Monday, December 21, 2009

Waiting, Praying, Writing: From the Desk of Author Linda Lee Chaikin

Our Great and Gracious God answers prayer in ways we never consider possible. Over a decade ago when I wrote For Whom the Stars Shine (now out of print), which was the runner up for the Christy Award, I fully expected to write its sequel. The publisher and my agent, however, couldn’t see eye to eye. I no longer work with an agent…and I no longer write with that publisher. I was left hanging—and so were my readers.

Over a decade has come and gone. Now I’ve the honor of working again with one of the finest Christian publishers, Moody Publishers (I say again, because back in the nineties I wrote the Buccaneer trilogy for Moody Publishers).

I’m now writing The Spoils of Eden, book one in a brand new Hawaiian series called the Dawn of Hawaii. This has been a wonderful writing experience for me. I spent two months just doing all new research and planning, for the leprosy colony on Molokai, the Big Sugar industry, and the revolution that overthrew the monarchy. The history is so rich that it will take the trilogy of Dawn of Hawaii to cover that period.

I was especially excited over discovering (that happens to writers, you know) my character Rafe Easton has a heart for politics! Yes, the adventurer that sailed to French Guiana with his Hawaiian buddy Keno, is now running for the Hawaiian Legislature. Rafe has grown and become a new person as he struggles with his opposing views of the Hawaiian Islands and with the protection of the baby boy, Kip, that Rafe saved on Molokai.

My character Eden, too, has changed. It was a learning experience for me to discover that this dedicated woman is independent, strong, and willing to set aside her personal dreams to accomplish what she believes is the call of God.

I guess what truly surprised me in writing The Spoils of Eden is how Eden’s cousin, Roselin, became such an interesting character to me. I’m anxiously waiting to discover how she’s going to handle her love for Keno. Is she truly going to become sacrificial for his sake, or hold fast the one man she truly loves? Roselin has stepped out of the mist and become, to me at least, one of the more interesting persons in Spoils of Eden.

I’ve worked long and hard on this story. My writing hours are from eight o’clock in the evenings until after 3 AM. The house is oh so quiet…my German Shepherd is asleep…my cat is asleep…my four twittering finches and my squawking parakeet are asleep…and Steve, my beloved husband is—no, he’s wide awake! And editing as I write, and saying to me, “Hey, this is good, honey”. What a great guy he is. Aren’t I blessed? Thank You, Lord. I couldn’t do this without Him and him.

In an old chapter of the sequel I’d been writing for For Whom the Stars Shine, I happened to run across a devastating line I had written years ago. In my note from over a decade ago, the phone had just rung, and the unhappy news given. When I went back to my computer I had written: STOPPED. JUST RECEIVED A CALL FROM MY AGENT. THE PUBLISHER WANTS TO END THE CONTRACT.

I closed the Hawaii directory down and did not go back to look at it again until 2009.

But God has been good! I now have a book in my hands again.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a good New Year in the will of God. And whatever your problems, whatever your heartache, spread it out before our gracious God and leave the answers…and the timing, to Him. No matter how many weeks, months, or decades may go by. Jesus Christ is Faithful and True. Trust, and take heart. Like the high priest in the Old Testament who bore a jewel representing each of the tribes on his breast, you are resting on the shoulder and in the heart of the One and only Savior.

Linda Lee Chaikin’s book, Spoils of Eden, will release in May 2010, and you can visit her website at

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