Novel Rocket: THE PASSIONATE PEN - by Christine Lindsay

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

THE PASSIONATE PEN - by Christine Lindsay


Christine Lindsay writes inspirational historical novels with big love stories, and she is proud of her Irish roots. Her great grandfather and grandfather worked as riveters in the Belfast shipyard, and one of the ships they helped build was the Titanic. Another ancestor served in the British Cavalry in India, seeding Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj and became the stimulus for her series Twilight of the British Raj, and her debut novel, SHADOWED IN SILK. Her current release CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT is Book 2 of that series.

THE PASSIONATE PEN

I started drafting my article for Novel Rocket on the following, and then decided to scratch it out: What’s a writer to do? Work for years to get noticed by a top-notch agent, then a big Christian publisher? Self publish? Send your manuscripts to smaller presses? The new consensus is that all of these choices are good to develop a writer’s career. But most especially write for the market.

Thing is—the above is an excellent topic, but it’s been done by experts. So today, I’m going to tell you instead about my passionate pen. Because I’ve seen God do more with my passion than in what seems to work for the market.

But we have to look first at what your goal is—what do you consider success? What is your passion? Do you want God to pave the way for your ministry/career, or are you out there to be the next Francine Rivers? I say this with all love and respect because Francine Rivers is a lovely, Godly writer, and I’m a huge, huge fan. If you ask anyone who reads Christian books they will mention her Mark of the Lion series as the greatest in Christian fiction, and in many ways Francine’s novels busted out the whole genre of Christian fiction. But Francine also sold a lot—a lot—of books. She’s famous.

So here’s my question to you—do you want to sell books like Francine Rivers?

Or do you want to be like Francine Rivers, the author with “The Purified Pen”?

A number of years ago I read an article written by Francine Rivers in the Charles Stanley monthly devotional magazine In Touch. My dog-eared copy of that article—which I cannot locate at the moment but I’m sure is in a box of old books somewhere—has stayed in my mind for years.

In that article, Francine talked about her romance writing career up to the point where she felt God calling her to purify her pen and write for Him. She also spoke of how she and her husband would wake up around 5 a.m. each day and start things off by reading the Bible and praying together.

It’s amazing how some things stick in your head. All these years after reading that devotional article, I continue to think so often about how early Francine Rivers gets up in the morning to start her devotions with the Lord. But this passion on her part to put God first is my measure of a successful author. God called this humble woman to a specific path of work, and she responded in love and obedience.
What is God calling you to do?

Write Christian novels?

Have a successful ministry/career?

Or is He calling you to love Him? And if you love Him, are you doing what He asked? Are you feeding His sheep? Feeding His lambs?

These thoughts are on my mind a great deal these days. With my second book out I was eligible to join Christian Authors Network, and I’m learning so much about marketing from a bunch of awesome, talented, but oh-so-generous, authors. I’m making friends with people left right and center through Book Club Network, another bunch of truly lovely Christian people who want to promote Christian Fiction. I’m a long time member of ACFW and am currently judging the Genesis. Also I’m working about 80% of my time on marketing, so there’s little time left to actually write the next book.
Whew. Stop. I’m running out of breath just talking about all that.

It’s time to be still . . . and know that He is God. What is God calling me to do? What is my passion?
As I take time to be quiet and listen, to truly love Him, I turn around and find that He has helped me with the marketing in some aspect I could never have imagined. I’m not a big name out there. I still don’t make any money. After I do my taxes I’m still in the red as an author. But I’m at peace.

It doesn’t matter if I sell as many books as our beloved Francine Rivers. Maybe I only sell one, and that one book leads a soul to Christ. That would be a treasure greater than all the book sales in the world.
I’ve even said a number of times in my prayers, “Lord, if you were to make me the next secular blockbuster novelist, and I earned millions, and failed to obey You, it would all be worthless.”

And, Francine Rivers may blush when she reads this, but it’s true. I’ve even said to the Lord, “If You made me the next Francine Rivers in becoming a great Christian author—a noble aspiration—and I had a line of books that preached the gospel message, and I failed to love You first, even that would be worthless.”

Thank you, Francine Rivers, for being such an inspiration to so many. Thank you for being obedient to our God, and for being such a good example to Christian writers everywhere.

Our passion must be our love of God. Don’t let our wonderful ministries (maybe the very thing He’s called you to do) come between you and Him. Don’t let the passion for your work overshadow the passion for your God.

He may even ask you one day, “Put down your pen, dear one, and pick up another tool for another kind of work.”

