We are a resource for Catholic readers hungry for fiction that explores their faith through creativity and fosters Catholic writers by promoting good books. Right now, in the United States, there is a vibrant Catholic reading culture in the genres of nonfiction, history and theology, but not so much in fiction. While fiction exploring Catholic themes and concerns is often shunned in the secular world there are few resources for Catholic readers to learn about and support these stories. The situation has been made worse by the reduction of American publishing houses into the “Big Five” (Random House, Macmillan, Scholastic, #4, and #5). In order to appeal to the general American audience overtly Catholic books are often rejected out of hand. Even among those Christian books accepted, the effect has been to favor those books whose subjects are considered non-controversial. The rise in self-publishing has mitigated this censorship problem somewhat but it is often difficult for self-published authors to get their books into the hands of readers hungry fiction that explores spiritual and theological questions. We aim to correct this problem by serving as a resource for finding good fiction beneficial to a Catholic audience. That said, while our focus will be on Catholic fiction and Catholic authors we will on occasion review books by non-Catholics if we feel that the subject and themes covered are of a shared interest to a Catholic readership.
Please keep in mind that the thoughts and opinions expressed on this website are not necessarily those of the Catholic Church. We are a team of practicing Catholics trying to do our best but the best resource for understanding Catholic doctrine is still the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Who We Are
Watson is as science fiction author and a convert to Catholicism from the Church of Christ. In between teaching R.C.I.A. classes Watson typically reviews science fiction and mystery novels and is obsessed with robots, strange aliens and anything related to cyborgs or questions about the nature of humans and souls. As for non-Catholic books, anything that compares Catholic Theology of the Body ethics with another world view would be facinating. Also a space haj or other various comparative pilgrimages would be fantastic!
T.F. Sloan is a horror novelist and a cradle-Catholic child of converts to Western Rite Roman Catholicism from non-specific heathenism. He spent his early childhood reading all the same books H. P. Lovecraft did, and then reading Lovecraft himself, and making his way through the old testament up to the Psalms. So if you think you can scare him, or you believe you’ve written a work of true Catholic horror fiction, then please, please, please send him your work. Horror’s an important genre to the world because of how close it clings to love. Besides horror, he also reads memoirs, noir, and biographies of various kinds of criminals who’ve converted to Catholicism.
M.S. Ocampo is a writer of New Adult novels that range from romantic comedy to urban fantasy/horror. She also writes poetry and does freelance writing. She’s a cradle Catholic and went to Catholic school in childhood and in college. She loves reading all kinds of books, as long as the stories are character-driven. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s knitting and obsessing over superheroes. Her favorite movie is The Princess Bride and anyone who disagrees with that will be regarded as “Inconceivable!”
Lori Wilson is a beginning writer and is currently working on completing her first novel. She began taking her writing more seriously through the example and passion of a writer friend’s own dedication to becoming a published author. It is because of A.R.K. Watson that Lori also dares to imagine her works actually being published. Now as she takes up the position of Fantasy Editor for Catholic Reads, Lori embarks on a journey to become more involved in the Catholic Literary movement and takes up an opportunity to share her gifts with others.
She has chosen to engage within the fantasy genre because it is the genre where the invisible reality, which only some choose to acknowledge, becomes incarnate and sensible to our minds and hearts. It is where one can learn more about themselves and the world by escaping from the world and themselves into the mystery of literature. It is the place where facts find their sustenance and where poetry is fact. In fact, one of Lori’s writing missions is to help others see what is falsely overlooked as fantasy, and to spread the message of hope and freedom amidst a world full of so many tragic facts. For without embracing the ‘fantastic’ reality of God’s Love, it is so easy to despair of life and give in to the bondage of fear and culture of death.
S. Leigh Hall
People and characters interest S. Leigh Hall: what they believe, what they learn, and how they survive. She admits her desire for knowledge of the church began as a child when she agreed to attend with anyone who said, “Do you want to go to church with us?” As a freshman in college, the Catholic Church became her home and later, the place where her career as an educator found its best purpose as she taught journalism and English to middle school and high school students. Service as principal of a large Catholic elementary school added to her spiritual journey and fortified her love for non-fiction in the form of memoirs or biographies. Such books satisfy her thirst for knowing characters and what motivates them. Stories of personal achievement or survival especially through suffering represent for S. Leigh Hall the link of humanity to the sufferings of Jesus Christ as described by St. Paul in the Acts of the Apostles. Fiction with strong character development especially regarding young adults is also welcome.