Posted by Dale Cramer on June 2, 2012 | 30 Comments

When I was young I never had the slightest intention of being an obedient child.  The only thing my father and I had in common was that we were both prodigal sons.  I could never live up to his expectations, and it seemed the only thing we knew how to do was make each other angry.  I packed up that anger and took it with me when I left home, carried it for years like a backpack full of rocks. I can say these things now because I know that an awful lot of men out there can relate, and because, in my case, it’s not the end of the story.  My father and I eventually became friends.  I grew to love the man, and I know that he loved me.  In time, he even came to be proud of me, and he let me know it.  The change in our relationship was something only God could have accomplished.  I know this was true in my father’s case because I could see God’s fingerprints on his life.

Mine was...

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And Christian Men Don’t Buy Books

Posted by Dale Cramer on March 30, 2012 | 19 Comments

Based on the feedback from my previous blog post (Christian Women Don’t Read Men) I’m thinking maybe this subject is worth probing a bit deeper.  If nothing else, it has hightlighted the names of a lot of Christian writers who produce books men would probably like.

If they only knew about them.

As I pointed out before (albeit with tongue firmly in cheek) the Christian fiction market was born and raised on romance. There are lots of men who browse Christian material, but only nonfiction.  Most of them wear ties and shine their shoes.  They’re preachers and teachers and assorted other experts who know a smattering of Greek, and almost without exception they’ll tell you they don’t have time to read fiction.  On more than one occasion one of these types has told me (me— a novelist) that fiction is a complete waste of time.*  Apart from the occasional This Present Darkness or Left Behind, men have never paid much attention to Christian fiction.  Being a man myself (no, really), a cursory glance down one of the aisles tells...

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Christian Women Don’t Read Men

Posted by Dale Cramer on March 27, 2012 | 34 Comments

It’s true.  The vast majority of fiction sold through the Christian market is bought by women, and I have long suspected that many of these women actively avoid novels written by men.  This particular observation seeped into my steel-trap mind after reading hundreds, maybe even dozens, of reader reviews that began with the disclaimer, “I normally never pick up a book written by a man…”  However, since the name Dale is androgynous, it’s possible a fair number of them may have discovered my books entirely by accident, such as those who plainly state that they wouldn’t have read me in the first place if they’d known I was a man.*  Sometimes these women come right out and tell us why they don’t read men, and not surprisingly it’s usually some variant of, “I don’t care to read another novel about a steely-eyed, broad-shouldered, swashbuckling James Bond type who mows down bad guys like a hay scythe and rescues damsels in distress.”  This is perfectly understandable.  Those books can be trite and predictable.

If sales are any indicator, what the...

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You Know You’re a Luddite If…

Posted by Dale Cramer on February 22, 2012 | 16 Comments

My cousin emailed me this picture the other day, with a note saying they’ve finally designed a cell phone that’s right up my alley.  If you still don’t get it after a cursory glance at the picture, then you’re either a fellow luddite or a teenager who’s never seen a rotary phone.  Now, this probably doesn’t seem worth more than a perfunctory chuckle until I tell you the rest of the story:

The cousin who sent the email is Amish.

I’m serious.  I can now lay legitimate claim to the title of Undisputed World Champion Luddite.  You know you’re a world class luddite when the Amish make jokes about your technical ineptitude.

My last cell phone was a simple little flip phone.  I never took a picture with it because I own a camera.  I didn’t use it for checking my email because I have a computer for that, and I didn’t use it for browsing the internet because I didn’t know how and didn’t care to learn.  I couldn’t send a text message because (a) my thumbs are...

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The Happiest Man I Know

Posted by Dale Cramer on February 11, 2012 | 3 Comments

I want to point out a really nice review of Captive Heart recently posted by my friend Jackie Cooper  (and no, he’s not the same Jackie Cooper who was on The Little Rascals a hundred years ago.)  You can find the review here:

We also did a brief video interview about The Captive Heart, and about writing in general.  You can watch the interview here:

Jackie is an entertainment critic for the Huffington Post, and you’ll find both the book review and the interview on their page as well, but I was hoping I could steer my readers to Jackie’s website because I want you to know more about him.  He’s an unusual man.

Born and raised in Clinton, South Carolina (pronounced ‘Clinnon’, for those of us who aren’t from around there), Jackie’s childhood was the southern small-town version of idyllic.  But like many of us, once he got away from home he made some errant choices and his life took a grievous turn:  he went to law school, passed the bar, and became a lawyer. ...

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