Even before developing the moral premise of your book, the nitty gritty of being a writer is being willing to bare your soul.
This fact has been reiterated to me lately as I tried to interest a few friends in sharing elements of their life story on my blog. They glance at me shyly and say they are honored to be asked, but they are simply too shy to make their story public.
I remember when I used to feel that way. Since I started writing in 1999, I gradually feel as though I've grown more and more transparent because so much of who I am goes into everything I write.
When I first started out I understood that any non-fiction I hoped to write, especially the account of my birth mother experience would be autobiographical. But later when it seemed that particular true-life account might never be published, I felt the Lord urge me to put the spiritual and emotional truths I’d learned into Christian Fiction.
Whew! I thought. This means I don’t have to bare my soul. I can hide behind my “untrue” historical epics that God-willing might help readers think about the Lord while they’re being entertained.
Here’s the full story:
When I wrote my debut novel Shadowed in Silk I don’t think readers had a clue that I was plastering my heart and soul into my heroine Abby Fraser, even into my bad-guy Russian spy, and especially into Abby’s enemy the Muslim woman, Tikah, who kidnaps Abby’s child.
The reason I could write that story was because I knew what if felt like to be invisible, as a woman hurting over the relinquishment of my firstborn to adoption. I was the invisible one in that particular adoption triad. This enabled me to feel like invisible Abby.
But I also felt like my Russian spy who chooses to be invisible on purpose.
I also felt like Tikah, Abby's personal enemy, because part of my heart longed to turn the clock back so that I’d never relinquished my baby in the first place. I took the bare truth of my soul and painted that longing into my character Tikah as she does the reprehensible by stealing another woman's child.
Shocking, I know. I’m not saying my emotions were right or honorable. Emotions are emotions, but that’s what books are, a baring of the soul. Of course I didn’t take back my true-life child, and the Lord helped me through my heartache. But that transparency is what we writers need in our books.
You need "You" in your heroes and heroines.
"You" in your villain (very important if you don't want a stereotypical mustache twirling bad guy)."
“You" in your complex secondary characters.
The ideas and premise for your book must come right from the corners of your soul. Every memory you’ve had, sensory, intellectual, emotional, affects how you see the world. That’s what a book is, sharing your world view in one story at a time.
In every book I’ve written since then, there is me somewhere in all my characters.
I like this verse from I. Cor. 1 “Indeed, this is our boast, the testimony of our conscience: we have behaved in the world with frankness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God—and all the more toward you.”
Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Born in N. Ireland, it was tales of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her historical trilogy, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and the explosive finale Veiled at Midnight. Her Irish wit and joy in the use of setting as a character is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming and in Sofi’s Bridge coming May 2016.
Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is the happy wife of David of 35 years, a mom and a grandma. She makes her home on the west coast of Canada, and in Aug. 2016 she will see her long-awaited non-fiction book released, Finding Sarah, Finding Me: A Birth Mother’s Story.
Drop by Christine’s website www.ChristineLindsay.org follow her on Amazon on Twitter. Subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook, and Goodreads
Click HERE to read the chapter 1 of Sofi’s Bridge.
Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener, continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.
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