THE PASSIONATE PEN – by Christine Lindsay

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.

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
. 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
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?