New Release in Young Adult Christian Fiction
The selection of young adult (YA) novels in the Christian market gets better and better each year. One of the most popular authors is Krista McGee. She just released Anomaly and it’s now available at LifeWay Christian Stores. Krista is trying her hand at a different genre with this book… and I think it’s going to work! Here’s a glimpse at the story…
Thalli is different than others in The State. She feels things. She asks questions. And in the State, this is not tolerated. The Ten scientists who survived the nuclear war that destroyed the world above believe that emotion was at the core of what went wrong-and they have genetically removed it from the citizens they have since created. Thalli has kept her malformation secret from those who have monitored her for most of her life, but when she receives an ancient piece of music to record as her community’s assigned musician, she can no longer keep her emotions secreted away.
From Chick Lit to the Apocalypse
I’ve been getting that question a lot, lately. Usually followed by, “Why did you switch genres?” It almost feels like breaking up with a long-term boyfriend – friends wanting to know why it didn’t work out, will we ever get back together, am I all right?
My first three books were YA contemporary fiction – humorous adaptations of biblical characters. First Date is loosely based on Esther, Starring Me on Rebekah and Isaac, and Right Where I Belong on Ruth. Though some of the characters travelled from book to book, it wasn’t a series. They were distinctly Christian, though, as my desire is not just to entertain, but to point readers to the Savior.
My newest book, Anomaly, is the first of a trilogy. It isn’t based on a biblical character, it isn’t contemporary, and it isn’t funny.
So what’s wrong with chick lit? Absolutely nothing. It’s one of my favorite genres. But I also love science fiction – all kinds of science fiction. But especially dystopian. In a dystopian, the future world is messed up – dysfunctional – and the hero tries, sometimes successfully, to make it better.
While Hunger Games and Matched (and Uglies and Divergent and Maze Runner…) have made this particular genre popular among today’s readers, I fell in love with it years ago. Twenty years ago, to be exact, when my 12th grade English teacher made us read 1984. I loved it. I was introduced to Brave New World in college (loved that, too), and as a teacher, The Giver was on my required reading list (my students, sadly, didn’t love it). But I always wished someone would tackle that genre from a Christian perspective.
Last year, I was given that opportunity. My editor at Thomas Nelson asked if I’d be willing to write a Christian YA dystopian series. I was both honored and nervous that she thought I could make such a big change. I love the Thomas Nelson Fiction team, and I didn’t want to disappoint them or prove unworthy of their faith in me. But God delights in placing us in situations where we feel weak so he can demonstrate his strength. I have no doubt he orchestrated all of this to stretch me in my relationship with him and, hopefully, to touch others with the story he gave me.
So I began to work on the story that would become Anomaly, starting with the idea that in my future, the rulers of the world would do their best to eradicate God. How would they do it? And how would people behave? And how would God reveal himself? Those are questions I try to answer in this series. There is romance, and there are plot twists and turns, but at its heart, Anomaly is no different than any of the other books I have written – one that, hopefully, entertains and, prayerfully, points readers to the Savior.