Did you know that there’s a whole sub-genre out there known as Edgy Inspirational? Everywhere I looked to find more information about this genre, I came across mentions of author Michelle Sutton. She’s not only got a full catalog of books that push Christian fiction to the edge, she founded the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers group and has been instrumental in gaining more exposure for this genre.
Well, who do you go to when you have questions? The expert, right? So I was thrilled when Michelle agreed to answer a few questions for me to share here:
Me: What qualifies as “edgy” in Christian fiction? I’m sure there are still lines that shouldn’t be crossed—what are they?
Me: Ooh, I like that answer. The characters' inner struggle between what they want to do and what they should do is what I usually find most interesting about any story. What are some examples of the edgy parts of your books?
Michelle: Well, in regards to topics there is nothing I don't cover (such as sexual intimacy before marriage and the consequences of promiscuity, rape - including date rape, abortion, adoption, foster care, homosexuality, child abuse, incest, pornography, addiction, death, deception, unforgiveness, slander, etc. etc.)
Me: Sounds like you’ve got the edgy covered for sure. Would The Red Tent or The DaVinci Code qualify as Edgy Christian Fiction?
Michelle: Never read either book, so I can't say one way or the other. I have heard from people who have read The DaVinci Code that it firmed up their belief that Jesus swooned and didn't raise from the dead. That's disconcerting, but again, I am only reporting what I heard. I haven't read it.
Me: I think a lot of people forget that The DaVinci Code is a work of fiction and should only be taken as such. What's funny about that book is that although it puts forth theories that are in opposition to my faith, even after all those years of CCD and listening to sermons and looking at statues, paintings, and crucifixes, reading this story was the first thing that actually made me feel the humanity of Jesus in addition to his divinity, and that spark sent me along a path that has brought me closer to him. He does indeed work in mysterious ways.
Still Me: Okay, next question: how did you get started writing Edgy Christian Fiction?
Michelle: The stories just came out that way. I was told my ideas were good, but the content was too edgy, so I ended up adopting the term by default to describe fiction that wasn't of the softer variety when it comes to novels with Christian themes and a Christian worldview. Some people call it realistic fiction. I just think it's honest. I don't write about what characters should think, do and feel. I write about what they really would think, do and feel. We're all sinners saved by grace.
Me: Exactly---how can we possibly relate to characters who always make good choices? Even Jesus’ parables were chock full of sinners. Hey! I guess in a way he was the first author of Edgy Christian Fiction, eh?
Thank you so much, Michelle, for giving us more insight into this genre---and thanks for all you do to give Edgy Christian Fiction more exposure.
Below are just a few of Michelle’s inspirational books with an edge
Each book cover links to its Amazon page so you can read more about it.