is a more or less monthly newsletter from author Ken Kuhlken
Woe is Us: On Christian books, writers, publishers, and booksellers
Part One: In a Christian bookstore.
A couple years after I became known as a mystery writer, when my novel The Angel Gang came out, Alan Russell and I set off on a book signing tour. Somewhere in Central California, when we happened upon a Family Christian Bookstore, I said to Alan, “Hey, this place ought to carry The Angel Gang. I mean it’s got a heroine who’s a Christian and hangs out with angels.”
Alan said, “Not a chance. Do you know what drek these Christian bookstores carry?”
“Nope,” I said. “I’ve never checked them out.”
Not only was I a newcomer to this mystery business, I had only recently become a churchgoer and was as yet nowhere near as acquainted with either mysteries or contemporary Christian books as I hoped to become.
So I suggested we check out the store.
In non-fiction, I found a few worthy authors: C.S. Lewis, Philip Yancey, Dallas Willard, but mostly self-help on topics such as lose weight with a Godly diet or save your marriage with these six scriptures, and a few biographies of Church founders and missionaries.
Alan gave a told-you-so nod and we moved along to the fiction section.
To my horror, I saw no Dostoyevski, or Flannery O’Connor, or Graham Greene, all of whom had guided me toward conversion. Wondering if they were excluded because two were Catholic and the other Eastern Orthodox or because they were not particularly easy reading, I browsed long enough to realize the majority of books were Christian romance. And hardly of the Jane Eyre sort, I suspected, since these were the kind with Fabio clones on the cover only different than the secular kind, since he wore a shirt.
While I walked out of there grumbling, I noticed a decal on the door that clued me the store was a member of the Christian Bookseller’s Association.
With joy and trepidation (joy because I completed a mighty ambitious work; trepidation because I await the response from readers to novels upon which I have given the best of myself for some years) I hearby announce the publication of three books that together make up a truly epic love story.
They are Midheaven (an early book revised and republished as a companion to the Hickey Family Crime series);