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Already read the book but you like reading author interviews? Click the link above and join the conversation. Host Lena Nelson Dooley always has interesting questions.
Author Christine Dillon’s third novel, Grace in Deep Waters, released in July, and I caught up with her for a few questions. You’ll find her author bio and the details of her book below, but first, let’s hear from Christine herself.
You’ve lived in a number of countries. Where are you based now? And what’s
something you love about where you live?
I’m currently back in Taiwan where I’ve worked as a missionary for the past
twenty years. As my parents were also missionaries, I have also done most of my
schooling in Malaysia and the Philippines. However, my passport country is
love using my life to tell people about Jesus. People here are friendly and
You’re a Bible storyteller, verbally recounting events from Scripture. How did
writing novels come about?
As a Bible storyteller I couldn’t fail to be impacted by the response that
people had to stories and the fact that they often learned far more than they
would if I’d taught them the main points. The stories lingered.
had also been strongly impacted by certain stories like the Narnia series and
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. However, I didn’t think I could ever write a
novel. Non-fiction yes, but novels were well beyond me.
seems that God has other ideas because he literally dropped the initial ideas
and title into my head for the first novel which went on to start a series. It
was kind of Him not to give me too much up front because I would have been
overwhelmed. I spent nearly five hard years learning to write fiction. Some
things get easier but it is still the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Grace in Deep Waters is book 3 in the Grace series, each one tackling some heavy
issues in a character-driven, thought-provoking way. Do readers need to begin
with book 1, or can they dive right into the “Deep Waters” of book 3?
I’ve written each book as a ‘stand alone’ story but it would be much more
beneficial to read from book 1.
Each book in the series features a different member of the Macdonald family. Do
you have a favourite character, and if so, why?
You spend so much time with the characters so they grow on you. Most of my
favourite characters are the minor characters. I loved Joy from book 1 and Dr
Paul Webster. I am planning a separate book for him. In book 2, I loved Josh
and Dirk at the plant nursery. Throughout the series I also love Naomi,
Esther’s grandmother. In book 3, one of the main characters is quite hard to
like. I am thankful God doesn’t give up on him because most of us would have.
The side characters of Reg (modelled a bit on my grandfather) and Davy are my
favourites. Writing an eight-year-old was fun.
I know you’re here to talk about fiction, but could you give us a quick intro
to what Bible storytelling is?
Christine: Of course, I love to talk about Bible storytelling. It is a way of simply telling Bible stories so that people not only hear God’s word but can then interact with it. I mostly tell stories to adults and most often with non-Christians. Storytelling has a unique ability to get under people’s defences and allow us to communicate with people who wouldn’t usually listen. I have two non-fiction books on storytelling and you can find out more at storyingthescriptures.com. There are many training posts/videos and video stories there, plus testimonies of people using storytelling around the world.
Christine, thanks for taking time to chat today, and all the best with your
More about the book:
William Macdonald is at the pinnacle of his career. Pastor of a growing megachurch and host of a successful national radio programme. Clever and respected, he’s a man with everything, including a secret. His wife has left him and he can’t risk anyone finding out.
Blanche Macdonald is struggling. Her once rock-solid
marriage is showing cracks. She promised to love her husband for better or for
worse, but does loving always mean staying? Blanche desires to put God first.
Not William. Not her daughter. Not herself.
When is a marriage over? When do you stand and
Christinenever intended to become an author. The only kind of writing she wondered if she might do was biography. However, it was a surprise to her to write poetry, non-fiction and now fiction.
Christine was a
physiotherapist but now she writes ‘storyteller’ on any airport forms. She can
legitimately claim to be this as she has written a book on storytelling and
spends much of her time either telling Bible stories or training others to do
so from her base in southern Taiwan.
In her spare time
Christine loves all things active – hiking, cycling, swimming, snorkelling. But
she also likes reading and genealogical research, as that satisfies her desire
to be an historical detective.
Preparing for the release of her debut novel, Love and
Other Mistakes, on July 30, author Jessica Kate somehow squeezed in time
for one more interview—provided we kept it to three questions. You’ll find her
author bio and the details of her book below, but first, let’s hear from
Janet: On the internet, we’re citizens of the world and
often don’t know which country people call home. So for those who don’t know, I
want to celebrate that you’re an Australian author. What’s something you love
about where you live?
Jessica: Oh, great question! I love Australia’s weather
(visiting the USA I’m often surprised at how much more extreme the temperatures
are), beaches and relaxed vibe. The more I visit beaches overseas the more I
realize how ours really are among the best in the world.
Janet: How did an international author catch the attention of an American publisher?
Jessica: I guess the story starts with first getting an
agent. I met Chip MacGregor at a writing conference in 2015. While I didn’t
have an appointment with him, I went to his class on book proposals and used
the question time at the end to show him mine and ask what he’d improve. He
looked at it and liked it, and long story short he wound up my agent.
Once we’d worked on the book for a while (quite a bit of
re-writing and polishing which really strengthened the book) Chip sent it out
to multiple publishers. I met many of them, either in formal meetings or again
stalking at writing conferences, and then they got the book proposal.
I think it helped that I have an Aussie accent and was wearing a bright red dress at the time. It meant they could remember me more easily. 😊
After a long wait, Thomas Nelson made an offer! I was so
Janet: Love and
Other Mistakes looks like a light-hearted read, perfect for summer. What do
you hope readers take away from the story?
Jessica: Hope! The book combines humor with a lot of
family and romantic drama, and some messy situations. But at the end of the
day, God is bigger than our messes.
Janet: “God is bigger than our messes” – that gives hope,
all right. Jessica, thanks for taking time to chat today, and all the best with
Jessica: Thanks Janet!
More about the books:
There’s a fine line between love and hate…. And for the last seven years, Natalie Groves has hated Jeremy Walters.
Natalie Groves was meant for great things. But soon after her fiancé left, Natalie’s father was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly her grand plans evaporated…and God felt very far away.
Fast-forward seven years, and an internship presents Natalie a chance at her destiny – but she needs a job to work around it. And the only offer available is worse than a life sentence. Her ex Jeremy, now back in town, is desperate for help with his infant son and troubled teenage niece, Lili. And Natalie may be just the one to help Jeremy…provided they don’t kill each other in the process.
When Jeremy and Natalie join forces, sparks fly. But will either of them get burned along the way?
Kimberly Foster needs help from the last man in the world who would give it.
She and Samuel Payton fought so much during their three-year stint as colleagues that they now reside in different halves of the globe. She’s still the business director of the Virginia-based youth ministry that Sam founded, while he’s back at his family’s farm in rural Australia.
But Kimberly can’t find a suitable replacement for Sam, and the ministry is in trouble. She needs him back. What she doesn’t know is that the Payton farm’s finances are scarier than statistics on Australian spider bites.
She and Sam strike a deal: if she can use her business savvy to save the farm, he’ll return to Virginia and recruit and train his replacement.
Soon Kimberly’s on the edge of the Outback, working more closely with Sam than ever before. Can she protect his family’s legacy, the ministry, and her heart?
About Jessica Kate
Australian author Jessica
Kate is obsessed with sassy romances.
She packs her novels with
love, hate, and everything in between—and then nerds out over her favorite
books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast. When she’s not writing or
discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in
Her debut novel Love and
Other Mistakes releases July 2019, while A Girl’s Guide to the Outback
hits shelves in January 2020.