Others faced so much religious persecution or economic hardship that re-locating blindly to the other side of the world seemed the most attractive option.
They all arrived in a vast, sunburned land unlike anything they had imagined. The way they came to terms with life in the wild land is a source of pride to those of us who are privileged to call them our ancestors. Staunch faith, gutsy courage and unquenchable humour are the attitudes that saw them through. Interestingly, the same qualities are those which shine through the Christian fiction books currently being written by Australians.
We have beautifully researched historical fiction which authentically reflects the hardships our pioneer ancestors dealt with. There is wonderful contemporary fiction as refreshing as taking a trip to our land down-under. Finally, there is whimsical and excellent fantasy brimming with the wry style of humour Australians are renowned for. The main drawback we still face is that all this wonderful fiction isn't always easy to find on the international market. Our population is relatively small compared to those of North America, Europe and Asia, making it difficult for us to compare financially with print runs and marketing.
I like to think those of us who are busy writing fiction share a similar spirit to the pioneer ancestors I mentioned. We are all hard at work with a spirit of determination and optimism to make a difference and show worldwide readers the beauty of our Great Southland. I love the sample of Aussies writing for this blog; Mary, Rita, Narelle, Jo-Anne, Dale and myself. I'd like to finish off proudly mentioning some other fiction-writing names readers might like to look out for. The authors on the following list have either had fiction published already or are preparing to.
Rose Dee, Amanda Deed, Carol Preston, Meredith Resce, Jo Wanmer, Anne Hamilton, Penny Reeve, Andrea Grigg, Penelope McGowen, Sandra Findlay Peut, Dorothy Adamek, Laura O'Connell, Jenny Glazebrook, Martin Roth, Janelle Dyer, Elva Schroeder, Heather Monro.
I'm sure there are even more authors whose names don't spring to mind at this moment but this has to be a good starting point. It pleases me to have such a variety, as when I first started querying publishing houses with manuscripts, I was told, "Forget it because there'll never be a market for Australian Christian fiction." Anybody who believed that underestimated the spirit of the Australian Christian fiction author.
Paula Vince is a homeschooling mother and award-winning author of faith-inspired fiction set in Australia. She believes stories are a powerful tool to bring goodness and hope to the lives of readers and loves invoking tears, laughter and cheering.