Skip to main content

Guest blog - Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press

Captain's Log, Stardate 09.10.2008

Today, I have a guest blog from Jeff Gerke, publisher of a new Christian speculative fiction press that launches on October 1st!

Marcher Lord Press (MLP) is the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction. Founded by Christian publishing industry veteran Jeff Gerke, MLP is dedicated to producing the best in Christian science fiction, fantasy, time travel, spiritual warfare, superhero, vampire, and other wonderfully weird Christian novels. MLP produces full-length print novels for Christian adults.
Marcher Lord Press releases three books a season in two release seasons a year: October and April. Go to to meet the authors, read sample chapters, see cover art, and more.

And now, here's Jeff!

You Want To Read What?

Christian science fiction? Christian fantasy? Christian time travel or superhero or…gasp…Christian vampire fiction?

What’s gotten into you? Don’t you know nobody publishes that kind of weird stuff—not for Christians, anyway. Why not pick up this Janette Oke prairie romance instead?

Is there someone like this in your life, someone who wouldn’t read a Christian romance novel if his life depended on it? Someone who wishes there were fantasy or SF or even weirder fiction out there from a Christian point of view?

I’ll bet if you thought about it a minute you could come up with someone—a husband, brother, father, son, daughter, or nephew—who might fall into this category. Maybe it’s even you!

The hard truth is that there’s next to nothing available for these good people. Oh, we have Ted Dekker and a handful of others, and those books get gobbled up eagerly. But beyond that, there’s very little.

Why is that?

Mainly because of a Catch-22. The main buying demographic for Christian fiction is white, American, Evangelical women of child-bearing to empty nest ages. Consequently, publishers put out novels that appeal to this demographic.

So we get the five genres: romance and romantic comedy, contemporary and women’s fiction, female-oriented historical and biblical fiction, female-oriented thrillers and mysteries, and the “lits” (chick-lit, lady-lit, etc.).

You’ll notice the conspicuous absence of anything weird.

The perception is that no one outside of this demographic buys Christian fiction. Therefore publishers do not produce novels for anyone outside of this demographic.

When someone outside of this demographic does venture into the potpourri-laden knickknack tea party that is the modern Christian bookstore, he finds no fiction that interests him. And so he ceases shopping for fiction at those stores. Catch-22.

We’ve already established that we all know people who desire Christian fiction that doesn’t fall into the aforementioned genres. Where can they find the kind of novels they love? Or are they forced to read secular novels in these genres, and swallow all the garbage?

For twelve years I worked inside the Christian publishing industry to try to change this. I wrote Christian technothrillers (see and, while I was on the editorial staff at each of the three CBA publishers I worked for, I fought to acquire Christian speculative fiction—SF, fantasy, etc.: the weird stuff.

Over those years I had a number of successes. I was able to get some speculative novels through the acquisitions and publishing process. At one of these companies I even helped launch a fiction imprint dedicated to Christian speculative fiction. My guiding thought was that if I could just get good speculative fiction out there, people would find them.

But they didn’t. By and large, the speculative novels I was part of publishing did not succeed in the marketplace. Because…? Because the people who would love them had already stopped looking for them. The industry had already driven them away.

And so I began dreaming. I began seeking solutions to the problem. How could I get amazing Christian speculative novels to the people who would devour them if only they could find out about them?

That’s how the idea for Marcher Lord Press was born.

Marcher Lord Press is a small, indie publishing house producing Christian speculative fiction. We don’t even try to get into bookstores—Christian or otherwise. Why would we try to get these books into places where our target reader doesn’t go?

Where are our target readers? They’re online. Therefore Marcher Lord Press markets its books exclusively online. Like Amazon.

MLP is a royalty-paying publisher producing full-length print novels for adults. It is not a vanity press. It does not produce e-books. It is not for a YA audience.

Marcher Lord Press launches on October 1 of this year. We will release three original Christian speculative novels: a comic fantasy, a far-future science fiction, and what I’m calling a philosophical fantasy. Go to the site to find sample chapters and cover art.

While you’re there, sign up to win one of the incredible prizes we’ll be giving away on launch day. And tell your friends to do so, too, because every time someone signs up and names you as referrer, your name goes into the prize drawing another time.

If you’re looking for Christmas gifts for those folks in your circle who would adore weird Christian if it was available, now you know where to look.

Camy here: Thanks, Jeff!

