Christine has been a friend of mine for many years. I love her writing. I've read this Christmas book, and I think you'll love it as I did.
On the horizon, I see myself fulfilling the six book contract I signed with Barbour. The first book will be released next spring (2009). It’s called Shoot for the Stars. This will be the beginning of a three book series – The McCord Sisters which will also include Outrun the Storm and Bridle the Flame, to be followed by another three book series, tentatively titled The McCord Brothers, which will include Catch the Wind, Lasso the Moon, and Tame the River. Straightforward series titles I know, but these series are about an unusual family. Six of the seven brothers and sisters were adopted by Jonathan and Lynda McCord when they were anywhere from 9 to 12. Now that they’re all in their twenties (and early thirties) their unique pasts bring a special difference to each one's story. But they’re all 100% McCord. That’s all I see on the horizon. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could see OVER the horizon? But only God knows what waits there and I trust Him to take care of that.
I know what you mean. Tell us a little about your family.
For 27 years, I’ve been married to a man who is my best friend but still makes my heartbeat accelerate when he walks into a room. I guess that’s why I always go for the “heroine falls for her best guy friend” stories. We have two precious beautiful daughters. At 15 and almost 12, they’re both essentially teenagers, but we actually enjoy our home life most of the time. Things are never perfect around our house, but they’re always interesting. I’m blessed to still have both my parents in good health, even though they’re in their late eighties. We get together frequently with my four sisters and one brother and their families at Mama and Daddy’s for food and fun. I’m also blessed to have wonderful in-laws that we’re very close to. Other than God, family is my top priority!
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Unfortunately, I just plain don’t have time to read as much as I used to. So I have to be a much choosier reader. I used to read every book I came across. Now I’m more likely to only pick up those that are highly recommended by someone whose opinion I trust or those written by one of my must-read authors – Dean Koontz, Ted Dekker, Tracey Bateman, Susan May Warren, and Rachel Hauck.
What are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up Shoot for the Stars, the first McCord Sisters book. This book is a strong romance, but it also introduces the McCord clan and the ranch which is fun for me because I love writing family relationships.
What outside interests do you have?
My husband and I, along with our daughters kayak on nearby Spring River quite a bit with my sister and brother-in-law. I love to go to auctions and yard sales with friends. Softball takes over our lives in the spring and summer as both our girls are on teams and, in the case of our oldest, sometimes more than one team. But we really enjoy it. We have horses and I love to watch the rest of the bunch ride. (I ride some, but am still more of a spectator.) We’re also very involved with church, teaching classes, but also doing things with the youth.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I write books set in Arkansas. I love my home state and the beautiful Ozark mountains where we live and it’s easy for me to picture my characters here.
I was born in the Ozarks of Arkansas, and lived in the state for my first 20 years. I guess that's why I love your books so much. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
If I could go back in time, it would be Jesus. Can you imagine sitting in person and hearing him deliver the sermon on the mount? Or being involved in his casual interaction with his followers? I can imagine it, but I’d love have heard his voice and seen his face.
And we will someday. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d known the market better and understood that the delete button truly is my best friend. I wish I’d known that you never really arrive so that I could have stopped looking for that day sooner and just concentrated on the journey, which is what I’m doing now.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
No new lessons, just the same old ones that I keep not quite getting. To have patience and to remember that God is in control. To be myself and not worry about what people think of me as long as God is happy with me. And to love people unconditionally, but hate sin unwaveringly.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
It’s like that old joke about what three things it takes for a real estate sale to succeed. (Location, location, location.) The three best things I can tell a new author (or an old one) are, “Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.” Seriously, besides persevering, join American Christian Fiction Writers. It will be the best money you ever spent if you’re trying to get started. And if you’re actually blessed enough to sell a book, make a vow to yourself that you’ll be easy to work with and keep that vow. Choose your battles very very carefully because no editor wants to deal with someone who makes every little point a world war. Make it your personal goal to be on your editor’s short list of authors he/she loves to work with. And never quit learning and honing your craft.
All excellent advice.
Tell us about the featured book.
Forever Christmas was a joy to write. I’ve written 14 books and each of them has been a struggle in its own way. Except this one. God gave me a gift of this one story that flew from my fingers. I’d stop occasionally and snicker or even laugh out loud, then attack the keyboard again. I loved the twists and turns of this unique contemporary Christmas romance and I hope you will, too!
From the back cover: Since I was a little girl, Jingle Bells, Arkansas, has been my refuge—especially Gram Harrington’s gift shop, Forever Christmas. Jingle Bells also happens to be home to my best friends, Ami and Garrett, so when I inherited Gram’s shop, the decision to move here seemed obvious. So far, though, my business savvy is proving about as successful as my love life. (I’ve had two broken engagements. Enough said.)
Everyone knows Jingle Bells needs an economic miracle to survive. But let’s just say that my idea of a miracle differs from that of corporate bigwig lawyer, Shawn Webber. He plows into town campaigning to change the name to Summer Valley—to entice a big corporation to relocate here. A girl would think she could count on her best friends to support her fight to keep Jingle Bells on the map. Or not. Okay, so I understand how Ami is totally focused on her wedding plans. But Garrett can’t bother himself with local politics when there’s bowling to be done. Men!
When will I ever learn to let God guide me in matters of home. . . and heart?
How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.christinelynxwiler.com - Thanks for having me, Lena! It was fun!
For me, too, Christine. You'll have to come back with your McCord books.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Forever Christmas.