Tell us a little about the Lost Genre Guild:
One artistic little cell in the Body of Christ, all members motivated by glorifying our Boss. Handy to have a Boss whose penned history’s a number-one bestseller. That unites us.
We are a community of authors working together at the intersection of our God-given talents and passions. Quality, entertaining speculative fiction (sci-fi, horror, and fantasy), has such ministry potential.
Questions like this is why one writes a mission statement: The Lost Genre Guild's mission is to raise awareness and respect for Biblical and Christian speculative fiction, and to encourage, educate and support the writers of such fiction.
Many writers eventually experience a waypoint along their artistic sojourn: the need to join some kind of writing group, most commonly a critique group. They seek to learn from others, and interact with like-minded people. Historically that's been most easily accomplished in a geographically local group. But now we have the Internet.
Until one pursues their writing interests on the Web, an artist cannot appreciate just how valuable a good genre-specific critique community is. That’s the heart of the Lost Genre Guild. For what we write, this would never have been possible locally. Genre authors have a metric-tonne in common, and we quickly become extended family.
It’s a blast when we get to meet in the real world. The LGG is the literary home for artists, editors, agents, promoters, and fans of Christian sci-fi, horror, and fantasy.
Why is the Lost Genre Guild needed in the publishing world today?
Historical and romance fans can walk into a Christian bookstore and find their favorite literature written from a Christian worldview. For business reasons however, there are a few genres that the Christian publishing industry won't print.
Those lost genres that slip between the cracks are unused tools that could be bringing the Christian worldview to thirsty cultures across western civilization.
Genre fans with imaginations fired by C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and Space Trilogy look for more spec-fic in Christian bookstores.
“Hmm,” they might say, “must not be any new releases.”
They check a year later.
Then five years later.
At least now-a-days they will find that major Christian houses do publish some young-adult speculative fiction.
A lifetime of such frustration grew a chip on my shoulder—and a determination to do something about it. And, in September of 2006, the Lost Genre Guild was born.
For spec-fic fans, there’s finally good news. The Web and modern business trends like corporate outsourcing have impacted the publishing industry in ways very favorable to literary artists. Competition within the free market has made it possible for readers to find their favorite fiction in print. For an overview of the business behind our art, have a look at the following essay: Christian Speculative Fiction in the Publishing Industry.
What does the Lost Genre Guild hope to accomplish?
Awareness needs raising about Christians in the Sudan, who are being murdered, raped, and sold into slavery daily.
There are far more important things in the world than entertaining readers of any flavor.
Reaching readers for all purposes, from evangelism to discipleship, with fun creative tales that are respectful of the Christian worldview is our humble overall goal.
Atheism has used science fiction, Satanism has utilized horror, and many different isms have used fantasy to artistically explore their own worldviews.
Novelist L. Ron Hubbard even invented his own religion through science fiction literature.
Every Christian author views their own literary craft as a fiction-ministry. We all seek to glorify God and make differences in readers’ lives. By working together we seek to overcome challenges of craft and business that have been set before us by a profit-driven, self-censoring, Christian publishing industry.
The biggest challenge we face is connecting with more of our genre-fans. Christian Speculative fiction has been unavailable for so long that the majority of fans, who are believers, have altogether given up and resigned themselves to reading spec-fic of non-Christian worldviews.
Psychographics show that many Christian fans are on the Web. The Lost Genre Guild's been laying infrastructure for viral marketing and word-of-mouth buzz, to raise awareness of our lost genre. Just Google us to see what we've been doing.
The Guild has several projects—mentoring and critique groups, for example. Can you tell us about them?
We offer tools for every aspect of Christian and Biblical speculative fiction.
• Yahoo mail group for members to converse
• Shoutlife group and MySpace where we reach more people who aren’t actually formal members
• www.lostgenreguild.com, that includes bookshelves of members’ fiction, ezines and resources
• Guild Review, an editorial review site for Christian and Biblical spec-fic only (link from the LGG website or www.guildreview.com)
• Guild Catalogue, a print listing of member books, ezines, resources, newsletters (with short descriptions); link off main site; catalogue is updated twice a year and is in two formats: downloadable in booklet format for printing, and the viewable format
• Critique Group and mentors board (www.lostgenreguild.com/phpBB3)
• LGG Blog, (blog.lostgenreguild.com) focuses on Christian and Biblical speculative fiction news and events
We offer opportunities for members to participate in marketing and promotion—so far this has been limited to venues I attend with TWCP.
We're even in the initial planning stages of the first Lost Genre Guild online conference.
What's the strong emphasis of LGG—support, education, or marketing?
Spec-fic is one of literature’s two most powerful genres for tales of good v. evil (the other is western, and I hope there are cowpoke versions of us). Glorifying the Boss with such fiction is the Guild's focus.
We are always looking for tools to address all aspects of the Christian worldview in our genre.
People will find support in our private invitation-only newsgroup. There are many useful links at lostgenreguild.com to educate the public about everything Christian-spec-fic, from free e-zines, to new release novels. For marketing, there are public Lost Genre Guild groups at the Shoutlife and MySpace Web communities. Our members attend conferences and live book events, taking word-of-mouth to the real world. We distribute free tote-bags with printed material, such as the Lost Genre Guild catalog.
What are 2009 goals for LGG?
Continue to increase the Lost Genre Guild “official” membership by:
• networking at various social sites,
• participation in bulletin boards, discussion groups
• encouraging all members to add the Lost Genre Guild to their signature link (currently we have 130+ official members; at the Shoutlife and MySpace groups 500+ members, about 8% of whom are official members)
Increase the visibility of member novels and offerings by:
• advertising the Guild Review and printing hard copies for distribution to book stores, churches, schools
• offering twice yearly catalogue opportunities for highlighting LGG books, ezines, and resources—in both print format and on the LGG site
• new format of the LGG blog which focuses on genre news and events
• attending conferences and book events with promotional materials
Educate members about the craft of writing, critiquing, and marketing and promotion
• regular topics at the Yahoo private group
• information and discussion at the LGG bulletin board
• short story and novel critique groups at the LGG bulletin board
• planning for an online conference (similar to that of the Catholic Writers Guild)
Tell us a little about Frank Creed:
Frank Creed the writing mentor and manuscript critiquer teaches the fiction craft at www.thefinishers.biz manuscript evaluation service. A lovely wife, daughter, and ten kitties do most of the work while Frank lounges with his feet up.
Novelist Frank Creed writes near future high-tech page-turners with settings and characters that push faith's envelope. Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground series was nominated, finaled, and won first place in three literary spec-fic contests. Frank points up to the Boss, who distributes gifts.
Frank's Flashpoint toured on VBTdeNet. Check it out here.