Thursday, April 26, 2012

Salt and Light

File under: How cool is that?

As I'm writing, I just realized this is officially the 501st post on the Scribble Chicks blog. Wow, I think we should have a party or at least a cupcake or something to celebrate, don't you? So very cool to be part of this with such fabulous women like Erynn, Bekah and Betsy...

Cue the party music.

Ok, now that I'm done dancing in my office (a sight for sore eyes, lemme tell ya...hahahaha!), I'll get to today's post, namely, the subject of salt and light.

As we speak, I'm working on my first title for the general market. It's the work that's been in progress for a little while now, the one I've been excited about for what feels like forever. But I think part of the reason I've been struggling to get things moving along at the pace I'd like (i.e. a nice brisk clip) is because I finally realized that this wasn't just a story for believers in Jesus, but a story for the masses.

See, ever since I moved from Minneapolis to Nashville, Tenn., to pursue music journalism for CCM Magazine, I've always written specifically for the Christian market. Yes, I'm sure from time to time, people with other beliefs may have accidentally stumbled upon my work, but by and large, our audience was comprised of people just like me—people who have a personal relationship with Jesus, people who want to grow in their faith, people humbly trying to navigate this tricky existence while honoring God with our lives, work, relationships, etc.

And given that was the world I was already connected in, it only made sense that when I wrote my first novels that I'd connect with Christian publishers as well. After all, I not only wanted my books to be entertaining, but to reflect my worldview with themes that hit on the joys and struggles of being a believer.

But now that I've been writing in this market for (gasp!) 12 years now, I've had this nagging sense that I'm supposed to stretch out of my comfort zone and write about broader subjects for an even broader audience. I want to be salt and light in a way that I haven't been before and in the process, challenge myself artistically as well.

So that's been a particularly fun challenge with my latest novel, Tuesday Nights in Italia. While it hasn't always been easy to step out from the world I've known so well, it's stretched my storytelling and made me think about scenes, characters, plotting, and yes even faith themes, in a whole new way, and I can't wait for everyone, especially all of you, to read it.


  1. I'm excited for it Christa!!!
    And I'm moving like Jagger over the 500+ posts :)
    Hav you ever thought of posting some of the ways switching markets has stretched you and what you have learned? Maybe its too early for you to talk about

  2. Thanks so much, Tonya! And I like those moves like Jagger...makes me think of my three-year-old niece who LOVES to sing along with that song. :) As for the general market and how it's stretched me, I promise a post is forthcoming. I really could go on all day about's really stretched me in every way...with networking, creating characters, etc.