I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Author Interview: Christine Lindsay (& Book Giveaway)

Author Christine Lindsay visits with us today. Her book Shadowed in Silk (WhiteFire Publishing) debuted this month. I've enjoyed getting to know Christine as we chatted via e-mails. Shadowed in Silk, winner of the 2009 ACFW Genesis for Historical Novel, tells the story of Abby Fraser, an American living in Colonial India:
She was invisible to those who should have loved her.
After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British Army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women . . . but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.

Why this story, Shadowed in Silk?
As a British immigrant, I grew up on stories of the British Raj, which is a fascinating time in history. A time of glittering English pomp in Colonial England, which is swashbuckling with cavalry officers in great military exploits, and their English wives and sweethearts living in such a trying and exotic place. For the British, this was as exciting a time as the wild west was to the U.S.
But combining my fascination with this era, is the desire to tell a story about a woman who feels invisible because she is unloved. So many people feel that way, and I want them to learn what my character, Abby, learns -- that God sees her and hears her when it appears no one else does.

So what's your backstory? (I can read your bio--what's left out?)
I too grew up feeling a bit invisible. My alcoholic father preferred the bottle to caring for his children and was abusive to my mother. Much of how Abby feels when her husband Nick mistreats her is taken from watching my own mother suffer through an abusive marriage.
I also felt invisible to my first child. I was unmarried when I gave birth to her. Wanting the very best for her, I chose to relinquish her to adoption when she was 3 days old. Then for the next 20 years, I prayed the Lord would allow us to have some sort of relationship unique to birth-mother and birth-child.
God is so very faithful. He not only blessed me with a wonderful husband afterwards, but filled my empty arms with our three children. And 20 years later, He did allow Sarah and I to meet.

Your daughter, Sarah, is the model for the cover of Shadowed in Silk, as well as the book trailer. Would you share this story with us?
After my birth-daughter, Sarah, and I were reunited when she was 20 years old, I began to re-live the loss of relinquishing her in the first place. I would always love her with the love of a mother. But to Sarah, I was this stranger that she had no relationship with. Our feelings for each other were terribly lop-sided. To make things harder, Sarah's adoptive parents were very upset that I had searched for Sarah. They would have preferred that I stayed out of the picture entirely.
My husband and the Lord encouraged me to write out the emotional pain of this rejection. So Sarah became my muse. Over time, I developed my writing skills and the relationship between Sarah and I evened out into a very close friendship -- that of an aunt and niece. When Whitefire Publishing was looking for the right model for the front of my debut novel, the photos of models they sent me reminded me of Sarah. On a whim, I suggested her as our model.
When Whitefire saw the pictures of Sarah, they agreed she was beautiful. And Sarah, bless her heart, agreed to be the model to help promote my writing ministry. I was overwhelmed with how God used Sarah to start me writing in the first place -- and then to put her pretty face on the front cover and the book trailer. Only a tender-hearted God could arrange something like that.




Everyone's talking ACFW right now. Any tips for how to get the most out of writers conferences?
I've only been to one ACFW conference and I pray each year I can return. It was wonderful. My advice is to go and just have fun. You will learn so much your head will feel stuffed. Go to the appointments with the editors and agents, but try to not stress over them. God will unfold your writing career in the right timing, which may not match the timeline you have planned.

When you're stuck--call it Writer's Block or plain ol' frustration with your characters--what's your never-failed-you-yet way out?
Take a prayer walk or a long drive with my husband. He often has the answer to my plot snags, and the long drive gives me time and quiet just to think.

What's in your To Be Read (TBR ) pile?
Sandi Rog's Yashua's Bridge and JoAnn Durgin's Awakening.

If not a writer -- then what?
Put my energies into teaching Sunday School. Or do volunteer work for Children's Camps International.


I can't wait to read Christine's book! Leave a comment or question below for Christine for a chance to win a copy of Shadowed in Silk.





16 comments:

  1. This is a touching interview and redemptive testimony. Also can't wait to read this book set in such a rich story world. May there be more far-reaching results.

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  2. There was so much more I could have added to Christine's interview. There's so much depth to her writing. My own editing commitments have delayed my reading of Shadowed in Silk, but it's made it to the top of my To Be Read (TBR) pile!

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  3. Thank you both for your so encouraging comments. I hope that Shadowed in Silk does have far-reaching results. I pray every day that the Lord will use it to help others come to know Him a little better. SiS is a story of redemptive love. It's a love story between a man and a woman, but also the love of friends, especially friends who may not share the same skin tone, but who share the love of the Lord.

    Blessings on you today. I'll check back a little later for any new comments or responses, or any new questions. :o)

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  4. PS If anyone would like to read more about my personal story of giving my child up for adoption and our emotional reunion, the entire story can be found on my blog. Just go to my website, and that will lead you to my blog, and it's called the Adoption chapters down on the right hand side.

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  5. Thank you for your transparancy Christine. Your story (both your personal one and the book) will help readers and writers deal with their challenges. You are a champion!

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  6. Christine, Thank you for sharing your journey of God's mercy and generosity. You sought a relationship with your daughter and, not only did God give you one, He also gave you a book contract. How awesome! I hope your novel outsells your biggest expectations.

