Feedback to A Wretched Man has come in many forms: critical reviews, online bookstore comments (Amazon & Barnes/Noble), private emails, and book blogs. Recently, a new medium has chimed in—the Lutheran blogosphere. Those who are familiar with my other blog, Spirit of a Liberal, a blog of progressive, religious themes, may also follow the ELCA news blog of Susan Hogan called Pretty Good Lutherans and ELCA Pastor Brant Clement’s blog called Both Saint and Cynic since we all link to each other regularly. Each of these Lutheran blogs offered articles about the novel within the last week.
Pastor Brant offered a book review.
Holmen gives flesh to his characters. They eat, drink (sometimes too much) and void waste. They feel love, anger, jealousy, joy and sorrow. They fight and make up. Or not. These Apostles are not Sunday School flannel-graph cut-outs, but complex, three-dimensional human beings.
It is clear that Holmen has done his homework. Everyday life in the first century Mediterranean world is evoked with detail and description. The author has also digested a great deal of current New Testament scholarship and woven it seamlessly into his narrative.
Most importantly, Holmen spins a good yarn.
Susan Hogan provided insight through a question and answer session with me. Here’s a sampling:
Q. What challenges do you face in marketing Christian fiction?
A. For a lot of people, the word “Christian” means evangelical or conservative Christian. That’s the popular conception. My book is written for a more progressive readership, and it is best characterized as historical fiction with religious themes because it doesn’t fit the popular perception of the genre of Christian fiction. It is edgier than most Christian fiction.”
Thanks to both Susan and Brant for your interest in my novel and for helping to publicize it.