Christine Lindsay’s tag line is “Giving hope and strengthening faith,” which she does through richly-written historical fiction and a contemporary romance novella, Londonderry Dreaming. Her most recent release is Veiled at Midnight, a novel filled with historical drama and with timeless human struggles. Read on…
Janet: Welcome, Christine, and thanks for taking time to join us. Your book Captured by Moonlight was the 2014 winner of Canada’s The Word Guild Award for historical. Did you enter your latest novel, Veiled at Midnight, in that contest?
Christine: Sadly, Janet, I missed the deadline to enter Veiled at Midnight for The Word Guild this year. Oh well. But what an honor it was last year for Captured by Moonlight to win in my category, and congratulations to you for Heaven’s Prey being a finalist in the suspense category.
Janet: Thanks! What’s the most exciting thing for you right now?
Christine: To be honest, the most exciting thing is watching my youngest son who is 26 falling in love with a beautiful girl. When our kids grow into the adults God wants them to be, it’s so exciting. My son is a musician and a graduate of Briercrest Theological College, and is currently the lead guitarist in a worship band. His young lady is exactly what I have been praying for my son Rob for years.
Janet: What’s your biggest challenge right now?
Christine: Trying to balance two part-time jobs, promote Veiled at Midnight that was recently released, do edits for my publisher on a historical romance called Sofi’s Bridge that will be coming out later this year, and trying to write my non-fiction book that has a looming deadline. My non-fiction book is about the relinquishment of my first child to adoption in 1979 and our painful reunion in 1999, and to the relationship we currently have that is sweetened by the love of God.
Janet: That’s enough to keep you busy! Tell us a bit about Veiled at Midnight.
Christine: Veiled at Midnight is the third and final installment of my series Twilight of the British Raj. This third book has a hard act to follow because Book 1 Shadowed in Silk won the ACFW Genesis, The Grace Award, and was a finalist for Readers’ Favorite. Book 2 Captured by Moonlight won The Word Guild Award and was finalist for Readers’ Favorite and the Grace Award.
As a finale Veiled at Midnight is quite explosive and passionate in my opinion. When you write a series you get really invested in the characters. While each book can stand alone in this series, many of the main characters pop up in the following books.
In Veiled at Midnight we find the little boy Cam from Book 1 is now an adult and struggling with the alcoholism he seems to have inherited from his natural father. Cam is also in love with a beautiful Indian woman he’s known since childhood. But as a high-ranking officer in the British army and having the prestigious position of aide to the last British Viceroy to India, Cam must fight against racial bias to marry the love of his life. Or will he?
Janet: Where did the story idea come from?
Christine: Two things—first of all I wanted to have a more redemptive story for a person struggling with addiction. The ending to book 1 Shadowed in Silk was good, but there were things I wanted to say further. There are a lot of people in this world suffering because either they have addictions or the people they love do.
Secondly, my series starts off in 1919 with India’s first real attempt for independence from the oppressive British rule. I had to finish the series off when Britain did relinquish her strangle hold on India in 1947. What a flamboyant time in history!!! It was great doing the research of Lord Louis Mountbatten and his wife Lady Edwina, and all that they did to help the Indian people through that terrible time called the Partition.
Janet: Do you have a favourite character in the story?
Christine: So hard to choose. I love them all, especially my main characters Cam and Dassah, and then Cam’s sister Miriam and the man she’s falling in love with, Jack Sunderland, but there is a secondary character that snuck up and stole my heart.
Reverend Alan Callahan. At first this character was only going to be a foil to help Cam through his alcoholism, but as Alan’s character developed he made me laugh. He’s a tall, lanky, Anglican vicar, with a slightly longish nose, threadbare suit, and always in need of a haircut. He rides out on his horse into the Himalayan foothills to visit his parishes. Alan used to be the vicar of a large English church back in Britain, until he lost his parish because of his drinking problem.
After Alan conquered his addiction he took on missionary service in India and has remained happy ever since. When Alan meets Cam, his beautiful ecclesiastical elocution and precise annunciation deliver really scathing but hilarious rebukes—real zingers—to Cam. Alan is a hoot, and a man who doesn’t even realize he’s lonely for female companionship.
Janet: Alan is a fun character. Sometimes I think the secondary ones have a little more freedom to push the boundaries, because they’re not on the page often enough for readers to become tired of them. What’s the novel’s theme?
Christine: The theme is found in the main scripture verse Romans 8:38, 39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Because this book is set during the Partition of India and the country of Pakistan being carved out of India, the theme is all about separation. Families are being torn apart and separated due to the horrific political and religious conflict of Muslims and Hindus. But so is Cam being separated from the woman he loves due to racial bigotry, the conflict around them, and due to his drinking problem, and from his seeming embarrassment that she is Indian.
