Today we’re pleased to welcome Christine Lindsay to the 20QS spotlight.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Being born in Ireland I didn’t have to kiss the Blarney Stone to inherit the gift of the gab. The desire to spin stories came naturally even after my family immigrated to Canada in the ’60’s. Tales of my Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired my multi-award-winning trilogy Twilight of the British Raj. While I prefer novels steeped in accurate historical facts I also enjoy using my Irish wit. It’s good to giggle as well as being swept away with romance. But to me romance is even better when I can whisk the reader to a gorgeous place where the setting becomes a character too. My preference in romance is the long emotional build up so that characters feel so real they could step from the page. I think heart-pounding emotion in the depths of a person’s soul is far more compelling than explicit scenes. That’s why I write what I call big love stories within the Christian romance genre.
Sofi’s Bridge is about: Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium — a whitewashed term for an insane asylum — so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener, continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.
3. Please share a little about your previous books.
My historical trilogy, Twilight of the British Raj, won multiple awards and is set in Colonial India when it was ruled by England. While these three books — Shadowed in Silk, Captured by Moonlight, and Veiled at Midnight — are in the historical romance genre they are love stories with deep issues such as spousal abuse, the abuse of Hindu widows and children, and racial bias to name a few. But don’t let the dark subjects scare you. I believe in offering hope and joy in each situation, so there’s plenty of romance and even laughter. I love multi-layers to my full-length novels.
Londonderry Dreaming is a contemporary, sweet romance set in Ireland, and Sofi’s Bridge offers an Irish hero to help out a Seattle beauty.
4. Have you always written in the romance genre?
Yes, I love romance novels within the Christian genre and outside of it. My favorite current day authors are Kate Morton and Susanna Kearsley. So Romance is my main genre and the one I will continue to write in. However, I do have one non-fiction book coming out August 2016. Finding Sarah, Finding Me: A Birthmother’s Story is my true-life account as a woman who relinquished her first child to adoption and was reunited with 20 years later. This personal heartache is what compelled me to start writing in the first place.
In my novels I incorporate what I like to call those big love stories, but I also include those other types of love, such as between mother and child, or friends, or family, which is why I love Kate Morton so much. I love LOVE, and am not ashamed to admit it. But for fun, I really just love a romance that makes my toes curl.
5. What or who inspired you to be a writer?
After I was reunited with my birthdaughter in 1999 I began to relive the original loss of relinquishing her to adoption in the first place. My husband found me crying one day and went out to the store. He returned a while later with a brand new pen and journal, and said, “Here honey, write it.”
A few years later after I had found peace over my heartache I felt God nudge me to put the spiritual and emotional healing I had received into Christian fiction that just might encourage others. While I don’t believe in preaching in my novels, I do gently share my faith. However, my readers who do not share my faith, say they enjoy my books and appreciate my respect for all cultures.
6. Where in the world are you?
I live on the west coast of Canada, a day’s drive from the stupendous Canadian Rockies, and an hour’s drive from the Cascade Mountains which also bridge the US and Canada. The Cascades are the setting for Sofi’s Bridge, and I use one of my favorite places in the world for one of the romance scenes in that book. It is the alpine meadow high up in the mountains overlooking majestic turquoise glaciers.
7. What do you love best about being a writer?
If I didn’t tell stories, something within my psyche would die. I simply must tell stories. I love to develop my characters and find their story that will connect with my readers’ lives. I love to create those fictional settings inspired by my own travels so that I can take my reader along with me on a little trip to a beautiful part of the world. I love to give my readers that “ah ha” moment and that sigh of contentment when they reach “The End.”
8. What’s the biggest challenge being a writer?
Marketing. Oh I would much rather just write the books, but sadly we writers have to do the marketing thing and try to gain the attention of readers in a world of many, many books.
9. What’s your favorite romance trope?
The broken romance that gets a second chance. Rediscovered love to me is so exciting.
10. What’s your typical writing day like?
With a nice cup of tea on the table beside me, I sit down on the sofa with my laptop and after checking on my social media and correspondence I start to write. Once I get into my story, I prefer to only get up to move every hour or so to throw in a load of laundry or wash a few dishes, but stay within my story world. I can do that until 6 p.m. when I make dinner for my hubby and me. Then we relax in the evening.
11. Where do you usually write?
I used to have an office but gave that up so my dear husband could have a man-cave. I like our bright living room anyway, and just have everything set up. So easy with a laptop.
12. When you’re writing, is it coffee, tea, soda, or water?
As a self-respecting Irish person, I drink strong tea with milk.
13. Do you have other creative outlets? If so, what?
My garden is not only another artistic outlet, but also great exercise. If you read any of my books you’ll soon see that I love nature, not only flowers and vegetation but critters as well. There are usually special animals in my books, such as Major Geoff Richard’s cavalry steed in Shadowed in Silk, a tiger cub in Captured by Moonlight, and Sofi’s Bridge has a black and white Springer Spaniel.
14. What books are you reading now?
I am re-reading Kate Morton’s The Lake House. Love Kate Morton, and I’m finishing up Susanna Kearsley’s Marianne.
15. Name three of your favorite television shows.
“NCIS,” “NCIS New Orleans,” “Code Black”
16. If you could have dinner with any author — living or dead — who would it be and what would be on the menu?
I would love to have dinner with my all-time favorite British author MM Kaye, who wrote the epic blockbuster Far Pavilions and who is the inspiration behind my trilogy Twilight of the British Raj. MM Kaye died in 2004 but her huge romance novels set in exotic India are what I shoot for in my own writing. I’d love to have some Indian food that both she and I would really tuck into.
17. If you couldn’t be an author, what other job would you choose?
Before I started writing I used to draw and paint. If I couldn’t write, I would take up painting with acrylics. But the artistic eye for setting and scene is visible in my writing.
18. What are you working on next?
I have just begun to write a new series of books set in the US and in Ireland that braids romance from current day and the past. I’m very excited about this new series as it will take readers to the areas in Ireland that I know well such as the majestic Antrim Coast in the north.
19. Anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you so much for taking time to read about my books. I would love to invite you to check me out as an author by reading the first chapters of all my books for free on my website page Christine’s Books.
20. How can people find out more about you?
Photos courtesy of the author.
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