Where Readers & Writers Connect
Growing up as an terribly uncoordinated kid, I was scared of the baseball, volleyball, dodge ball in gym class—you name it—so naturally I didn’t like sports. But stories always grabbed me, and are my main form of entertainment in all forms——books, movies, theater.
What genres do you read most?
My literary tastes are eclectic to say the least, but in non-fiction I like biographies, true history, especially from the two World Wars. I also read a lot of Christian fiction, so no surprises then that I write Christian Historical Romance.
As for fiction, I also love gritty English murder mysteries and sweeping historical romances set in tragic times, such as war. While all these genres seem diametrically different, all categories take me out of the ordinary.
Life can be tough at times for everyone, so I want to read about a character who’s gone through extraordinary circumstances and come out the winner by sheer perseverance, pluck and faith.
One day when I was in the library looking for a good read, a lady recommended an author to me. She said she loved this particular book because it wasn’t really about anything, nothing much happened. Just sort of cosy. I smiled politely, feigning interest, but when she wasn’t looking, stuck the book back on the shelf. I for one do not want to read a book where nothing happens. I guess that’s why I write stories where big things do happen, where fully-fleshed out characters are taken to the end of their rope.
This is the case of my character, Abby Fraser, in Shadowed in Silk. At the end of WW1 she follows her husband out to India four years after their whirlwind wedding, but finds herself married to a brute. It’s not only a dilemma for Abby and her three-year-old son, but also for Major Geoff Richards, who wants to help this neglected and abused wife, but how can he? A nice Christian man can’t do much to help a woman in a sad marriage to another man. It’s a problem only God can solve. Set this dilemma at a time of rebellion in India along with gun-runners and Russian spies, and I think that spells a good yarn.
Who are your favorite authors, and what makes them special to you?
Top all-time favorite author is the great MM Kaye. Even Stephen King applauds her classic international best seller The Far Pavilions as a must-read. MM Kayes’s action/adventure set in India during the British Colonial reign is sweeping romance in epic form!!! Her books take me away in scenes that to this day remain vivid in my memory. Now that’s a book—something that stays with you for years.
Also, the Francine Rivers Mark of the Lion series for the same reason.
Someone said that to me about my own Shadowed in Silk, also set in India during British Raj days, that the story remained with them for months after they’d read it. I knew I’d done well as a writer when that happened. What thrilled me even more was that it was a man who said this.
When did you decide you wanted to write?
Just after the reunion with my birth-daughter—the child I relinquished to adoption. Wow, what a painful time in my life. I was sitting on the couch crying over the 20 year loss of the child I’d given up when my husband came to me with a brand new pen and journal, and said, “Here, write it.” My writing started out as a cathartic telling of my own story, but soon the joy of writing took over, and I discovered a new purpose in life that gave me tremendous satisfaction. That was over 12 years ago.
How many books have you written, and how many of them have been published?
The first two books of my Twilight of the British Raj series–-Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight—have been published by the traditional royalty-paying house, WhiteFire Publishing. I’m under contract to WhiteFire to write the last book which will be called Veiled at Midnight. This series takes the reader from the end of WW1 in India and all the tumultuous happenings in that exotic land at that time, up to the volatile splitting of India in 1947 when Britain granted them independence, and the brand new country of Pakistan was created out of the rubble.
The thing about India is you don’t have to work hard to drum up exciting events. Not only is India a fascinating land culturally speaking, but so exotic, it’s an easy place to set a romance.
It’s all thanks to the great MM Kaye, a writer who lived during the time of the British Raj of India, who saw some amazing changes in history during her lifetime. I wanted to sweep readers away just like she swept me away all those years ago.
These are my published books, but in all, I’ve written a total of 5 books and the outlines for 2 more.
How do you prepare to write a book? Did you do any special research?
While MM Kaye was a huge influence in my life because of the fact that she wrote amazing books, I was also inspired by ancestors of mine who served as British cavalry officers during England’s reign over India.
But I still did an enormous amount of research. It’s a good thing I enjoy reading historical non-fiction. For Shadowed in Silk I read the autobiographies of military men in the British Cavalry, and even cookbooks written by women who lived there during those times.
For Captured by Moonlight I read several biographies of the true-life characters that walk through some of my scenes. To name a few, Gandhi, and Dr. Ida Skudder who in the beginning of the last century built the largest and greatest hospital in Southeast Asia to this day. I also researched the lives of other great India Christians, such as Pandita Ramabai who was awarded several medals from Britain and India in her work for Indian women and children. Ramabai was a great woman before her time, in working toward women’s rights.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Captured by Moonlight is the sequel to Shadowed in Silk and features two characters from Book I who simply leapt off the pages and demanded that I tell their stories too.
The teaser for Captured by Moonlight is—From the parched north to the tropics of Madras, follow Eshana and Laine as they journey as prisoners—one to a lurking danger, one to her own broken hopes.
Laine and Eshana must get out of the north of India right away. The police are looking for them because they rescued two young girls from the sex trade. But in the south of India where they expect to be safe, Eshana is kidnapped by her Hindu relatives who are angry that she is no longer living like a Hindu. While Eshana is kept literally as a prisoner for several months, Laine is kept as a prisoner of her broken dreams when she runs into the man who ended their engagement during the war.
Captured by Moonlight is two romances in one. Also throw in a cholera epidemic, a cyclone, a tiger, and again, I think this book can sweep a reader away.
How do you get an idea for a book?
I fall in love with a story idea or a captivating hero or heroine, such as the case of Laine Harkness and Eshana.
But in the case of Captured by Moonlight, it was the title of an old classic that got my brain whirring. That book was Love in the Time of Cholera. While I didn’t really enjoy reading this old classic, I wanted to write my own romance around its title. And that’s what Captured by Moonlight is…love in the time of cholera.
Why do you write?
Because I love it, and I must. I hope to give readers the kind of experience I’m looking for in a book . . . that of being swept away.
Christine Lindsay writes historical inspirational novels with strong love stories, but she doesn’t classify them as straight romances. Nor does she shy away from difficult topics such as spousal abuse in her debut novel, Shadowed in Silk, or the sex trade in Southeast Asia in Captured by Moonlight. Christine takes pride in her Irish roots. Her great grandfather and grandfather worked as riveters in the Belfast shipyard. One of the ships her ancestors helped build was the Titanic. On her mother’s side it was stories of ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India that seeded Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj and became the stimulus for her Twilight of the British Raj series. The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home where she lives with her husband, David, and they enjoy the visits from their adult children and grandchildren.
To keep updated on Christine, check her website: ChristineLindsay.com
Christine is giving away a Ebook copy of Shadowed in Silk, and an Ebook copy of Captured by Moonlight.