Towards the end of last year (2006) David Brollier was networking in order to get his novel more publicity. One of the places he did this was on MySpace. There he "met" Jackie Moore. They have never seen one another physically, but work as one in the Spirit of God. David thought a great way to get his book noticed would be to start a review blog, much like the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (CFBA). He wanted it to be different and he wanted it to be available to all authors, not discriminating for one reason or another. (Little did he know what that was going to mean). The only requirement was that these works be Christian works.
He contacted Jackie who was thrilled with the idea and began tossing more ideas into the mix. Clearly this was going to be one fantastic review blog. All we needed were members...and they came. Our membership was at 12 when we decided to try our first blog tour. Jackie Moore picked ARMS OF DELIVERANCE by Tricia Goyer, a wonderful piece of historical fiction, and part of her WWII series. The problem, however, was that we weren't communicating with each other properly. I had 2 members that I could not verify their email addresses. Then there were the different formats of web presences; the various generic blogs, MySpace blogs and websites. I also wanted to have a blogroll to put on members pages to increase traffic. When I figured out how to do that I found it difficult to explain what I had done and some brave souls did the very best they could and it just didn't work. MySpace has continued to be a frustration in this regrard. But the real problem was the lack of communication.
After Ms. Goyer's blogtour, and subsequent departure from our number due to overwhelming demands, I was at a loss of what to do. I put the matter to the Lord and after a short period of time the idea of creating a yahoo group took form. There members could contact each other, upload files and pictures, leave posts or contact other members directly. I began to invite people to join us and they came. Many from the Lost Genre Guild, but others from other places.
We have just finished touring LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF DARKNESS a compilation of short stories of Biblical speculative fiction. The editor who compiled these works is Cynthia MacKinnon and the book is a gathering of the masters. The blogtour was a success even though yours truly nearly tanked it towards the end of the week. Yet we learned about each other, about ourselves, but most of all about serving the Lord with the talent He has given to us.
And that is what CFRB has become. It is no longer a vehicle to get my book published, although it is slated to go on tour later this year (I come after everyone else). Instead CFRB has become a ministry or missionary arm masquerading as a review blog. Oh, we do read, review and promote Christian fiction, but the emphasis has shifted from doing so to sell books to doing so to reach the lost. I've grown in these short months. I've learned from the various people I've met. All I have to say is the CFRB is tops, not because we're anything special, but because we CHOSE to put Jesus first and He IS special. CFRB writers write for the Lord. CFRB reviewers review for the Lord. CFRB blog host allow tours to come to their site for the Lord. One writer has opened up her site to author chats for CFRB. Another has opened her personal site up for reviews. Why? Because the more we get the "buzz" going the more people are going to hear about JESUS, not us. And the more they hear about Jesus the better their chances of finding that "Light at the Edge of Darkness". We are growing into a body who will be able to say, in A.P. Fuchs' words, have a faith that is "Undeniable". Who are we? We are God's children who just happen to like and/or write Christian fiction because we love Him.