As the youngest child in a book-loving family, it took me awhile to realize that there was such a thing as a boring book.
My special love has been the fiction of 19th-century authors such as G.A. Henty, R.M. Ballantyne, James Fenimore Cooper, Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, and more. Of course, these were imperfect men who wrote imperfect stories, but the themes they espoused, such as courage, diligence, mercy, protecting the weak, and fighting for the right has greatly influenced my writing. Although I don't seek to replicate their styles, I do find inspiration in their tales of adventure, and seek to communicate that in fresh ways to a new generation.
The greatest influence in my life has been my faith in God. I am a firm Christian, no 'buts,' 'excepts,' or apologies. My goal with each book is to glorify God and encourage readers to be more Christlike, even as they enjoy the action and adventure of each story.
What do I write?
My historical novels weave exciting plots into a background of historical reality. Most of my characters and their actions are fictional, but the world they inhabit is based on life as it really was. Technology progresses, fashions die or are reborn, the way we talk evolves (or devolves, depending on your point of view), countries gain or lose territory, and the world changes in many other ways through the centuries, but what it means to be a human being does not change. We face the same struggles, the same fears, the same temptations, the same victories, and the same joys as the citizens of Ancient Rome, or the knights of the Middle Ages, or the gentlemen of Victorian England.
Reading historical fiction can often give us a perspective on our present times that contemporary fiction can't. That's not a reason to shy away from reading contemporary fiction, but it is a reason to read about bygone times. The issues we face now have been faced before, but when we see them highlighted in unfamiliar surroundings, we can gain fresh insights into how to address them today.
Many complain that Christian fiction is “preachy.” Is mine? Well, I don't pause my stories to deliver diatribes or altar calls. But I absolutely do weave my faith in Christ into my stories and seek to communicate vital messages and themes in each novel. If a book doesn't have the potential to make you a stronger Christian in some way, it's probably not worthwhile reading. But that doesn't preclude action, adventure, and all the rest from any of my stories, because I find that a Christian's life is the most exciting of all.
Do you have any further questions about what you'll find in a John J. Horn book? Send me a note from my Contact page.