Cam, Dassah, as well as Miriam have to learn that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, not even our own sin or addictions.
Janet: Is there another title in the works?
Christine: I’m excited about Sofi’s Bridge coming out later this year, a historical romance set in Washington State 1913. This book deals with post-traumatic stress syndrome and the fact that we cannot save the ones we love, only Christ can do that.
And I’m excited about the non-fiction book that I started back in 1999. God knew that the story wasn’t ready to be published then. I had so much healing to gain. But now in 2015 the Lord must have done His work in me, because He’s opened the door for this story about the relinquishment of my birth daughter, and what that emotional pain taught me about the Lord. Title is still in the works, but it will be released November 2015.
Janet: Two books releasing this year… very different content, but I can see how they’ll both touch readers’ hearts. What got you started writing?
Christine: Pretty much that non-fiction book I just mentioned. After the reunion with my birth-daughter when she was 20, I went through a terrible depression, reliving my original loss of her when I’d given her up at 3 days old. My husband caught me crying about it one day. He went out and returned a while later with a brand new journal and pen. He said, “Here, honey, write it”
I took my emotional pain and poured it all out to the Lord in that journal. As He brought healing to me in time, I felt His encouragement to put that spiritual truth into fictional novels to help others. So my books are highly entertaining but have strong spiritual takeaways.
Janet: That’s one of the things I appreciate about your novels. What do you like best about the writing life?
Christine: Making new friends, like you, Janet. 🙂
Janet: Someday we’ll meet in person! What do you like least?
Christine: The terrible time pressure. Writers don’t make much money. For the amount of work we put into our novels, we make pennies. Good thing most of us aren’t writing for financial gain. Many of us hold down full-time jobs as well as try to write, so we can share clean, uplifting novels, and also be caring wives, mothers, grandmothers. Family must come first.
Janet: Is there a particular song or Scripture verse that’s made a big difference for you?
Christine: My life verse that anchors all my writing and speaking is Isaiah 49:15, 16a. “Can a woman forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you. See…I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
Janet: Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or tea? Are you a morning person or a night owl? Cake or Pie? What’s your favourite season?
Christine: Vanilla. Tea. Morning person. Pie. And my favorite season is spring—like my novels—God takes the dark, the cold, the hurtful, and turns it into triumphant warmth, light and beauty.
Janet: What was the best part of the story to write?
Christine: The humor in my characters. When you’re writing about a heart-rending time in history, you need to balance that with light. I get a real kick out of my characters’ wit. Reverend Alan Callahan and Cam’s sister, Miriam, especially. These two characters make me laugh till the tears run down my face.
Janet: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Christine: Make the word Perseverance your middle name. That’s what it’s all about.
Janet: Amen. What do you do when the muse is uncooperative?
Christine: Go for a brisk walk with the dog.
Janet: Any interesting research tidbits?
Christine: I thoroughly enjoyed the biographies of Lord Louis Mountbatten (the Queen’s cousin) and his wife Lady Edwina. Lady Edwina, though not a Christian and having some shady morals in her personal life, was also an inspiration when it came to her Red Cross work during WW2 and during the Partition of India. I came to admire her for that.
Janet: What are you reading these days? Listening to?
Christine: I just finished reading Crooked Lines by Holly Michael—a very different style in Christian literature. But I loved it. It was set in India, in many of the places I’ve been to. I also highly recommend The Language of Sparrows by Rachel Phifer.
Janet: What do you like to do to recharge?
Christine: Spend time with my loved ones—my husband, my mother, my kids and grandkids. I especially love to go camping with my husband in our little travel trailer.
Janet: Tell us something you appreciate about where you live.
Christine: I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world—British Columbia, Canada. We’re within an hour’s drive of the ocean, but are surrounded by mountains. About six hours to the Rockies.
Janet: What’s the most surprising/fun/zany/scary thing you’ve ever done?
Christine: I wanted to learn to fly, so I took a trip up with a pilot in a small plane just to see if I could handle it. It was exhilarating, and I would have done it if I’d had the money.
Thank Janet, it’s been such fun being a guest on your blog. One of these days we’ll have to meet in person. Hugs for now. Christine
Janet: Christine, thanks so much for taking time to answer all these questions… my, but I was feeling curious when I put this interview together! The Lord bless you as you prepare these next two books for the world, and in all the other aspects of your life as well.
You can visit Christine Lindsay’s website and sign up for her quarterly newsletter—she always has something free to give away. And go to the links below to read sample chapters from all the completed series Twilight of the British Raj.
Purchase sites for Christine Lindsay’s books: