Maurice Broaddus, a.k.a. The Sinister Minister, emailed me last week about doing an interview for his blog and for HollywoodJesus.com. Here’s a short segment, click on the links to read the rest. Thanks for doing the interview, Mo!
Interview with Coach Culbertson
I had a chance to catch up with the uber-busy Coach Culbertson of Relief: A Christian Literary Expression as well as, of special interest to me as a horror writer, Coach’s Midnight Diner.
What is Relief and how does it relate to the Midnight Diner?
Relief: A Christian Literary Expression (often just called Relief Journal) is currently a bi-annual literary journal that publishes literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. In our first reading submission period back in 2006, we received a lot of great genre submissions, but the editorial team thought that Relief should remain literary in scope. So instead, we decided to launch Coach’s Midnight Diner, a genre anthology made up of hardboiled genre works with a Christian slant. Both publications have an uncensored edge.
What do you see as your mission? How would you describe it?
We started Relief and the Diner after my wife and I both left the inner city where we taught high school. Kimberly wanted to be able to write about our experiences at the high school, but the question quickly became, “Where would it get published?” There were way too many amazing interactions with God for her stuff to be published in the secular markets, and way too much reality that shouldn’t be censored as it would diminish the power of God’s interactions with the students we took care of. So we ended up creating a venue for writing that falls in the gap between the Christian publishing markets and secular publishing markets.
Christian writing has long since been criticized as being too censored, too fluffy, lacking in artistic excellence, and way too preachy. We wanted to create an outlet where authors can have the freedom to just write the damn story–to practice excellent craft, use authentic dialog (not – “gee whiz, Beav, what are we going to do with all this swell crack? Oh fiddlesticks, they just busted a cap in my rear end.” ) have characters talk about and have sex (and yes, Song of Solomon is not just symbolic–it really is about sex), wrestle with doubts and huge questions, interact with God, all in an authentic and real fashion.
Life is messy, rough, and difficult. It’s also wondrous, amazing, and sublime. Our writing should reflect reality, not sugarcoat it. No one lives in a “perfect” world, and neither should our words. We bridge the gap for writers who want to write real stories, poems, and creative nonfiction about real characters in real situations with a real God, without compromising the work’s integrity.
Click here to read the rest over on HollywoodJesus.com, or bounce over to Maurice’s blog : The Pontifications of Maurice Broaddus: Interview with Coach Culbertson.