Friday, June 24, 2011

Your feelings on Reading Fiction


 I was listening to an interview this week. The gentlemen being interviewed had written a best selling book that landed him on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The book was based on his life. During the interview the gentleman said that he would never write fiction because he wanted to be taken serious and that he believed novels wouldn't get you the same kind of opportunity to be featured in the media.
His comments caused me to think about people's feelings about fiction, of course every person is entitled to his opinion. And there are many persons who think as that man thought. I was in the Post Office one day last year and a business owner was there asking me about my novel. She wanted a copy. The postman who was waiting on us also said that he wanted to purchase a copy of my novel. I went to my car to get the two copies and when I returned I sold one to the business owner but when the postman looked at it and then asked me what kind of book it was and I told him it was a work of fiction he decided not to buy it. He said, "I only read real books."
So today I wanted to engage you in a conversation on what are feelings about Fiction? Do you read it? Do you love it and why?
My personal feeling's on Fiction is I love it. I love reading it and I love writing it! I love stories. I am fascinated by entering into the world of people who are living life and dealing with whatever they face. And I love this genre called Christian Fiction. I love stories that show redeemed people who have a relationship with God living life by the principles of God's Word or people who don't have a relationship with God finding God in the progression of the story. 
There was no Christian Fiction when I was a boy growing up in Cleveland Ohio. The only fiction in my community was novels by Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim. Those stories depicted life in the ghetto. They were sordid details of sex, drugs and violence. Years later when I penned my first novel I grappled with what kind of story would I write. Would I write about Christians who lived by different values from the community that they lived in or would I write about people in my community who lived by their own rules? At the end I wrote about a teenage Christian who got involved with a young woman who wasn't a Christian and that one relationship caused him to make a series of bad decisions in his life that would take him years to recover from.
I am a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. My second book is a nonfiction inspirational book that shows many experiences from God's Word and my life. I loved writing that book as well as writing my first published novel Do You Wanna Be Made Whole? but the difference between the two books was when I wrote my novel I created a world of people. It was my world, created in my imagination. Writing fiction is my expression of the creativity that God has placed in me. It is the release of my imagination. And God uses it to entertain and encourage people. After Do You Wanna Be Made Whole? was released the first email I received from a reader thanked me for writing it and the reader shared how it caused them to recognize a problem in their life and admit to them self that they needed to get help. God used my story to open this person's eyes and set them on the path to be made whole! I give God praise every time I think about how He used my story in that person's life.
So again my question to you is do you read fiction? Do you love fiction? Why do you read fiction? Thanks for stopping by!
Pastor Bernard Boulton


  1. Interesting post, Bernard. I too have had people say they only read 'real' stories and put my book down when they find out it's fiction. I honestly feel that sometimes a book can go where a preacher cannot~where he's not welcomed. If my book can reach someone and touch their heart for God, then it was worth it. That was what I was supposed to do. God can use a fiction book as well as a non-fiction book ~ He's just asked me to write fiction.

  2. I agree Amanda. God has used my story to reach many people who I have not preached to. Thanks for your comment.


  4. Thank you Anonymous for stopping by.

  5. In some ways I find fiction to be more powerful (and sometimes even more truthful) than non-fiction. Of course, both have a place. The fact that Jesus told stories to get his point across is proof enough for me.

  6. I agree. In my teleclass I use the example of Jesus telling parables as a principle for how fiction can be a powerful instrument to communicate Kingdom truths.Thanks tracy for stopping by.

  7. My husband doesn't read fiction, but when he read my first novel he conceded that fiction was valuable. When he saw the reactions I've had to it, he became "a believer." :) Sometimes it just takes encouraging people to take a chance and read good fiction. Then they're hooked. :)

    Bernard - can I make a suggestion? It would be easier on your readers' eyes if you put a space between paragraphs and make the paragraphs short.

    Blessings as you continue. :)
    Marcia (from the John 3:16 group)

  8. Thanks Marcia for stopping by. And thank you for the suggestion. Someone else made that same suggestion to me when I posted my first blog. I've got to remeber that.

  9. I read a lot of nonfiction for information, knowledge and for answers to questions. I can't read nonfiction for relaxation and entertainment. I enjoy sitting on the swing in my back yard and enjoying a well written fiction. It takes me away for a period of time and when I come back I'm refreshed.

    Tom Blubaugh
    Night of the Cossack

  10. Thanks Tom for stoppinng by. I agree. I love reading a good story.

  11. I love reading and writing fiction. Like yourself, when I was growing up, there was no Christian fiction out there. I've even heard that some Christians don't read novels because novels aren't true - they're lies. This was told to me as an experience by another author. But Jesus told parables, plus, the people who don't want to read fiction - do they not watch movies for enterainment, or TV shows...what's the difference? Plus, with Christian fiction, you get a great inspirational message thrown in!
    ~Cecelia Dowdy~

  12. I agree Cecelia. Reading fiction always stimulates my imagination. When I was in college, attending Moody Bible Institute I read an article by a very famous Minister on why fiction was evil. However it was written in the 50's! Hopefully people's minds have changed. Thanks for stopping by.