I’m thrilled to have my fellow agent-mate Krista Phillips back as a guest author today. She was a guest author back in August with her wonderful post, Until…it is you.
I had the privilege of spending a little time with Krista at the recent ACFW conference and did a happy dance at seeing her book in the ACFW bookstore.
Krista writes inspirational romantic comedy. She believes a sprinkle of laughter (and a wee bit of chocolate) makes everything a little better! She blogs regularly about life as a wife, mother, follower of Jesus, and mother of a child with a rare congenital heart defect at www.kristaphillips.com. Her debut novel, “Sandwich, With a Side of Romance,” released in September, 2012.
That’s a pretty good thing, huh!
I LOVE writing romance, but one of the common things I hear from Christians who do NOT love Christian romance is that it creates an ideal in relationships that is unachievable.
To a point, I agree.
That perfect hero… six-pack abs, swoon-worthy manners, isn’t tempted in the least to look at another woman, and loves our heroine to distraction regardless of her faults. Oh, and he has a fabulous job and can easily support our heroine.
Why can’t MY husband be like that?
While I am madly in love with my husband, I’ll readily admit that he isn’t one that I would write as the hero in a book. He’s super quiet, work his fingers to the bone in a not-so-sexy job to put food on our table, has a little pudge around his middle, and his sweat isn’t quite as appealing as our heroine’s obviously feel like our heroes sweat is.
But he’s mine.
And I’m head over heels in love with him.
To expect him to live up to the standards of a romance novel is pretty insane.
And as a woman who reads romance, even Christian romance, I agree that to lust over fictional characters is just as bad as doing so over a “real” person.
So does this make Christian romance wrong? Lead us to temptation?
Maybe. If it does, then honestly, don’t read my books. I won’t mind.
But my real hope is that my readers won’t want my hero for themselves.
Instead, I hope…
- For my single readers, that they will realize the importance of waiting for the man GOD wants for you, and how GREAT the romance can be when you do.
- For my married readers, that just maybe the romance will remind them of the spark with their own spouse that sometimes needs a little kindling from time to time.
- That we’ll remember that the ultimate romance between the bridegroom (Jesus) and his bride… US!
Your turn: Do you feel romances (Christian or secular) create an idealistic view of romance? Why or why not?
She moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in search of a new life, but ended up in a giant pickle.
Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than a day. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong.
He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process. And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.
Available for at…
or ask for it at your local bookstore!
What a good question. I think that sometimes it can…depending on your mindset. If you’re dissatisfied with your marriage and are looking for ways to be discontent, well…Christian romances might do that. But so can anything romantic, like movies or even things your friends tell you about what their husbands do for them.
But overall, in and of themselves, I think Christian romances–if well-written–simply show us flawed characters seeking out God’s will for their lives. I do like flawed characters because they’re much more relatable.
SO SO SO true, Lindsay!!! I LOVE me some flawed characters too, although there is a fine line between flawed and unlikeable. I tiptoed with that in Sandwich… as Reuben is a bit of a jerk many times throughout the book and Maddie calls him out on the carpet on it more than once. Most have said they like to see him flawed but forgiven, although a few have not loved him as much. But then again, the same goes for real life too, hm? We can’t ALL fall in love with the same guy, HA HA HA!
I’d like to think that my readers are rooting for my heroine to find the perfect hero *for her.* They are reading a love story, but not my love story, and not theirs–that prize goes to my characters. Like when you’re happy when your friend gets married. I hope my readers do love my heroes, but because they were “made” for my heroines.
I think the best Christian romances include flawed characters (like you and Linds already discussed above) and romances that really could happen in real life. Love that. But I think the thing we (okay, I) have to remember is that while a book comes to a close, real life romances go on…our stories don’t stop when one conflict is solved…another one generally pops up at some point in real life! 🙂
Oh, I’m passionate about this question. I did a radio interview on it and have blogged about it. For me, Christian romance inspires me to be a better mother, a better friend, and a better spouse, especially if one of the character’s flaws particularly resonates with me.
I agree with Linds above, Krista. I suppose it can, but even when Christian writers pen beautiful men with broad shoulders, they don’t focus on that or present it in a lustful way. The focus zeroes in on flaws and how Jesus can take the broken (even if the outside is beautiful) and make it wonderful. 🙂
I remember a time as a young mother when I actually threw a Christian romance novel at the wall because I was so peeved with the perfect husband in it. Why couldn’t the author write about how to keep the romance alive with an imperfect one? Flawed heroes are so much more believable and give us something to take away from the story. Thank you for writing books that are more realistic while still being humorous and inspirational!
Loved, loved this book. In fact, I’d just written a review of it on Amazon. I think Christian romance shows how a romance could be. And how problems can be overcome with God’s direction.
One reason I like Christian romances is because flawed characters must overcome real problems to make their relationships work, just like in real life.
Krista, Your book sounds like a fun read. I’m definitely buying it. I was inspired by your story the first time you guested here.
Lisa, Thanks for hosting Krista again!