Interview with Mick Silva

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This morning I had breakfast with an agent friend and when I got back, I realized I genuinely enjoyed Christian publishing, strange as that may sound. But I hadn’t had nearly enough coffee yet so I made my way over to the ol’ Bunn-o-matic…

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Oh boy. Here we go. Another chance to second-guess your happiness and remember everything that’s wrong with Christian publishing.

Would you stop? We’re not asking for your analysis.

Yes, that’s right. I’m misguided. Look, why don’t you just get out all your compelling arguments about why Christians aren’t producing the sort of innovative books you’d expect from those who have a corner on the source.

Do I do that? I don’t know. Maybe I used to. But you can’t really say any of those things without putting a big red target on your chest. And maybe that’s what some people want, but I think that is just ignorant.

You do. Well that’s refreshing.

I mean, what people want to hear is what makes Christian culture unique. And it isn’t that it’s better or cleaner or nicer than “secular” culture. It’s just that Christians are more aware how common, low, dirty, and nasty they really are and knowing that makes them somehow better, cleaner, and nicer. It’s really a sort of a lucky paradoxical thing how that works. The worse they think they are, the better they seem.

But you don’t accept that.

What I don’t accept is this category of “Christian” that can be reduced, labeled, packaged, and sold.

So you’re saying you make your living doing something you don’t really believe in?

No. I thank God for the opportunity. I just don’t think too hard about it. The key is to enjoy the better parts and ignore the fundamental problems. Look too close at anything and your eyes start blurring.

So just ignore it? That’s your big answer? Doesn’t seem like you.

No, I just think that we don’t need ask if making “Christian” books is truly a Christian thing to do anymore. It’s really just a fuzzy little navel-gazing thought.

I can’t believe we’re actually agreeing here.

Maybe you should get used to it. Pretty soon, we might be the same person.

God forbid.

I mean, you’d really rather not have this mushy little whiner stuck to your shoe any more than he does, right?

Your words, not mine. But, yeah. It doesn’t pay to puzzle too long about anything. The world was made for action. You have to get on the road before you get sidetracked by potholes.

Good point. Really, “Christian” books aren’t so bad. And praise Jehova they are here to stay. They have a purpose, at least an ideal one anyway, despite the unfortunate realities. And instead of “making the best of it,” we might as well accept that we have a tremendous opportunity here.

Yeah! Nevermind that ABA publishers are all now clamoring for CBA imprints seeking profit. We can use this interest to serve the kingdom! Like Jabez! Let’s use our power to expand our territory for God!

Whoa. Okay. Hang on.

What?

No. I can’t accept that. Sorry. Prosperity is man’s devising. God’s is forgotten stables, rotted limbs, and blind man’s spit. Shepherd boys and donkey’s tongues, remember?

…Where do you get that? How can you be in Christian business and make Christian books unless you’re looking for profit?

No. Don’t ask. I’m not thinking about it.

Man, you’re still dreaming. Ignore it. Move on. But you’re still the one who thinks being friendly is phony, bristling at all the rules for everything, who thinks the simplest, most rational parameters are evil restrictions designed to ruin your life. You’re headed nowhere.

Maybe so. But why have a blog about Christian books unless you intended to talk about the real issues?

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Maybe I need to switch to decaf.

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4 thoughts on “Interview with Mick Silva”

  1. “Look too close at anything and your eyes start blurring.”
    Sounds a bit like my eye diagnosis three days ago: Astigmatism.
    Apparently I’ve had it all my life, but to me it was normal vision. I lived 30+ years looking at a blurred world, not knowing how much clearer it could have been. I can’t wait to get my cool new glasses with snazzy frames.
    Now it’s time to get serious about writing stories that will cut through this blurred world and illuminate the next life in brilliant clarity.

  2. By all means, please remain caffeinated, Mick. Caffeine is one of the few stimulants we are free to enjoy, though of course not to excess. I need stimulation. I can’t ponder the real issues if I am stupified. Java-enabled, that’s me. Onward, wide-eyed, please.
    Susan

  3. Please don’t switch to decaf, brother. I enjoyed your post and found much to swallow, chew on, and look at for future consumption. I like what you said about Christian culture; and that we see how wretched we are. Caffeine obviously suits you and befriends your endeavors.
    Have a cup o’joy
    and fresh taste of the bread of heaven…

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