Friday, August 7, 2015

Christine Lindsay: A Warning To Writers

Everyone's Story affectionately welcomes back author Christine Lindsay. I've known Christine for several years now and she always exudes a tranquil peace and charm about her, yet how I'll always happily remember her wild laughter at the ACFW conference meal tables. With these various characteristics it's no surprise that Christine is a special person who writes touching stories. This week Christine shares a waring to writers, which is the fuel for her stories as well. Both Christine and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Warning to Writers. Warning…Warning!! By Christine Lindsay

If you want to write fiction you have to adjust to the fact that all fiction is autobiographical. You’re going to bleed emotionally on the pages. You will need plenty of hankies near your computer.
When I first started writing 15 years ago, I understood any non-fiction I hoped to write, especially the book on my birth-mother experience, would be autobiographical. But later when it seemed that particular true-life account might never be published, I felt the Lord urge me to put the spiritual and emotional truths I’d learned into Christian Fiction.
Whew! I thought. This means I don’t have to bare my soul. I can hide behind my “untrue” historical epics with plenty of action and romance that God-willing might help readers think about the Lord while they’re being entertained.

Here’s the true scoop.

When I wrote Shadowed in Silk I don’t think readers had a clue that I was plastering my heart and soul into my heroine Abby Fraser, into my bad-guy Russian spy, and especially into Abby’s enemy the Muslim woman Tikah who kidnaps Abby’s child.

The title Shadowed in Silk shows all characters feel invisible for their own reasons. The two women feel no one sees their heartaches or hears their cries in the night. As a woman who was hurting over the relinquishment of my firstborn to adoption, I felt like invisible Abby. I also felt like my Russian spy who chooses to be invisible on purpose. But I also felt like Tikah who steals Abby’s little boy, because part of my heart longed to turn the clock back so that I’d never relinquished my child in the first place. I took the bare truth of my soul and painted that longing into my character Tikah as she does the reprehensible.
Shocking, I know. I’m not saying my emotions were right or honorable. Emotions are emotions, but that’s what books are, a baring of the soul. Of course I didn’t take back my true-life child, and the Lord helped me through my heartache.

Thankfully, God didn’t leave me in my spiritual immaturity, and my second book Captured by Moonlight shows some of that spiritual growth.

One of my heroines, the beautiful Indian woman Eshana is living her Christian life, energized as she does the work she believes God has laid out for her. But then, her fanatical Hindu uncle pops out of the past and kidnaps her. He imprisons her in a ruined jungle palace, has her head shaved, her lovely saris taken away, and dressed in course white cotton like that of a Hindu widow. Though Eshana has been abandoned, the work she loves seemingly taken from her, she says the following, straight from my heart from my true life, “I will sing your praises, Lord. Though you have dressed me in funeral clothes, I will sing your praises with joy.” 

I could go on and on—how Veiled at Midnight shows what I learned the 2 years my brother lived with my husband and me, as my brother went through rehab for his alcoholism. This book breathes the message that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God.

The message of Londonderry Dreaming is to speak the truth in love, no matter how hard it hurts. And in the soon-to-be-released Sofi’s Bridge is about being true to the gifts God has placed in our souls. All deep spiritual and emotional lessons that I have learned in my true life.
God has done some amazing things for me. Sure, I’ve suffered, who doesn’t, but I’ve experienced that scintillating feeling when God makes everything new. That’s why I always write happy endings.

That’s also why 15 years since I first starting writing, I’m seeing my original dream come to pass. Remember that non-fiction book on my birth-mother experience that started it all? Well, it too is soon-to-be-released. But in all honesty, there is just as much of me in my fictional novels as there is in this account.

Hold tight to God, and believe in the ultimate happy ending for you through Jesus Christ.

Christine's previous appearance on Everyone's Story:
An Author Capturing The Heart Of Life

Christine's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Author Christine Lindsay @CLindsayWriter has a warning for writers! (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: Christine Lindsay @CLindsayWriter tells true scoop on her award-winning fiction (Tweet This)

Christine Lindsay @CLindsayWriter: What’s the 1 thing #writers & #readers need to hold onto? (Tweet This)

Authors' Bio:
Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that infamous ship.
Stories of Christine’s ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and newly released Veiled at Midnight. Christine has two new books coming out this year—Sofi’s Bridge, and the non-fiction story of her birth-mother experience, title still to come.

