Monday, September 18, 2006

Edenstar's Cheryl Bader - An Interview


SH: This photo shows the smiling faces of Bill and Cheryl Bader, the creators of Edenstar. Cheryl has gracious stopped by for a visit today.

Hi, Cheryl! Thanks for visiting my blog for a chat.
Edenstar features a wonderful assortment of Christian speculative fiction. Who are some of your favorite authors, and why?

CB: Well, you can probably tell from the site that I'm partial to Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. The Narnia books and Lewis' concept of a "supposal" (as in "Suppose God had created the world with different creatures than those we're familiar with," etc. - as opposed to a strict allegory) have inspired my own writing in many ways. I also find fascinating Tolkien's idea of writing as an act of "sub-creation": Creating and populating fantasy worlds is something that flows naturally out of our being made in the image of God.

SH: Do you think there's hope for more fantasy to be published in the CBA?

CB: I believe that fantasy with Christian themes will continue to be published. Whether the CBA will continue as a market distinct from the general market, I'm beginning to wonder...

SH: A large percentage of the aspiring novelists at my regional Christian writer's guild want to write speculative fiction--time travel, fantasy, sci-fi, alternate history scenarios. If so many people want to read and write speculative fiction in the Christian community, why do you think writers are having a hard time getting this kind of work contracted? What can we do about it?

CB: I guess what we keep hearing from publishers is that speculative fiction doesn't sell well in the CBA. What can we do? For starters, buy the books by today's CSF authors that are available, and support them through blog tours like this, web forums, posting reviews at online booksellers, etc.

But let's not abandon the general market, either. After all, that's where we find Tolkien's and Lewis' books. Can we as a community write books of such quality and vision that we capture the imagination of people from all walks of life? Now there's a holy calling! (and not one for the faint of heart, either)

SH: What is your dream for Edenstar? What interesting experiences and conversations have resulted since the site went live?

CB: My hope for Edenstar is that it provides encouragement for today's Christian authors of speculative fiction, and a resource and connecting point for their readers. I'd like the Edenstar site to represent a community of readers and writers that sends a message to publishers that there is indeed a market for good, clean science fiction and fantasy.

As for interesting experiences... well, one of the more unusual experiences was receiving a letter from a child addressed to C.S. Lewis. We had to break the news gently that Mr. Lewis is no longer receiving mail here on earth.

SH: Anything else you want to share?

CB: I'd like to invite readers to email us with suggestions for books or other materials that would be appropriate for the site. I'm afraid we haven't had time to do reviews and interviews like we used to, but we are trying to keep up with new releases as best we can. Bill is the Keeper of the Database - feel free to email suggestions to him at bill@edenstarbooks.com.

Side note: Another area of interest for me is in games (video, computer, board games, puzzles, whatever) with a Christian speculative fiction theme. I'm interested in adapting and applying Lewis' supposals and Tolkien's sub-creations to the world-building of computer games.

SH: Cheryl, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I know folks have enjoyed listening in on our chat. And thank you for creating Edenstar!

Don't forget to visit other bloggers who are participating in this tour!

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Bryan Davis
Beth Goddard
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Jason Joyner
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith

Blessing!
Sharon Hinck

1 comment:

nir said...

"Can we as a community write books of such quality and vision that we capture the imagination of people from all walks of life?"

Amen to that!