>I received the following advice today from an agent kind enough to offer it. I would love to know your thoughts.

According to this agent (who has over 60 yrs experience as an agent with Christian fiction) the following is wrong with my storyline.  Now before I go any further – I want it to be known I am not bitter or angry as some might think. This is the first I’ve heard of this (which could show my ignorance or lack of knowledge) and it shocked me.

1 My focus is a male protagonist, when 80% of readers are women. Editors insist either on a female protagonist or a strong female co-protagonist starting with the first chapter.

2. My protagonist is a pastor. You cannot believe how many Christian writers have a pastor as protagonist–the tactic is at least 60 years old. And it is considered old hat by editors and not a creative idea. 

3. I have his family killed in an accident–another red flag for editors. Too easy a device and too often used, they say.

In my query, I only highlight my main character – although my co-protagonist is in fact a female with a strong storyline. Perhaps I need to add that into my query – note taken. The advice means that I need to do some drastic work – which I’m willing to do. Change my opening chapter to include the female (she’s there but after page 10), rework my query and possible change my main characters line of work – which will be difficult. Something to think about for sure.

Ok – so what are your thoughts? Is all this true? As Christian readers do we only want female protagonists and are we tired of the ‘pastor’ concept (truth be told I’ve only read a few fiction books that dealt with pastors)?