I’m happy to have Christian Sinisi back on the blog this week to talk about her newest Contemporary Romance novel, Why They Call It Falling. Be sure to comment on the interview by June 7 for a chance to win a digital copy!
Welcome back, Christina! Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
First, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Deena! I truly appreciate your efforts on behalf of fellow authors. Then, to the question…I am married to Kyle Sinisi, 36 years as of August, so you can guess at my age. 😊 We have two grown children—Scott and Lindsey. Scott is a history instructor at the local community college and Lindsey is an architectural designer in New York, New York. Two very different young people!
Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! Do you have any hobbies? What do you do for fun?
Since I am a full-time psychology professor in my day job, writing is my hobby for now. If this writing thing takes off, that could change because writing is my first love, but for now. I also enjoy traveling—I’m in London as I write this—and baking. I have to admit my favorite thing to do is hide out on one of my porches and read a good book—no stress, no train to catch.
Hiding out and reading a good book is at the top of my list, too. How and when did you start writing?
As soon as I learned how to write—third grade—I started writing. My earliest efforts included poetry in third grade followed by a play in fifth grade and my first novel in eighth grade. I can’t speak to the quality, but the writing bug was always there.
I love that you have such a long history of love for writing. How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your stories?
I pray at every stage of my writing. Then, in the books themselves, the characters struggle with their faith and then life hits and they turn to God, either gradually or in that dark moment when He is all we can turn to. I hope my readers’ faith is strengthened and that, in some small way, I glorify Him with my words.
My kind of books! What did God teach you through the writing of Why They Call It Falling?
Writing Why They Call It Falling helped me understand and empathize more with those suffering from clinical depression yet still functioning in everyday life. It is so easy to make assumptions about those suffering from mental illness—that there is a certain picture of how people look when they have a diagnosis. Instead, most people suffering from mental illness live ordinary lives, they just struggle a bit more.
You’ve just hit on a topic of interest for me in my own writing, which is portraying people with mental illness in an honest and real way. So needed in our society. What do you hope your readers take away from Why They Call It Falling?
I hope that readers take away a sense of love through thick and thin. I got so emotional when my hero proposed at my heroine’s lowest moment—oops, a spoiler. The moment is that good, though, so spoilers are not a problem.
Well, it is a romance, so we kind of expect the couple to get together, right? What was the hardest scene to write?
I believe the dark moment is always the hardest to write. My heroine is so afraid of losing her daughter, so terrified that her flaws will earn her punishment. In the literal sense, Emma had put her child in jeopardy and perhaps deserved to lose custody of her child at the most extreme. In the figurative sense, we all are flawed and deserve eternal punishment. Thank the Lord that we don’t always get deserve.
Amen to that! What is one of your favorite quotes from Why They Call It Falling?
“For better or worse. This is definitely among the worst, so it can only go up from here, Emma girl.” Justin bent down on one knee on the dirty motel room floor.
Beautiful quote. How many unpublished and unfinished manuscripts do you have? Any plans to pursue publication for any of them?
About 10, in various stages of completion. One is with my publisher now, waiting conclusions. I just received a second back from an editor and as soon as I make the needed changes, I’m going to submit to an agent. I’ve started the follow-up to that one and plan on getting back to work as soon as I return home from London and Scotland (where I am now as I type for my big vacation). Behind all those, there are several I want to return to, some day.
Sounds like you have a lot of good things going on. How do you balance writing with your other life and family obligations?
I do the best I can. I think that is one of the most important messages I can send. Given my almost older adult stage of life, I have learned to give myself grace as well as accepting God’s gift. Right now, I’m on vacation. There is no time for writing—we’ve been touristing hard since there’s no guarantee I’ll ever visit Paris or Edinburgh again. That’s okay. Before this trip, I was grading final exams and papers—little to no writing then and that’s okay. When I return home, I’ll be on summer break. I will write then and relish every minute of it. Do your best and leave the rest to God.
Thank you, again, Deena, for having me—your questions are so insightful!
Great words of wisdom, Christina! And it’s my pleasure to host you. I look forward to seeing all that God has in store for you as you write for His glory.
Join the conversation. Does Christina’s new book sound like something you’d like to read? What are your thoughts about addressing mental illness in Christian Fiction? What do you love most about contemporary romance? Any questions for Christina?
Be sure to comment by June 7 for a chance to win a digital copy of Christina’s book! Keep scrolling to find the comments section.
Why They Call it Falling by Christina Sinisi
Click the book cover for pre-order link
Formerly the wild child of three sisters, Emma Marano grew up to be a single mom working two jobs, estranged from her mother, and lying to her friends. She’d told everyone that her daughter’s father wanted nothing to do with his child, but in reality, her own inability to deal with her mistakes and shame led to the biggest lie of her life. But her daughter, Haley, is all Emma has in the world, so how can she regret keeping Haley to herself? Emma’s struggling, though, and her life is slowly imploding.
Right after high school, Justin Lee broke up with Emma Marano and joined the Army, leaving her and all her drama behind. Years later, he stumbles upon her and what turns out to be a daughter he never knew he had. Angry and confused, he insists on having a relationship with his daughter, but to do so, he’ll need to rebuild some sort of relationship with Emma, too. As he gets to know his daughter—and Emma again—he soon realizes that his biggest mistake was leaving her all those years ago. What he dismissed as drama turns out to be a serious mental health issue, and Emma needs help. Is he man enough to see past her flaws and forgive her lies, or will he make the same mistakes again?
Faced with acting on forgiveness instead of just saying the words, Emma and Justin find love again, and recover a faith in each other and in God that they hadn’t realized they’d lost.
Confronting their past head on, Emma and Justin must reclaim their love and recover their faith in each other and in God—a faith they hadn’t realized they missed.
A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christina Sinisi writes stories about families, both the broken and blessed. Her works include a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and the American Title IV Contest where she appeared in the top ten in the Romantic Times magazine.
Her published books include Christmas Confusion, Sweet Summer, and the Christmas on Ocracoke. By day, she is a psychology professor and lives in the LowCountry of South Carolina with her husband, two children and her crazy cat Chessie Mae.
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If you missed last week’s interview with LeighAnne Clifton, find it here.