Christine Lynxwiler celebrated the Christmas season with her newly released novel, Forever Christmas - just perfct for holiday reading. Accordingly, the timing was perfect for my last author interview for 2007 and Christine and her novel fit the bill!
Read below for Chris's thoughts:~
Why Christian fiction?
I love to read. But back in the mid-90s, I still hadn't discovered Christian fiction. So I set out to write a story where the characters were Christian, not as the central theme, but just as a fact of life. And one where I didn't have to skip big sections of the book. It's funny, I feel so foolish when I remember how a kind secular agent suggested that I explore the Christian fiction world. I thought I'd invented this new genre, so I was amazed to find a plethora of good reads. But now I realize that if I'd found those books first, I might not have ever decided to try my hand at writing.
What occupied your time before the writing bug bit?
Reading probably. And being a wife and mom. I also worked full time at a variety of jobs, including telemarketing, chiropractic technician, sawmilling, and landscaping.
Of the many genres available, you chose romance ~ please tell us why?
When I first decided to write, I was reading a lot of Jude Deveraux and Johanna Lindsey so I guess romance came naturally.
How do you writing with all your other daily responsibilities, including being a wife and mum? I
t's not always easy, but with deadlines, not fitting in writing is not an option, so we all work together at my house to make it work.
You are releasing a romantic comedy in 2008 ~ Along Came a Cowboy ~ a sneak peek please!
Along Came a Cowboy is releasing in May, 2008. Not sure if you mean share what the book is about or a literal sneak peek, so here's both - Dr. Rachel Donovan has one rule. Stay away from cowboys. So when rodeo star Jack Westwood rides into town, she steers clear. Until he shows up on her doorstep with an unexpected visitor and a devastating smile.
Babies complicate life, but the human race can't survive without them. Maybe I should write that on the dry erase board out in the waiting room--Dr. Rachel Donovan's Profound Thought for the Day.
Ever notice how some months are all about weddings? When you turn on the TV or pick up a magazine, everything is white tulle and old lace. Then there are what I think of as baby months. Unlike June and December for weddings, baby months can pop up any time.
And here in Shady Grove, Arkansas--just in time for summer, when the irises are pushing up from the ground, the new leaves are green on the trees, and the crepe myrtles are starting to bloom--we're smack dab in the middle of a baby month.
I finger the latest birth announcement on my desk. One of my patients just had her fifth child. You'd think, at this point, she'd be sending out SOS messages instead of announcements, but the pink card proudly proclaims the arrival of her newest bundle of joy.
Your publisher, Barbour, has recently signed you to a six book contract ~ congratulations! Any hints on what those books might be about?
I'm exploring that now with Barbour, actually. I'm a country girl so I seem to gravitate toward earthy type heroes. Which probably means there are more cowboys in my future. (Shh. . .don't tell my husband. Oh wait, he's a cowboy too, of sorts, so I guess it's okay.) And maybe even a farmer or two. Arkansas - the Barbour 4-in-1 that includes my complete McFadden Brothers series - is a wonderful seller and the heroes in it are four country boys. I expect we'll go in that direction. But I'll let you know when we figure it out!
How was the town of Jingle Bells born?
My editor requested a Christmas book proposal set in small town Arkansas. Within minutes, I could see Jingle Bells with all its little shops with Christmas theme names. People constantly ask me if it's a real town. I wish it was. It's a fun place.
I loved the anonymous notes and gifts sent to Kristianna ~ has that happened to you?!
Not really. But I love riddles and treasure hunt type games. And it seemed to fit the story really well.
What was your favourite scene to write?
Wow. That's a hard question. This was my all-time favorite book to write. I loved writing the scene where her parents came to visit for Christmas. All the scenes with her parents, actually. (I'm laughing at myself that I can't pick one scene. Usually this close to the writing experience, I'd still be having trouble finding a scene that I thought of as my fave to write. This book was a blessing.) And the ending was draining, but fun.
How do you choose names for your characters?
