BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

CHRISTINE JOHNSON UP-CLOSE and PERSONAL 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY - Love's Rescue



ABOUT AUTHOR: A small-town Michigan girl, Christine Johnson has lived in every corner of the state's Lower Peninsula. After trying her hand at music and art, she returned to her first love—story. She holds degrees in English and library studies and works part-time as a librarian. She feels blessed to write and doubly blessed that two of her manuscripts were finalists for Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award. The crowning thrill came when Steeple Hill accepted her debut novel, Soaring Home, for publication.
When not at the computer keyboard, she loves to hike, kayak and explore God's majestic creation. She participates in her church's healing prayer ministry and has experienced firsthand the power of prayer. These days, she and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys. Christine would love to hear from readers through her website.

How did you come up with the idea for Love’s Rescue?

Christine: For many years I wanted to write a story with a Key West wrecker as the hero. The idea simmered until I read an online discussion speculating about how to have a pirate hero in a Christian historical romance. Since some considered wreckers (men who salvaged wrecked ships) to be pirates—sometimes for good reason—I leapt at the opportunity to create a story centering on a Christian wrecker. Naturally he would fall in love with the only daughter of the man who opposed him in admiralty court.
 
Key West Sunset
  
What authors have inspired you?

Christine: C.S. Lewis, specifically The Chronicles of Narnia, was a huge influence. I must have read that series a dozen times over the years. I longed to write with that degree of clarity while still including multiple layers of meaning. I still do! 

What keeps you sane in the middle of craziness? Hope in the middle of stress and Life’s storms?

Christine: The Lord, of course. Through time I am learning to lean on Him. Years ago I struggled with anxiety, but as my walk with Him grows deeper, He removes the needless fears when I rely on Him and gives me assurance during life's trials. He is ever faithful and grants peace in the midst of the storm.

Nora: Amen! Amen!

Why write Christian Fiction? What’s the draw for you?

Christine: Confession time! Years ago I fought the call to write "Christian fiction," thinking it wasn't "literary" enough. Yes, my college literature degree got in the way of His calling. What foolishness! At the time I thought I knew best. I figured Christian fiction only reached Christians, and I wanted to reach unbelievers by including the gospel message in mainstream stories. For more than 15 years I wrote and submitted and received rejection after rejection. 

Then I began reading Christian historical romance and realized my preconceptions were completely wrong. My place was not in the secular market. The Lord waited for me to realize He wanted me to write Christian fiction. My first book written for His glory sold. I praise Him that He kept the publishing door closed until I answered his call. His timing is always perfect!

Nora: I loved telling people about Christian Fiction! It's not like it used to be. It's engaging, powerful and moving. Not preach! Love that!

When you sit down to relax and read, what genre do you turn to? Do you prefer hardback, paperback or digital when you read? Why?

Christine: I tend to reach for Christian historicals, whether romance or straight historical. Occasionally I will read Christian women's fiction, especially when I'm writing. I will not read in my specific genre or time period when writing a new book.

The smell and feel of paper still thrill me. I love print books in any format. Though I will read a digital book, I miss the texture of the paper and the ability to constantly look at the cover. Yes, I learned just how much I turn to the cover the first time I read a digital book.

Nora: I like digital when I'm away from home other wise I enjoy print books too!

How much research do you put into your historicals? Did you discover some fascinating tales that made it in your book? Some that didn't?

Since this is the first book set in 1850 Key West, I did a lot of research. The hands-on research was the most fun, seeking out the older buildings, what's left of historic sites and even figuring out which plants and trees would have been native to the island.
 
Key West Bahama House
For instance, this house was disassembled in the Bahamas and transported to Key West after the 1846 hurricane.
 
Wild Tamarind Tree
A wild tamarind tree proves crucial in Love's Rescue.

Due to hurricanes, fires and other reasons, many records from that time are missing, which was a great disappointment. The letters, court records and other things I could find were thoroughly fascinating. Key West is filled with history and amazing stories through the years that I wish I could share or incorporate, but they didn't fit with the story. Maybe in a future book…

Nora: I've been to Key West a few times. I agree it's rich in history and amazing stories!

Women dressed very differently in the time period you wrote about, what do you think you’d enjoy wearing? What do you think you’d dislike wearing?

Christine: The gowns, especially the ball gowns, are so gorgeous! I would love to wear one just once. Of course I'm very tall, much taller than anyone in the era, so I'd have to have one made for me, but it would be so much fun--as long as I can go without a corset. In college I worked in a drama library, and my co-worker acted in a period play. She would come in after wearing a corset for hours and lie on top of a wooden table and moan about how much the corset hurt her back. 

Nope. Not getting me in one of those. One of the things that amazes me is how the women could stand to wear all those petticoats and long skirts in a tropical climate with no air conditioning. Count me as one of those who would lie on a chaise longue in the shade with a fan and a glass of lemonade.

Nora: LOL!
Ship I got Married on
You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play? 

Christine: I tend to be a helper and an organizer. Expect me to make lists of tasks to accomplish and keep supplies in order. I would also urge prayer and get people together to study the Word. I love Bible study. Of course we would have our Bibles!

A friend of yours has a time machine and they will let you use if for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?

Christine: Only one time and place? That's painful to a historical author. Naturally I would love to experience as many of the places and times I write about as possible. If I can only go one place, however, I would love to see Jesus and hear Him preach. The Sermon on the Mount would be an amazing experience.

What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!

Christine: Docent on a museum ship. This was a 1908 passenger ship that also hauled freight on the Great Lakes. Some of the furnishings are very similar to those on the Titanic. That made the movie, Titanic, a bit too realistic. My husband and I were married on that museum ship 28 years ago.

Hotel desk clerk. I did this summers while in college. After graduating with my unmarketable degree in English Language and Literature, I returned to the hotel to work as a bookkeeper. 

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?

Christine: I love the chirps of songbirds and the wildness in the cry of high-flying eagles, hawks or osprey. I love to hike and have made many trips to the mountains in Montana. God's creation always inspires awe!

Nora: Beautiful picture. So glad you shared it!
 
Hiking the Mountains
 ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS CHRISTINE? 

Thank you, readers, for visiting with me today. I'm so thrilled we had this time together. \
May the Lord bless and keep you. 
With love,
Christine

 I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN started the 20th of JUNE at www.bookfun.org .

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN starting the 20th of JUNE at www.bookfun.org . Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora :o)


Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org 
The Book Club Network Blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com  
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com  

Interview Sponsored by: Revell Publishers

3 comments:

  1. Your comments about the Ernest Hemingway house are interesting. In 1973 my wife and I visited some friends in Key West. They took us around to see various sights. I remember them taking us past the Ernest Hemingway house and pointing it out. In 1995 I was in Florida on business and drove down to visit the Key West Lighthouse. I had a problem finding it but finally arrived. I was blown away when I realized that I had gone right past it in 1973 when our friends were pointing out the Ernest Hemingway house. My interest in lighthouses had not yet developed and apparently they had no interest in them either.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for letting us get to know you better. I also love to hear God's beautiful creatures . They all are majestic in His beauty .

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great article. I like history and your books sound awesome!
    karenskrayonsatgmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete