To drink or not to drink…that is my question for you in the context of characters making beverage choices in contemporary Christian romance (CCR) books.
When I first started writing Christian romance, the Christian publishers had detailed lists of acceptable and unacceptable content in the fiction books they published. The consumption of alcohol (liquor) was unacceptable in most circumstances.
I grew up in Sydney, Australia, in what I would describe as an alcohol-saturated culture. Beer was the beverage of choice for many Aussies, especially when watching sport. A glass of wine at dinner, or a small glass of port after dinner, was normal. My parents didn’t drink (I inherited my father’s beer allergy), but social drinking was normal for many of my extended family and family friends. I learned the culinary rules of white wine paired with poultry and seafood dishes, and red wine with red meat dishes. Excessive drinking was frowned upon, and driving under the influence of alcohol was a serious criminal offence that could result in jail time.
In my contemporary Christian romance that I released as an independently published 2nd Edition in January, Her Tycoon Hero, the story touches on alcoholism and addiction issues. Alcoholism is an element in the story and my heroine, Cassie, is a recovering alcoholic and new Christian. Cassie’s alcoholism and past behaviour has created problems that impact the story. One example is her difficult relationship with her father. He struggles to believe that she has changed, and refuses to acknowledge that her faith could help her to maintain her sobriety.
My logic for not including my main characters drinking alcohol in my Christian romances isn’t based on interpretations on what the Bible says or doesn’t say about the consumption of alcohol. That’s a discussion for another day. I have seen the damage that alcoholism can cause in relationships, and also the health consequences. Most alcoholics have a life long struggle with sobriety, irrespective of faith or religious belief. As an author, I’d like my Christian romance books to be a safe option for readers who may be struggling with their sobriety. This is my personal choice, and I don’t expect other authors to make the same choice. Reading about characters drinking alcohol will not personally cause me to stumble.
Poll on Alcohol consumption in CCR books
I’ve put together a poll because I’m interested in learning your perspective on this topic. Which statement is the closest match to your thoughts on alcohol consumption in contemporary Christian romance (CCR) books:
- I don’t mind if characters consume alcohol in Christian romance books. It’s not an issue for me. (20.3%)
- I dislike seeing main characters in Christian romance books drinking alcohol but I don’t mind if minor characters are drinking alcohol. (0%)
- I don’t drink alcohol and I’d prefer not to read a Christian romance with Christian characters consuming alcohol. (25%)
- I don’t mind if characters in a Christian romance drink a glass of beer or wine, but I don’t want to see drunken behavior unless the negative consequences are highlighted. (18.8%)
- I was raised in a culture that frowned on any alcohol consumption and I don’t want to read about it in Christian romance books. (4.7%)
- I was raised in a family where moderate alcohol consumption was normal. I don’t mind if Christian characters drink a glass of beer or wine.(4.7%)
- Alcohol consumption is a personal issue for me. In a Christian romance, I don’t want to read about Christian characters drinking alcohol as a normal part of life. (1.6%)
- I’m fine with Christian characters celebrating a special occasion with a glass of champagne, but I don’t want to read about Christian characters drinking alcohol as a normal part of their life. (4.7%)
- I don’t want to read a Christian romance with any characters drinking alcohol unless the negative consequences of drinking alcohol are highlighted in the story. (20.3%)
The poll will be open until February 28. On March 1, I’ll add the results from the Poll to this post.
$5 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
I’m giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card to a reader who comments on this post. The giveaway will close on March 1, and the winner announced in the following Sunday Edition.