As a writer, I’ve struggled to identify my target audience. It’s a dilemma that every writer faces. The more specific one can be, the better. But it has been hard for me to specify an audience by age or gender (women 50-65? young males 18 to 25?) because those categories seem at the same time too limiting and too broad, supposing that one of my stories might entertain a reader who does not fit into either of those categories. My hope is that my stories speak not necessarily to someone’s age or gender, but to values in the very heart of who they are. I don’t know if this is accurate or thorough, but I am taking great care in writing it. So who might enjoy my stories?….
First of all, someone looking for hope. Hope is such a tender commodity these days. It seems like people are starting to lose some of it. Violence and crime. Drugs. Disease. Divorce. The premature loss of a loved one. Disappointments. Failures. Broken relationships. Broken dreams. Souls are hurting. Faith is fraying. Our nation is wounded. I’m writing for hope—to go on living, to keep trying, to not quit, to believe that there is good in the world, and in ourselves. Hopefully when someone reads my stories they’ll feel rejuvenated and inspired to see their worth, in themselves and in others, and, above all, to keep hoping—hoping for what lies ahead over the horizon.
Secondly, someone willing to dare. To believe. To have faith. To find their courage. To fight for what is good. My stories are meant to cultivate the courage in a reader so that she is brave enough to face her struggles and fears, even at the risk of her own safety. She will not renege on the promise that is her. I want my stories to inspire her to fight—not for land or money, but for the terrain within her. That savage battleground where glory reigns.
Thirdly, someone passionate about life, or who longs to rediscover their passion, through story. I may not succeed at this, but my passion is to create human characters who bruise and are deepened by them and are shaped by their struggles to become someone they could never have imagined becoming on their own. Someone with worth, with significance.
Fourthly, sailors, prospectors, golfers, Christmas families, artists, basketball and football and baseball players, track and field athletes, gumshoe sleuths, fishermen, soldiers, and more. I sport a wide range of interests, and my stories reflect that. I am not a genre writer; I cannot contain myself to writing only murder mysteries or historical sagas or romance. I have to explore the stories that are within me, to be true to what has been given me to write. I hope there is a little something for a wide array of peoples in my stories. Maybe this will hurt me. But at least I feel honest at the end of the day.
Lastly, someone who is fed up with misery and hurt and harm and disease—in the world around them and in themselves—who longs for life. My stories cannot give life, but I write them to point heavenward—to the Author who can.