Thursday, September 25, 2014

Going Against the Grain of Writing Advice by Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay
When I first started writing fiction I never thought the day would come when I would complete not only one book but an entire three-book series. Back in 2011 WhiteFire Publishing thrilled me with the publication of Shadowed in Silk, Book 1 of my series Twilight of the British Raj.

Before publication of that first book, it was pretty hard to get a publisher interested in a setting outside of the US other than WW1 or WW2 Europe. Even after Shadowed in Silk won the ACFW 2009 Genesis for Historical, it was still hard.

I didn’t know my setting would be such a hard sell when I started writing. All I knew was that I was creating the story I wanted to read. My British ancestry cried out to share the fascinating era of British Colonial India, a place as exciting as the Wild West was to the US.

My advice to aspiring writers today though—is study the market trends, see what the publishers are putting out, and choose a storyline in what readers are wanting to read, before you start writing.

That would have made my road to publication a lot easier and quicker...maybe.

I say maybe, because in reality, even if you do everything right you still might not get published.

And even with me doing everything wrong, going against the grain of writing advice, I’m now the proud mama of a three-book series that continues to win awards. All because a small publishing house saw the merit of a different setting than American readers had shown interest in.

Thanks to WhiteFire Publishing I saw the passion of my heart in print. Not only did I see that first book, but as those characters grew, I had to see them through to the end. That one book simply had to become a saga—the saga of a family.

Shadowed in Silk was followed by Captured by Moonlight, and now soon to be released Veiled at Midnight.

So my advice to aspiring writers contains the caveat. Write your heart. It’s the stuff in your heart that will reach another heart. Those are the kind of books that leave the lasting memories.

Dora here. Do you study market trends or research publisher guidelines for elements like setting? Have you written a story with a unique setting that's been a challenge to sell to publishers? Chime in and share your experiences.

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ABOUT CHRISTINE LINDSAY: Stories of Christine Lindsay’s Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning historical series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, which won the 2009 ACFW Genesis, the 2010 Grace Award, and was a finalist in the 2011 Readers’ Favorite. Book 2 Captured by Moonlight won Canada’s prestigious The Word Guild award for historical in 2014, and was a finalist for the Readers’ Favorite and the Grace Award. The final installment of that series Book 3 called Veiled at Midnight will be released Autumn 2014. Londonderry Dreaming, set in Ireland, is Christine’s first contemporary romance.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE Please drop by Christine Lindsay’s website or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest Facebook and Goodreads