    Wonderful interview, Beth!

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  7. " Only a tender-hearted God..." Indeed. I received such wonderful encouragement from this beautiful post. Sorry a day late, but right on time for me :)

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  8. Christine, such a beautiful story. Great takeaway--that God sees her and hears her when it appears no one else does. I've been intrigued by your story since I first heard about it. I need to order it from Amazon. Congratulations on God's working in your writing.

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  10. Wow, both your book and your personal story sound so wonderful, Christine. Thanks for sharing with us! And thanks for bringing us the interview, Beth

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  11. Thank you for the interview with Christine. I've read several interviews and reviews of this book and am intrigued by it. It is wonderful how God worked things out to reunite Christine and Sarah. What a blessing that Sarah could model for the cover and book trailer.
    I'd be very happy to win a copy of Shadowed in Silk.
    Thanks,
    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  12. I've heard so much about this and am excited to read it.

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

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  13. Hi Christine~

    I just finished reading your personal adoption testimony over on your blog. It was especially interesting to me since I am adopted. Like the people you overheard talking, when asked if I've ever wanted to find my biological parents, I answer that I've never really been interested. This is NOT because they mean nothing to me, but because I respect the choice they made and I wouldn't want to intrude on the lives they've made for themselves. (For instance, what if I'm a secret--they've married and had kids and no one in the family knows about me?) Also, even though (like Anne) my mom said she'd be happy to help me look, I know she would be devastated by that search...it would be like I was saying she wasn't enough of a mom. She has done so much for me, I could never do that to her. Also like Sarah, I have absolutely wonderful adoptive parents whom I adore who told me my adoption early and often. I've always known I was adopted, and I've always felt special, not angry or abandoned.

    That being said, I really appreciated hearing your story. It gave me a glimpse into the "other side" of my life. Since it took my biological mother a MONTH to sign the papers, I have always known she struggled. Then, when I became a mother, I understood the depth of the sacrifice she made for me. I have always said that if she wanted to find/meet me, I would be open to it, but I'm almost 43 so who knows? I pray for her often, especially since I have no idea if she is saved. With my birthday approaching, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to see into your heart, your journey, and your reunion story. I see so much of myself and my mom in Sarah and Anne, so it is easy to imagine (especially with my imagination!!**) a biological mother with a heart like yours. It gives me new ways to pray for her, so thank you. If Shadowed in Silk is half as good as your Adoption story, I will thoroughly enjoy reading it!

    **When I was in the 7th grade, I was convinced that Sting (of the music group The Police) was my biological father. Did he fit any of the stats I was given? No. Did that stop me from writing him a letter to inform him he had a daughter in eastern Washington? Nope. LOL, an only child with a wild imagination, a lot of free time, and a best friend who encouraged every crazy idea I ever had...I guess I was destined to be a writer!!

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  14. Somehow I missed the video clip yesterday but just watched--it is powerful, very well selected and executed. Now I really, really want to read the book, soon!

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  15. Wow, I am totally blown away by all the encouraging comments from the guests on this blog. Thank you so much. My heart is really overflowing to think that God may have used my personal story or my fictional work to encourage others in their faith.

    Because God has been so good to me in my life, by turning the heartahces around to something good, I just have to write true and fictional stories to show this.

    There are times I have doubted, when going through hard times in my youth. But as I've got older and can see the path behind me, I can see the tenderness of God's love.

    Never doubt. It may be hard to see through the pain at times, but He will bring you through it. And He will make up for all the heartaches.

    I know. I'm a walking buildboard of God's kindness.

    Hugs to all.

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  16. Heidi, you have blessed my heart in such a way, it's hard to express. I'm so glad Sarah's and my story encouraged you a little bit.

    First of all I praise God that He placed you in such a loving home, with the parents He chose for you. One of my favorite verses (I think it's in Isaiah or Psalms maybe) is that He places the lonely in families.

    As you are very well aware of, adoption stories are as different as the individuals involved. And each reunion just as varied.

    I'm sure your prayers for your birth-mother are being answered by the Lord. Reunion isn't for everyone. And while my own with Sarah was wonderful in many respects, it was still as hard on me emotionally as the relinquishment was. And on her adoptive parents, and consequently on Sarah too.

    But....when you get down to it, relinquishment of a child is heart and soul-breaking for most women. It changes us from the inside out.

    Though, while it was the hardest thing I've ever experienced, I don't regret it now. I did for a while during our reunion. But I've seen God use mine and Sarah's story for His glory, and to show the sweetness of His love. For that, I consider all the emotional pain worth it. And so does Sarah.

    On a personal level, I would have done anything to have kept Sarah. But I felt God's instructions so clearly while I held her in the hospital when she was a baby. I could not refuse such a strong sense of His direction.

    I felt from the beginning that He was going to use the experience and the story. And I'm so delighted that Sarah joins me in that encouragement we hope to give others by our story.

    That's Sarah's prayer as well as mine.

    Hugs to you, and to all adoptees, and to adoptive parents as well as birth-parents. Isaiah 49:15, 16A is the verse of my heart.

    Adoption is an experience that plums the depths of God's love.

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