Popular Posts

Laura’s Apricot Shell Shawl knitting pattern

I usually have a knitting project in mind when I write it into one of my books, but Laura’s apricot-colored shawl just kind of appeared upon the page as I was writing the first scene of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , and it surprised even me. I immediately went to my yarn stash to find a yarn for it, and I searched through my antique knitting books to find some stitch patterns. I made her an elegant wool shawl she could wear at home. The shawl ended up tagging along with Laura into the next book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 5: Prisoner , where it imparts some comfort to her in her trying circumstances. The two stitch patterns are both from the same book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 2 by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1842 . A couple excessively clever and creative knitters might have knit these patterns in the Regency era, but they would have only passed them around by word of mouth or scribbled “recipes” to friends or family, and it wouldn’t have been widely use

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Narrow Escape contest for January!

I’m so excited because my January Love Inspired Suspense, Narrow Escape , is now available! Here’s the back cover blurb: KIDNAPPED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT Arissa Tiong and her three-year-old niece are snatched off the street by members of a notorious drug gang. Having lost her police officer brother to a drug bust gone bad, Arissa knows the danger she's in. But she has no idea why they want her. Desperate to protect the little girl, Arissa escapes and runs straight to Nathan Fischer. She knows the handsome, weary former narcotics cop hasn't told her everything about the night that ended her brother's life and Nathan's career. But he's all that stands between her and dangerous thugs who are after something she doesn't even know she has. This is the 4th book in my Sonoma series , but each book is stand-alone. The hero is Nathan Fischer, who had a minor role in the 3rd book, Stalker in the Shadows . To celebrate, I’m giving away 10 copies of Narrow Escape ! Her

Keriah’s Pyrennees Shawl knitting pattern w/ @knitpicks Palette

Why I knit this shawl: I wanted to knit the sunset-colored shawl Keriah was wearing in chapter 5 of my book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker , so I looked for an antique pattern that might have been used during the Regency era. This one caught my eye, even though it was published in a knitting book a few decades later than the Regency era. The Spider-Net border pattern was most definitely in use in the Regency period, but it’s also remotely possible that the Alice-Maud stitch and the lacy border stitch patterns were also in use during the Regency, being passed on from knitter to knitter via hand-written receipts, by verbal instruction, or with knitted sampler squares (like how many Shetland lace patterns and Bavarian cable patterns were shared). My/Keriah’s version of this shawl would have been lacy but warm because it is knit with fingering yarn on small needles. Since Keriah was cold, I think she would have grabbed this shawl rather than something more elegant and airy.

Phoebe’s Muffatees knitting pattern

In Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , Phoebe wears a pair of lace muffatees, or gauntlets/arm-warmers that hide a rather deadly surprise. :) I actually got the idea of having her wear muffatees because I saw a lace manchette pattern in Miss Watts’ Ladies’ Knitting and Netting Book , published in 1840, page 20. However, after doing some research, I found that they were called muffatees in the Regency era, and the term manchette did not arise until a few years later. They were essentially arm-warmers worn under those long sleeves on day dresses, which were usually made of muslin too thin to be very warm. I decided to knit Phoebe’s muffatees using a Leaf Pattern originally suggested for a purse in Mrs. Gaugain’s book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 1, 5th edition published in 1842, pages 234-237. I think there was an error and row 36 in the original pattern was duplicated erroneously, so I have adjusted the pattern. The original manchette pattern called for “fine” needles a

New contest!

I haven’t had a contest since October! Here’s new one just in time for Christmas. I’m picking 3 winners to each be able to choose 10 books from my Christian book list! And yes, that list includes my books! 1) You get one entry into the contest when you sign up for my email newsletter at . If you already belong to my email newsletter, let me know! 2) You get a second entry into the contest if you Like my Facebook page: . If you already Like my Facebook page, let me know! 3) You get a third entry into the contest if you join my Goodreads group: . If you already belong to my Goodreads group, let me know! 4) You get a fourth entry into the contest if you follow me on Twitter: . If you already follow me on Twitter, let me know! 5) You get extra entries into the contest if you get someone else to join my email newsletter. Just email camy {at] c

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 13

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Mari Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduc

Chinese Take-Out and Sushi for One

Captain’s Log, Supplemental My agent sent me an article from Publisher’s Weekly that discussed this incident: Chinese Take-Out Spawns Christian Controversy And here’s also a blog post that talks about it in more detail: The Fighting 44s This is Soong-Chan Rah’s blog: The PCS blog In sum: Apparently Zondervan (yes, my publisher), who has partnered with Youth Specialties, had put out a youth leaders skit that had stereotypical Asian dialogue, which offended many Christian Asian Americans. In response to the outcry, Zondervan/Youth Specialities put out a sincere apology and is not only freezing the remaining stock of the book, but also reprinting it and replacing the copies people have already bought. I am very proud of my publisher for how they have handled this situation. The skit writers have also issued a public apology . (I feel sorry for them, because they were only trying to write a funny skit, not stir up this maelstrom of internet controversy. I’ve been in youth work long enou

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And