SE Podcast #1: The State of Christian Fiction Today

January 19, 2019

The Story Embers podcast is back, and we’ve completely revamped the format.


Every other Saturday, Grace Livingston will be hosting discussions on story craft with various members of the Story Embers staff.


We’ll be tackling writing habits, character development, complex themes, plot gimmicks, and more, all from a Christian perspective!


In our inaugural episode, Josiah DeGraaf, Daeus Lamb, and Brandon Miller talk about the current state of Christian fiction. Tune in below as they explore its strengths and weaknesses, plus what trends they’re noticing across the Christian fiction market. And be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you think about our new format!


Subscribe to the Story Embers podcast on iTunes


  1. PursueWisdom

    Thanks, Grace, for making such a professional podcast episode! 🙂

    I really enjoyed this wonderful discussion among Josiah, Daeus, & Brandon about Christian Fiction today. Thanks, guys!

    I completely agree with all your points (unfortunately I lost track of who was saying what) – especially on how conversion scenes tend to cripple character development in Christian fiction in general, as well as how many classical authors who were Christian did not write explicitly “Christian” books but were vastly impactful and compelling. I have not read N.D. Wilson yet (I know I should :P), but some others who come to my mind include Austen, Dostoevsky, and Dickens. 🙂 And of course, C.S. Lewis – while the Narniad have been categorized into the Christian genre, I think his Till We Have Faces was not, and I found it just as deep and meaningful.

    I do have a question for @josiah (I’m quite sure it was you who said this): you mentioned that you’ve been reading more recent Christian fiction that have improved. Would you please list some authors/titles? Because I’d love to look into this – unfortunately I’ve been neglecting a lot of today’s publications (Christian and secular/mainstream alike) due to so many disappointments, and I know I shouldn’t, but it’s hard when I don’t know where to look.

    [The only technical-related issue I had with this podcast is I have difficulty hearing some parts clearly – like at around 8:15, and some other places as well. It might be due to the mic or something?]

    • Josiah DeGraaf

      Off the top of my head, here are some examples of great Christian fiction I read in the past year:
      – The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry
      – Death Comes for the Deconstructionist by Daniel Taylor
      – Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
      – Amish Vampires in Space by Kerry Nietz (don’t judge!)

      And “Till We Have Faces” is amazing. I haven’t read it since 8th grade or so, but I really need to because it’s an excellent book that I’m sure I did not appreciate enough as a middle schooler.

  2. Shannon Voeller

    This is great y’all! I really enjoyed listening, and it helped me a lot! Looking forward to the next episode 🙂

  3. Evelyn

    I enjoyed listening to this and can’t wait for more content. 🙂

  4. T.Young

    Glad to have it back. Keep up the good work.

  5. Kayla James

    I loved your take on conversion scenes. It made me want to go over my first novel and look at my own scenes.
    I also want to find more spec fiction books that are improving.
    I felt as if the romance genre was frowned upon in the podcast, but maybe I misunderstood. I am currently writing one and felt like I was a square peg mixed in with the round ones.
    I can’t wait to hear more on the podcast, especially on writing habits and making a living with writing.

    • Josiah DeGraaf

      I don’t recall when we mentioned romance in the episode, but if it sounded like we were frowning upon the genre, that was certainly not our intent! Most of us in this podcast (we’ll be switching up discussion groups regularly) are spec fic writers (though Daeus does a lot of different genres), so we’re probably a bit biased toward that end of the spectrum. But we certainly don’t want to discount the value of the romance genre.

      I can definitely put writing habits down as one of our future podcast episode ideas!

  6. Alatheia Grace

    I heat that about some “christian books” (drama, story climax, someone get’s saved happily ever after!!) THAT’S NOT HOW IT HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE!!! I’m looking forward to the coming broadcasts and topics!

    • Josiah DeGraaf

      Haha, yep. Glad you enjoyed it!

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