Today Wednesday Writers is featuring Christine Lindsay and her new non-fiction book, Finding Sarah Finding Me. Christine is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction, with complex emotional and psychological truths, whose stories always promise a happy ending. She’ll be sharing her writing journey on Find Sarah Finding Me.
A writer’s Journey From Non-Fiction to Fiction and Back Again
In 1999 I was convinced that God wanted me to write a non-fiction book about my birth mother experience, starting with the relinquishment of my baby girl, Sarah, in 1979 up to our uneasy reunion in ’99. But my journey to publication was like my search for my birth-daughter—agonizingly slow. I controlled my old whine, “Okay, okay, Lord, if you don’t want me to write this non-fiction book, how do you want me to use this writing gift you gave me?”
That’s when I felt the call to paint what I’d gained of emotional healing into fiction to—God-willing—help others.
I was far from the mature Christian I wanted to be, but the Lord gave me a secretarial job at a Christian university (Trinity Western in British Columbia Canada), and over my nine years working there I took every course on Creative Writing and Journalism they offered.
Bit by bit, I worked on a fictional manuscript. The publishing doors squeaked open. My first literary agent, David and Renee Sanford, partnered with Focus on the Family, to publish Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family which included my love letter to adoptive parents. Even though my contribution to their book wasn’t my full story, I thought this fulfilled my sense of calling to be a writer.
More importantly, during the years the Lord taught me my craft He also developed me as one of His servants. Then in 2009 my unpublished fictional manuscript won the ACFW’ Genesis Award.
On a leap of faith, I left my full-time job to pursue my writing full-time, and started it off with a ten-day, journalistic missionary trip to the south of India.
Before the mission group was due to fly home we stopped at a silk sari shop. A bolt of turquoise material studded with amber beading called to me. What possible use would I have for something so frivolous, but I sensed God’s nudge to buy it.
A few months later, WhiteFire Publishing offered to publish my book Shadowed in Silk. As my debut novel was about to be released, my publisher e-mailed me with photos of models for the front cover. I had to smile—every single model resembled my birth-daughter. I’d not written my fictional character to look like her at all, but I suggested Sarah for the cover.
With my editor’s and Sarah’s happy agreement, and even though Sarah and I were still working on a tenuous relationship, I arranged the photo shoot with Sarah wearing the turquoise sari I purchased in India on a whim of faith.
When the book came out, I figured, Well, this is it! My calling as a writer was fulfilled as God took my heartache over Sarah, turned it into a muse, and put my daughter’s beautiful face on the front cover.
Oh ye of little faith !!! Looking back now, I laugh. Those nudges from God in years past were His true calling, but as I took steps of obedience, trusting in His timing, He did so much more than I ever imagined. That front cover was only the beginning.
As I celebrate the release of my 5th fictional novel, I am overjoyed that at long last my non-fiction birth-mother book is being released this August 2016. Finding Sarah Finding Me shares all the amazing things that God has done for this wounded woman whom He designed to be a writer.
Finding Sarah Finding Me:
In the years between, after relinquishing Sarah at three days old and before our reunion many years later, if I just happen to attend a women’s conference or a ladies’ church function around her birthday, and as happens so often, the organizers of the event just happen to hand out carnations at the door…and as they randomly give out a variety of colors to the ladies leaving…as I inch my way slowly toward the exit in a long lineup of women, I watch with mounting expectation.
The flowers arrive every year around her birthday, those silly blooms that started on the day I got out of the hospital. Sometimes just a card with flowers on it, and always from someone who has no clue what February 24th means to me. Sometimes a friend might send a potted plant—always pink—just because they’re thinking of me.
So as I shuffle forward in each lineup at any ladies’ function I happen to attend, while the last strains of the last song float over the venue, and as the women in front of me smile and with thanks receive their red carnation—or yellow or white—as a gift for coming, without ever asking, mine is always, always pink.
I lift my bloom to my face and breathe in the sweetness. Yes, Lord, you want me to find Sarah.
Contact and Buy Links
Go to www.ChristineLindsay.org for all buy links
About the Author:
Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction with complex emotional and psychological truth, who always promises a happy ending. Tales of her Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and explosive finale Veiled at Midnight.
A busy writer and speaker, Christine, and her husband live on the west coast of Canada. Coming August 2016 is the release of her non-fiction book Finding Sarah—Finding Me: A Birthmother’s Story.