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.
Janet: You’ve lived in a number of countries. Where are you based now? And what’s something you love about where you live?
Christine: 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 Australia.
I love using my life to tell people about Jesus. People here are friendly and hospitable.
Janet: You’re a Bible storyteller, verbally recounting events from Scripture. How did writing novels come about?
Christine: 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.
I 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.
It 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.
Janet: 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?
Christine: I’ve written each book as a ‘stand alone’ story but it would be much more beneficial to read from book 1.
Janet: Each book in the series features a different member of the Macdonald family. Do you have a favourite character, and if so, why?
Christine: 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.
Janet: 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.
Janet: Christine, thanks for taking time to chat today, and all the best with your writing!
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 fight?
Buy links for Grace in Deep Waters:
More about Christine Dillon
Christine never 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.
Visit Christine’s website: storytellerchristine.com
Subscribe to Christine’s newsletter: subscribe.storytellerchristine.com