Welcome back for the very first “author spotlight” on apageoutofherbook.com! My vision for this category is: that it introduces you to Christian fiction writers you’ve never heard of; reminds you about ones you’ve forgotten; and gives you interesting insights into the lives of the authors you already know well! Please know that these posts are not meant to endorse all the authors’ books or personal beliefs, or even be a review of their works. The intent is more that
- You discover (or re-discover) Christian fiction authors and can then look into (or avoid) their books as you are so inclined
- You learn interesting tidbits about Christian authors and how God has worked in their lives
I chose prolific writer Gilbert Morris to kick off the series! This feels so… appropriate to me, partly because he was one of the first Christian fiction authors I read growing up, but also because books practically poured out of him. Before his death in 2016, he said that he had 228 novels under his belt! The obituary I read cited 230, but you’re going to have to go hand count them yourself if you want to know which number is correct (have fun with that).
Gilbert was born in Forrest City, Arkansas in 1929; he also spent childhood years in Helena, Arkansas. He said:
“…the river then was still thick with the sternwheelers, and I would sit for hours on the bank of the river and watch them, and riding on one was a thrill.”*
According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture**, Morris became an ordained Baptist minister in 1950 and worked as a pastor of several Baptist churches in Arkansas from 1952 to 1958.
He joked in a filmed interview now posted here on YouTube, “…I’ll tell everybody that my books have three elements: they have a romance in them, they have an adventure… and maybe about a war or something like that, then it has Christian—a flavor, to it. So that’s (holding up three fingers) kiss kiss, bang bang, hallelujah!”
The greater part of Morris’ work was adult historical fiction; however he branched out quite a bit with his youth fiction. Among these Christian series were The Seven Sleepers (fantasy, with in my opinion allegorical overtones), The Daystar Voyages (science fiction) as well as The Time Navigators (science/historical fiction.)
Have you read any of Gilbert Morris’ books? Do you think successful authors should try to write as much as possible, or do they risk becoming formulaic and stale? Do you have any authors you just can’t get enough of?