One of my friends gave me a trilogy written by Frank Peretti. I've started reading the first book, which is titled "This Present Darkness." Now generally, I do not read much modern fiction. I find most of it to be dull and boring. However, I've decided to give it another chance and so far, Peretti has me interested. It's definitely what I would consider Christian visceral fantasy, a term I invented because dark Christian fantasy is a bit of an oxymoron. It opens up with two angels hunting down a demon and strengthening a beleaguered pastor. While my schedule is rather full at the moment, I will be sure to squeeze in some time late at night/early in the morning to finish this tale.
I had one Creative Writing Professor who gave a really good bit of advice: great writers read more than they write. Unfortunately, I got turned off when he banned sci-fi/fantasy literature in his class and dropped it, but I am glad that I got that gemstone from him first. By reading other authors, you get great ideas for your own work and can learn valuable insight into how to tell a story. For example, from Grettir's Saga, I learned an interesting way to depict a hero with a tragic flaw. Rather than being a highly polished warrior like Achilles or Othello, Grettir is more rough and tough, and streetsmart as opposed to booksmart. His weakness is his overconfidence, as shown by his decision to take on a revenant named Glam (a revenant is basically a highly intelligent zombie). Ironically, his downfall is due to his victory, not a failure. It gave me an awesome idea for one major character I have, which I will reveal in a latter book of my own trilogy.
At any rate, I can't wait to see what inspiration I get from reading Peretti's work, and to see how he helped to blaze the trail of Christian visceral fantasy.