Places to connect with Christine:


  1. Sometimes I think God gets really amused when we think we won't bleed our emotions on the page. But once we get into our character's head, everything changes. I really enjoyed your interview and look forward to reading your books!

    1. Oh, Pat, Christine's stories are truly gripping. I'm sure you will enjoy them.

      I think that is what stops me from turning the page in some novels: no blood smears, as far as emotions that I can sink into and forget my own.

      As always, thanks for stopping by this evening.

    2. Christine, I must share that the first novel manuscript I completed
      came out of a need for catharsis over loss, but unlike yours, mine
      remains in a drawer, where it should be! J But it was a healing
      thing and there is something of us in each of our characters,
      isn't there? Thank you for sharing your heart here and in your
      fiction. I look forward to reading it.

      Elaine, another great post!

    3. Kathy, I'm glad you enjoyed Christine's feature. Thanks for visiting.

      Emotions and catharsis writing is a fascinating topic--at least for me. Over the past few years I've worked on and off on this one story that I know several readers may relate to, yet, despite many attempts at varying characters, plots, POV, and assorted other items, it's never taken off. Only recently have I realized that the premises is way too close to my own heart and I couldn't "loose" myself in the whirl and fun of writing. Lesson learnt!

    4. Thanks Patrica, I agree, the Lord must laugh at us sometimes.

  2. In preparing for the launch of my debut novel, I'm readying for the question: How much of the story is true to your life? It's not always an easy question, especially when you allow your main character to grow spiritually through your own mistakes. Thank you for your insight. I realize now that this is all a part of being a writer!

    1. I'm so glad you found Christine's message uplifting and encouraging, Sara. On one hand I think there's a fine line we writers draw up between our creativity and reality, but on the simultaneous side, I think that line morphs into chasms. Ha. I'm thinking perhaps only one writer can truly understand how another writer's mind--and heart--works.

    2. Hey dear Sara, I know what you mean. Granted we write only autobiographically to a point in fiction--the scenarios change, the circumstances we put our characters into, but I've found that most of what they learn spiritually has come from my own learning. In fact, my former counselor from the days I was going through some hard times emotionally mentioned that my own suffering is one of the things that the Lord used to make me the person I wanted to become, a writer.

  3. Christine, wonderful advise for writers. Our stories connect with our readers through the sharing of emotions, the challenges we face as the joy. God bless you, and I wish you continued success!

    1. Diana, it's always a pleasure to see you here! Thanks for sharing with Christine and me. It's been fun and a pure joy for me watching your and Christine's fiction careers take off happily crazy!

    2. Thank you Diana, yep, what's a book without emotion. And yet, my dear, dear critique partner author Rachel Phifer often holds me back from writing too purple. This is easy to slip into when we're writing emotion. Beware the purple. LOL

  4. You are so right, ladies, it's one thing to bleed all over our pages with our emotions, but unless we've reached a true stage of catharsis, then we need to hold on on publication until we do. In fact, that's one of the main points in the non-fiction I'm currently writing. The Lord held off on letting that book go out to the public until I reached a true stage of healing. Hope you'll look for that book when it comes out. It's my birth-mother experience.

    1. Christine, I've been wondering about the same thing (a healing stage; an even-more-than-I-thought-possible maturity moment) when it comes to my book-length fiction and God's timing.

  5. Thank you so much Elaine for that wonderful welcome. You made me laugh, and isn't laughter wonderful. Hugs for now.

    1. I'm smiling, Christine. Thanks go to you for those sweet memories.

  6. Christine, what are we going to do with you now that you've let "the cat out of the bag" that writers write autobiographically :) Seriously, you've blessed many, many people with your stories, and it's wonderful to see how God is blessing you and your writing.

    1. Kathy, I know how we can "deal" with Christine: eagerly wait to read her next book, and her next one, and her next…

      Nothing like sweet pressure, huh?

  7. Thanks so much, Christine Lindsay, for making this past week on Everyone's Story very wonderful! Your feature has already soared into the Top 10 of all-time viewer hits for this blog. I hope this blesses you with a growing and adoring readership.

    Blessings to all.


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