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 fiancé 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?