|Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Christian fiction? How do you define your genre of Christian Historical fiction? Is fiction even a
valid category for a Christian author? You have even written a historical fiction about the first Tyndale Bible.
Is this appropriate?
A: I consider a Christian Historical Fiction novel as one in which the main character/s (regardless of the
choice of historical setting) live their lives according to Scriptural principles in a basically hostile world. I have
seen some “Christian historical" novels that I think should not have been printed for one or more of the
a. They substituted speculation for known history, perhaps even contrary to history.
b. They did not study the attitudes of the period in which they placed their story.
c. They were not well acquainted with the Bible, and even substituted facts in the Bible with other ideas.
d. They attempted to justify unchristian morals, values, language.
I am cautions when I do a historical (especially a Biblical historical) to be accurate with the known history and
characters, and for the fictional portion of my story—to be consistent and harmonious with the facts of the
period. The goal is to edify the reader through the experiences of the fictional characters as they are caught
up in the real history of the period. This is appropriate as long as the reader understands the distinction
between historical and the fictional themes in the story.
For example: If you would like to understand the motivations of the different factions in the First Crusade, you
will find my book “Swords and Scimitars” helpful. The secular school books are confusing and negative on
Christianity over this topic, and most Christians are unable to explain it. If you would like to get an
appreciation of the times in which the only English Bibles were the outlawed handwritten copies of John
Wycliffe’s work when William Tyndale suffered to have the New Testament reach the printing press, I think
you will be inspired by Everlasting Flame/Recovery of the Lost Sword. If I have succeeded in my goal in such
stories, the fictional characters will move the story along as you are confronted by the truths of the period.
Q: I've been looking for "Valiant Hearts" to purchase, but the only place I've found it was at Amazon - used -
for $50.00! Can you tell me why this one book costs so much?
A: This is one of a few of the Earlier Books that I have run out of. I am surprised at how much they are asking
on the used book market (presently $60.00, 12/03/05), so I am trying something new: I have purchased a
used "Valiant Hearts" and a used "Jamaican Sunset" that am loaning out for a cost of only $4.00 (covers
media mail postage and shipping) to any of my readers who are willing to send a deposit. The Deposit is
$49.00 for "Valiant Hearts" and $32.00 for "Jamaican Sunset." All but $4.00 of the deposit will be returned
when the book is mailed back in reasonable condition and time - the reader may hold the book up to 4 weeks
before mailing back.
Q: Is there is a book 2 that follows, “For Whom the Stars Shine?”
A: “For Whom the Stars Shine” is a stand alone novel for which the publisher decided not to continue it into
series. I think that was unfortunate since this book was later nominated for the Christy Award.
Q: I was wondering if there will be "Saturday's Child" book?
A: Thanks for asking about my “Day to Remember” series. It was decided to end the series at “Friday’s
Child”. I presented some ideas for a Saturday Book, but the publisher went instead for the set of two Western
books, called “Desert Rose,” and “Desert Star” that are in the Historical Setting of Virginia City, Nevada. I’m
confident you’ll like them also. These are from Harvest House Publishers. There is still hope the Saturday
book may one day be published, but perhaps under a different title.
The following letter had many typical questions about my writing. I’ll take a shot at them:
1) Q: How do you describe scenery?
A: Read period authors who do it well. Read guide books about the areas you are interested in from
Chamber of Commerce, travel agencies, vacation guides are often descriptive. Look at photographs of the
area. Watch a sunset and put it into words, describe the surroundings, the wind on your face. Describe how
your location would look during the time you are studying about.
2) Q: How do you get so much information for your stories?
A: Facts must come from research. You've got to read the history before you can do a historical. You don’t
need to know everything, but any included facts must be correct, and you need an accurate sense of the
time, place, culture, and issues of the day where your story takes place.
3) Q: Where do you get your plots from?
A: They really do come from my imagination, but they develop as I read the period history and work with my
4) Q: How do you choose names?
A: They mostly come from books for finding baby names, also telephone books. The Internet is helpful
because some sites even have sorting and searching for things like nationality.
5) Q: How do you come up with character dialogue?
A: It only comes naturally to me after I get to know my characters: their ambitions, concerns, fears, emotions,
situations, historical setting, etc.
6) Q: Do you first write the ending, or the beginning of a story?
A: I do beginnings first - though they often need to be rewritten, shortened, or eliminated - especially since
they tend to have too much description before the start of the real story.
7) Q: How do you do it?
A: To write convincingly about Christian characters the author must know the scriptures and be in fellowship
our great Savior. I also get my batteries recharged by reading other good writers. I can’t just produce
Here is another recent Query:
Q: How do you narrow the range in which you study? Do you just take time and read it all? Also, any tips that
you have about how you go about setting up your plot and how you focus in on a main theme.
A: After I decide which period of history I am interested in I start gathering the history books. I typically spend
6 weeks studying those texts before I start writing, but of course I am thinking about what I want to use as
background for the story much of the time. It is true I study more history than can be used, but that is all part
of deciding what would flow with my plot and be edifying to my readers. How much history I can use will also
be affected by whether I will do only one book, or a series. The main theme often is based on the history and
how the fictional characters will use their faith in Christ to decide the path they will walk among the often
unique challenges of their particular time. The main fictional characters should progress in their faith. The
fictional part of the plot should help the reader move through the history and be consistent with the truths
and moods of the period I am writing about.
Linda Lee Chaikin, Jeremiah 29:11