Christine Johnson is the author of several books for Love Inspired and has been twice named a finalist for Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart® award. When not writing, she loves to hike and explore God's majestic creation. She and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys.
How to connect with Christine...
Purchase: Love's Rescue: A Novel (Keys of Promise Book 1)
Author Interview | Christine Johnson
|E.A. Creative Photography|
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...Writing has always been a part of my life. I loved books as a child. My parent's house is filled with books, and my grandparent's house down the street was full of wonderful old books. I could vanish for hours in those stories, so it was only natural that later on I created stories of my own. Some stayed in my head, and some ended up in the margins of school papers and notebooks. In college I took many creative writing classes, but I never considered it a "career" until after many years as a librarian. I wanted to write the books, not just catalog them. I began my first tentative forays into novel writing in the 1990s and was soon discouraged. In 2000, I began again with renewed focus, but life intervened. Finally I set forth on a serious course five years later, taking classes on craft, honing skills and enduring rejection letter after rejection letter until Love Inspired (then Steeple Hill) bought my first book in 2009.
If published, what was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The hardest thing was getting published. From first rejection letter until contract offer, it took 15 years and 151 rejections. In retrospect, every bit of it was necessary, and I thank God for His perfect timing. I couldn't exactly call anything about publishing being "easiest," except perhaps working with my wonderful editors. Their insight is such a blessing to me!
Tell us a little bit about your. Why did you write it?
...Love's Rescue came from characters and a time period I had been contemplating for many years. I love anything nautical—which perhaps fed into my marrying a ship pilot—and the wrecking industry in the Florida Keys is a unique step between the lawless years of piracy and modern shipping with all its aids to navigation. When I saw an online discussion about the appeal of pirates as heroes, I wondered if a pirate could ever be a hero in a Christian historical romance. That pondering led me to develop this story, with a deeply Christian wrecker in the midst of an industry that many claimed was little removed from piracy.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...Of course I love the hero, Rourke O'Malley. In the midst of corruption, he insists on a strict code of honor. While he maintains discipline, his heart is huge, for his crew is composed of the broken, the wayward and the snubbed. Under Rourke, they've found work, companionship, and new life in Christ.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Story inspiration often comes from historical tidbits that ignite my imagination. It might be a true account, an event, or even a single statement. Sometimes these lead to characters, but most often the story comes first for me. Characters appear in my imagination and develop on the page. That's why I do many revision passes for my stories. By the time I've finished the first draft, I have a much better grasp of the characters.
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...I hope that the reader gets so caught up in the story that the outside world disappears. I pray that the Lord will work through the words to touch hearts for His glory.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Never give up! Trust in the Lord's timing and write for His glory. And enjoy that wonderful time learning the craft before you're published. Many authors gave me this advice, and I paid them no attention since I was consumed with the rush to get published. They were so right. Everything changes after publication. Short deadlines and added work promoting and marketing eat away at the time to learn. Enjoy this season of life.
How do(did) you like to celebrate the 4th of July?
...I often return to my hometown, which is very small. The town puts on a darling parade and a fireworks display, but the best part is visiting with family. Love the family barbeque. Yum! S'mores, anyone?
Do you enjoy hot weather or cold better?
...Hot! Definitely hot, though I have difficulty imagining what life was like for the ladies in 1850 Key West. All those petticoats and voluminous skirts must have been extremely warm in summer heat and humidity. I am so grateful to live in an era with electric fans, air conditioning and ice cubes.
I first met Christine at the ACFW Conference when I did her headshots! She was so sweet and I'm so excited to host her on the blog today as she talks about Love's Rescue! Make sure you leave a comment for her to enter to win a copy!
I had Robin E. Mason on the blog last week and her winner is...
Congrats Connie (aka MOM haha). I'll get in contact with you for Robin's book!