Thursday, October 13, 2011

Debut Author Spotlight ... Christine Lindsay

by Christine Lindsay

My writing journey was birthed through the sense of loss.

After a 20-year separation, my birth-daughter Sarah and I were reunited. But her adoptive parents were heart-broken that I wanted to be a part of their child’s life after all these years. They couldn’t bear to meet me.

As for me—seeing the beautiful grown-up woman Sarah had become brought back all the pain of relinquishing her in the first place.

For months after the reunion I cried when the friendship I’d prayed for seemed as far away as it had been all the years of our closed adoption.

My husband came to me one day with a brand new pen and journal, and said, “Write it.”

That journal grew into a book, and I felt the call to put the emotional healing I had received from God into fiction.

Back then I didn’t know there was such a thing as ‘purple prose’. And I had the disease bad. I started to learn the craft through courses, attending conferences, joining critique groups . . .  I took my non-fictional, birth-mother story and set it in a romantic suspense.

I thought it was wonderful . . . until I sent it to an agent.

The 4 years I’d spent on learning the craft were only the beginning. Thankfully this agent saw some promise in my writing, and after a 6 month re-write they signed me and my manuscript.

My family and I rejoiced. “Publication won’t be long now.”

I didn’t know then how slowly the world of literature turns as my agent shopped out my book. Molasses in January is an over-used metaphor, but accurate. Two years later my agent broke the news to me that my first manuscript needed to be shelved . . . for now.

But as my agent had been shopping out that first book I had been busy writing. My second book would be more like a novel I liked to read. Similar to those by my favorite secular author, MM Kaye, who wrote the block-buster novel Far Pavilions in the 70’s. But I wanted to write my ‘British Raj’ novel from a Christian viewpoint.  Three years of research later, while working full-time and writing at night, I had another completed manuscript.

Again, I thought it was wonderful. And again, my agent thought it needed work. At this discouraging time someone suggested I join the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Through ACFW I met the critique partner that is my dearest writing friend to this day. Over the next year Rachel Phyfer helped me polish my British Raj novel.

But by now I’d been writing close to 7 years, and battled frequently with the question—had I heard God’s call to write? I’d turned down promotions and dropped down to part-time work because I felt writing was my priority. But had all this been merely my vain imagination?

Each day during my prayer time I hold this desire to write out on my open palm. But in 2008 I asked the Lord to either take it away or send me something super clear to encourage me to persevere.

That’s the year I won a scholarship to the ACFW conference.

There I met other writers, and got to know Rachel better. She encouraged me to enter the Genesis contest the following year. I did, and to my utter shock won the Gold Genesis for historical novel for 2009. Golden Keyes Parsons accepted on my behalf.

I thought for sure winning the Genesis would ease my way into publication. And it did open up opportunities. Major houses read my novel, other agents were interested. But alas, my setting in India didn’t appeal, and some editors thought my story leaned slightly toward the edgy Christian category.

By the fall of 2010 I received my final rejection. I’d been writing seriously for 10 years, and thought that was the end.

But one October morning I opened up an email. WhiteFire Publishing, a small and new house felt I had written a powerful story of redemptive love, and they loved the setting of India.

This last year has been a whirlwind. I’ve seen the Lord arrange for my birth-daughter Sarah to be the model on the front cover of my book. My kids and family are delighted.

My husband just grins and says, “I told you so.”

It’s been a long journey. Twelve years since I was reunited with Sarah and wrote out my pain in a journal, to getting an email from Sarah the other day that she received her copy of Shadowed in Silk in the mail.

Just another of those sweet serendipitous things God does to encourage me to persevere. My birth-daughter got to hold my literary baby before I did.

He does make dreams come true. Don’t give up!

You can find out more about Christine's inspiring adoption story on her website:

Christine also visited Spire Reviews back in May and told the beautiful story behind her cover:
*Warning - you may need to have tissues handy*

by Christine Lindsay

WhiteFire Publishing
335 pages

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.

Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.

Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.

Click here for Amazon Reviews

Christine Lindsay is an award-winning writer of Christian Inspirational Historicals. Shadowed in Silk is her debut novel, which won the 2009 ACFW Genesis award in the historical category. Christine, her husband, and their grownup family live in British Columbia, Canada. She loves being Nana to her three little grandsons.


  1. Christine,

    Thank you for stopping by Spire Reviews once again. And again you've shared a very inspiring story. You're proof that pressing on to toward the goal to which God has called us is worth the wait.

    I look forward to reading SHADOWED IN SILK.


  2. What an inspirational story of perseverance! God's timing is always perfect. Congratulations, Christine, and thank you for sharing your journey. I couldn't agree with your advice more: Never, ever, EVER give up!

  3. Hi Brenda, Diana, and Nicole. Thank you all for your enocuraging words. I am amazed constantly at the Lord's goodness. Sure there are times when we cannot see the evidence of our faith, but if we persevere and wait on Him, sure enough we see His tender and loving reward.