Do you love Him enough to obey, to give up your passion to write? Don’t worry, whatever He calls you to do, you can be sure He will provide the passion.

And if He wants you to keep writing, let your pen become purified like Francine River’s, and let it become a passionate pen for Christ.

Captured by Moonlight

Prisoners to their own broken dreams…

After a daring rescue goes awry, Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana flee to the tropical south of India…and headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancĂ© is the owner…but fun-loving Laine refuses to let Adam crush her heart like he had years ago.

Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts freedom will ever be hers again, much less the forbidden love that had begun to flower.

Amid cyclones, epidemics, and clashing faiths, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?


22 comments :

  1. I love your cover, Christine! And the passion you put in your stories. :)

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    1. Thank you Ane. God has been so very good to me.

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  2. Beautiful article. Thanks for the reminder, Christine. It's easy to lose sight of what's important in this business.

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    1. Thank you Dina, I know that you too share the same beliefs about what and how we write. So happy about the news of your next book coming out.

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  3. OH, AMEN, Christine -- PREACH IT, my friend!!! Your article could be my mantra and, I suspect, that of every author out there!!

    Beautifully said.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Thank you Julie. Ain't it the truth!!! Blessings.

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  4. Wonderful post, Christine, and the thoughts are so close to my heart these day. Thank you for the perfect encouragement. Lord Bless you.

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    1. Thanks Naomi. Like Julie said, it's pretty much what all authors go through and think. We really just want to be obedient to God, and help others come to love Him. Blessings on your wonderful writing ministry.

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  5. Our "doing" must never replace our "being." Thank you for this beautiful post, Christine. The timing is of God.

    Bless you!

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    1. Thank you Cathy. Yes, you said it beautifully. Our doing must never replace our being. I love that verse, in Him I live and move and have my being. Blessings on you.

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  6. Christine, you have expressed this so well. Our purpose is to do His will and to please Jesus. Everything else is secondary.

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    1. thank you Wendy. It's easy to get caught up in the journey or the gifts and forget the Giver. Blessings on your writing day.

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  7. Lovely, pertinent thoughts, Christine. As a writer of crossover fiction, I feel a huge burden to seek His face for my work because I never want the Lord to say, "Oops, you missed the call on that one." (If God uses words like "oops"!)

    Thank you for the reminder of what's important: crawling into His lap that He might reveal His purpose in us and through us.

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  8. Great post, Christine! Thanks for the much needed reminder! :)

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  9. Christine, heartfelt thanks for this extraordinary, fresh perspective.

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  10. Beautiful post, my friend! I share your sentiments but never would have stated it as well as you. I'll be honest: sometimes it's difficult to keep your eye on the ultimate purpose and the right perspective when you get bogged down in all the day-to-day "stuff" of marketing, judging contests, writing blogs, editing, working on the WIP, reviews and everything else. I have to remind myself I write outside-the-box not as well-suited for the big publishers. But I write as I feel the Lord leads. He's given me this passion to show others through my characters and stories the love, hope, redemption, mercy and GRACE to be found in a relationship with Christ. Bottom line: if I make an impact on one life (as you've said), it's worth it all. My prayer is I never forget that. Blessings to you as YOU write (so very well) for His glory!

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    1. JoAnn, you are such a blessing. And God uses your writing in extraordinary ways.

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  11. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

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  12. Thank you every one for your kind words. I have to admit, it was also a fun article to write. But all true. Blessings on your writing.

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  13. Christine, This sure hits home - and not in a good way. When a deadline loomed and I became irritable, I realized the best seller list wouldn't mean anything if I'd lost my family in the effort. Keeping Jesus first prioritizes everything in my life! Thank you for these thought-provoking words - and your great stories!

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  14. I am AMAZED. I too have prayed, "Lord let me be a writer like Francine Rivers or even better..." I loved what you said. And I would say, "But don't take Your Spirit from me, keep me in Your presence. For Your ways are better than mine, Your love is better than Life itself."
    I appreciate the article. Keep writing and listening to the Lord.

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  15. I was far from writing a book until I listened to Francine Rivers speak at our church's women's retreat many years ago. After that I read every book of hers I could get my hands on and got inspired to take writing seriously. It might sound strange to some, but I used to think Christians only wrote devotionals. Francine proved me wrong big time. The thing I remember most from that retreat was her saying how important it is for her readers to be truly excited about God's Word. If I remember correctly, she used the words "fall in love" with God's Word. Now what Christian in their right mind wouldn't want to read her books?

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