With popular works, such as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, portraying and representing themes based in the spiritual realm, Christian readers also seek the "Christian version" of such spiritually intriguing works. For writers like CJ Lewis, who wrote Forrest Tales - The Secret of the Labyrinth which deals with spiritual themes similar to that of Rowling's work, faith-inspiring novels have the freedom to present the world of faith and still retain its distinctive spiritual value.
"Communities of faith can be very critical of a work. When an author tries to publicize their work as the Christian alternative to Harry Potter, they look for certain characteristics. They look for a character that symbolizes a Christ-like figure, and they look for direct scriptural quotations or references. If the work does not contain those points of reference, the Christian community becomes disappointed and begins to look elsewhere."
Lewis, who prefers to not have her novel marked as simply a Christian alternative of Harry Potter, says that her book series was designed to utilize the fantasy genre to provide lasting installments for the audience. She asks that people wait until the end of the series before making erroneous comparisons to Harry Potter or to categorize this work as strictly faith-driven. "The story is meant for all groups' secular and faith-based," CJ notes. "People of all ages and faiths seem to be drawn to the characters and the storyline."
According to press releases, the book has been gaining positive reviews consecutively. Readers have been contacting her for clues regarding the plot of the next release.
Contemplating upon the scarcity of Christian writers to venture in the pioneering Christian literary genre, CJ Lewis said she felt the need for Christian authors in spreading the irreplaceable spiritual message through their literary works.