First of all, that's not how trade publishing works. Authors do not need an illustrator to pretty up their manuscripts before submitting. If a publisher likes and acquires a manuscript, they will hire an illustrator -- and no, it probably won't be the author's cousin Ensol who dabbles in spray painting the walls of abandon buildings.
I don't mean any disrespect to Christians or believers of God. I'm a believer myself. But when authors try to guilt me with God, I get very uncomfortable. How am I supposed to say no to God?
Most times authors seek general publishing advice. They're lost and need a map to guide them through the complicated and confusing publishing path. I used to respond to these emails. Felt it my duty to reach back and help, especially African Americans. That's how I got published, by the good will of others willing to offer guidance. Rarely do I respond now. Time doesn't allow, and with so much information on the internet, answers can be found with a simple Google search. I didn't have the benefit of the internet when I started out, so I'm thankful for people like Pat Cummings, Floyd Cooper, Brian Pinkney, Andrea Pinkney for answering my questions. And I didn't throw God at 'em either.
I hope this post doesn't sound mean, cocky or disrespectful. That's not my intention here. I just feel that authors who are serious about getting published will approach other published professionals . . . professionally. So if you're an author who is a believer, let it show through by example. No need in clobbering other authors, illustrators -- and heaven forbid -- agents and editors over the head with it.
Interesting thing, I've worked with several Christian publishers. I AM MY GRANDPA'S ENKELIN and THE LEGEND OF THE VALENTINE, were published by Paraclete and Zondervan respectively. I've also worked with Group and Sadlier. My religion never came up in any of our negotiations or discussions.