Today, we sit down and talk with the fifth member of our development team, Peter Younghusband. Peter hails from Australia and runs a book review blog for Christian fiction. Peter's literary experience and social networking skills have been invaluable to The Crossover Alliance with his ability to pull communities of Christian writers and readers together.
Who Are You, And What Do You Write?
I am Peter Younghusband. I am in my 50s, married with two adult daughters - one recently married, the other still at home. I am a Registered Nurse and live in a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I am an avid reader of Christian fiction and review this in the genres of the supernatural, spiritual warfare, military, science fiction, fantasy, mystery and suspense, and edgy, Christian speculative fiction from a Christian/biblical worldview. I have a review blog at www.christianfictionreviewguru.blogspot.com.au.
What Drew You To The Crossover Alliance?
I read David Alderman's Black Earth series a few years ago and from this discovered the Crossover Alliance forum as it was then. David then invited me to join his team, which then became The Crossover Alliance publishing company. I am the only non-writer of the group, the oldest member, and the only international member! We really do have an international team!
What Kind Of Impact Do You Think The Crossover Alliance Has Made To The Publishing Industry In The Last Year?
I have reviewed most of the books in our showcase, and I can vouch for the edginess and the speculative elements that make them this genre. In some cases, they really do push the boundary of what is accepted as the norm, but without compromising the Gospel and without glorifying sin in all its forms or adding shock value for the sake of shock value. It is to show the reality of sin and its consequences, the reality of real life, the power of Christ over sin and death, and how God takes us from our struggles, our sin - and in the midst of all its ugliness - shows that we do have a second chance through Him.
I think from this angle, readers are beginning to see that there is a place for this realness and rawness, and that it is encouraging authors out there not to be afraid to write as it is, to break out of the molds of the limitations of the Christian publishing models. I think it also appeals to readers who can identify with these themes and situations portrayed in these novels and still experience the reality of God. That there is always hope amongst the turmoil, shame, and destructiveness of our fallen world. Sometimes this is missing from novels due to the restraints of the publishing company’s rules, and how they compromise an author's true motives in order for them to be published.
How Has The Crossover Alliance Impacted Your Own Life As An Author Or Reader?
I now crave for more of the edginess and speculativeness of this genre, and I cheer from the sidelines as a reader/reviewer when these authors show their determination to show it as it is and step out confidently in this new genre. It has impacted my reviews by making me be more analytical and expounding more of these elements in my review. It has made me offer new authors the opportunity of a review, an interview, or if I cannot review at the time of their request, a novel/author spotlight of their novel or even a guest post on a topic of their choice or relating to their novel.
How Do You See The Crossover Alliance Impacting The Publishing Industry Over The Next Year?
I can see more and more authors and readers becoming aware of The Crossover Alliance, and these authors see opportunities to move forward with their novels where in the past they may have come up across many brick walls from other traditional publishing companies and readers who want more from the standard of Christian novels that they are used to and frustrated with. From a reviewer's point of view, I can see that I am definitely not going to be bored with reviews, as these novels are challenging, and they are a joy to review and showcase what the author is portraying in the plot, characterization, and the grittiness of the reality of the fallen world we live in and the power of the Gospel.
I feel that the Publishing industry will start to take notice and see that there is life for them and authors outside of the existing traditional publishing model and criteria. That this life can be a healthy and fruitful one that does show that God is not to be put in the four walls of existing models of publishing, and that it is rather arrogant of them to continue like this.