I usually name my heroines after people I'm close to--I've used all my nieces' names--but in this book I used my daughter's name as the heroine. I don't base my characters on the real people at all, but I love to use familiar names. For the hero's name, I try several on until I find one that fits.
Any ideas who you might cast in a movie of Forever Christmas?
Great question. But casting isn't my strong point. I see these characters in my mind and to me they're almost real. I hope readers will do the same. So maybe some of you will have ideas of what actors and actresses could play the main characters.
Please share with us your favourite family Christmas tradition?
My husband and I, along with our two daughters, have our “Christmas morning” whenever we decide to. Each year it varies, but we decide a week or two ahead so we can all look forward to it. We do this because we travel during the actual holidays to my parents and to his, where we meet our brothers and sisters and their families and have an amazing time. So Christmas for us is getting together with family, lots of love and laughter. Traditionally, we do try to help someone have a Merry Christmas that might not otherwise, whether that be by taking a couple of tags off the “angel tree” at Wal-mart and having a great time picking out gifts for the kids we draw or buying a toy or two for children we know personally who might not be getting as much this year. I want my girls to realize it's not all about us. And this year especially, I'm starting to think they really “get” that concept! Exciting.
On Matters Personal...
Do you read much yourself? If so, some favourites, please?
I do read when I have time. I love to read. Dean Koontz, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, Francine Rivers are among my faves. There are others that I won't miss anything they write. They happen to be my close friends, but thankfully, they're also extremely talented, so they truly are my top “have-to-read” authors, friendship aside - Tracey Bateman, Rachel Hauck, Susan May Warren, and Susan Downs.
At the moment I'm doing last minute Christmas wrapping. I bought Dean Koontz's new book, The Darkest Evening of the Year, for my husband for Christmas, though, and I'm sneaking short reading sessions in it before I wrap it. Shh. . .
Favourite movie and favourite line from a movie?
This changes frequently. For a long time it was Steel Magnolias. Then Mulan, The Emperor's New Groove, and Remember the Titans. (I have eclectic taste in movies.) I love Stranger Than Fiction, because I'm a writer. That DVD would be a very cool gift for anyone who writes, btw. The line I quote the most would probably be from The Emperor's New Groove - Pacha and Kuzco (the llama/Emperor) are trying to make their way through some dangerous territory. They're tied to a tree branch, floating down the river when Pacha looks down. At his “Uh-oh” Kuzco says, “Don't tell me. We're about to go over a huge waterfall.” Pacha says, “Yep.” Kuzco: “Sharp rocks at the bottom?” Pacha: “Most likely.” Kuzco: “Bring it on.”
So when Kevin and I are in any difficult situation, either physical, financial, emotional, etc. I'll say “Sharp rocks at the bottom?” He'll say, “Yep.” I'll say, “Bring it on.” It's probably corny, but it makes us both laugh. J
Who inspires you?
My parents inspire me. They're in their late eighties and still going strong, trusting in God and encouraging their children and grandchildren. Inspiration comes from so many people that it's hard to make a definitive list. I'm inspired by people like you who care about Christian fiction. It makes the long hours, late nights, and takeout suppers worth it.
Please share some of your faith journey...
My faith is an evergrowing, everchanging thing. Just last night at Bible Study, I had an epiphany about “renewing our minds.” (Romans 12:2, I think.) I hope I never feel like I've “arrived” faithwise, until I'm in heaven. I want to be transformed daily.
Some essential Aussie questions...
When/if you make the trip Down Under what do you want to see first? A platypus or a koala?
Barrier Reef or Uluru (Ayers Rock)?
You are visiting Australia ~ do you say yes or no to some vegemite on toast?!
Um, probably no. Unless you explain what it is and it smells really good. LOL.
Any last words?
Thank you for having me. This interview has been fun. I love your insightful questions!
Thanks so much for sharing, Chris :) Just right for a Christmas interview - have a blessed time with your family remembering Jesus' birth.
To read my reviews of Christine's books, click on the titles below:~