Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stealth Christian novels

The other day I read an article where people were complaining about "stealth Christian novels". Apparently many self-published novels go Christian on you halfway through the book. Here you thought you were reading a normal book, but no, it's a bit of Christian fluff. I gather that in these books, when things go bad for the main character he turns to jeebus. And good ol' jeebus fixes everything. The End. Thus the term stealth Christian novel.

As I read about this I couldn't help but think, "Hmm, I guess I wrote a stealth atheist novel" -- in fact, I wrote three. When my characters are in trouble they reject gods and laugh at the idea of religion. And then they do stuff to address their problems, making moral decisions all along the way. Xmas Carol is indeed a stealth atheist novel. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I didn't like it when the Christians did it so why would I do the same thing?

My original impulse was to have the book say: "Xmas Carol by Keith O'Connor" and then for the sub-head, "A delightfully godless tale of horror". If I did this it wouldn't be a stealth atheist novel anymore. That was the plan.

But several people nixed the idea. I think they were being protective and thought I might lose potential readers by including "godless" on the cover. But the way I see it, religious people aren't going to read my books anyway -- unless they're the sort who like to get their panties in a bunch.

If I don't tip people off with a blurb about the godless nature of the book, religious readers who happen upon the book and purchase it, may be pissed off. They'll say, "Oh, mercy, its a stealth atheist novel! Jeebus save me now!"

What do you think? Should I tip people off by saying "A delightfully godless tale of horror" on the cover? An alternative might be "A liberal tale of horror." Same thing, only it's not like a hammer to the head. Actually, I'm liking the latter version lately.

Opinions? Suggestions?