Christine Dillon is an Australian who has spent most time in Asia. She attended school in Malaysia and the Philippines. And in 1999, she served as a missionary in Taiwan. In addition, she loves telling Bible stories and training others to do the same.
A Word from Christine Dillon
I never wanted to be a writer but it seems that God had other plans. He graciously eased me into the idea by getting me involved with small projects which gradually increased in length until in about 2006/7 I wrote what would become my first published book, 1-2-1 Discipleship (Christian Focus, 2009).
About the same time, I was having a prayer day and suddenly the ideas for two novels downloaded into my mind. My first response was “No Lord,” but immediately saw that those two words cannot go together. So, I modified my response to, “I don’t think I have the ability to write fiction but if those ideas really came from you, then you’ll not only have to give me the ability but you’ll have to push me to write.”
In His timing He did.
It wasn’t until 2013 (after I had written two more non-fiction books), that the push finally came. While staying in a friend’s home in the Philippines, I read Francine Rivers’ Sons of Encouragement novellas. Once again, crystal clear in my mind was the thought, “That’s how you start. You’re a Bible storyteller, you can practice by writing a Biblical novel.” That very day, I started the research and within a year or two had two Biblical practice runs written. These allowed me to practice writing without having to do much plotting.
In 2015, I started what I considered the real thing, a novel which from the first inspiration was called Grace in Strange Disguise. However, God in His wisdom didn’t let me know that it would take me four and a half years. Every time I wanted to give up, God would give me an encouragement to keep me moving forward.
One of the things with writing is that we are usually not a good judge of our own work. I had to allow people to read it and some comments were harsh. I edited and rewrote numerous times and I submitted it to competitions to receive feedback.
Eventually, I thought it was ready for a professional edit. I was wrong!
The editor wrote back that it wasn’t ready for her yet and gave me a list of things to improve and more writing craft books to read. It wasn’t until six months later (after the date I’d originally wanted to publish it) that she agreed it was up to a high enough standard to edit.
More rewrites and edits followed.
Prior to submitting to another competition, I asked a second editor, whose comments on an online group had impressed me, if she’d edit my three chapter submission. I was horrified to see so many more edits and after prayer, came to the reluctant conclusion that I needed a full second edit for this first book.
Towards the end of the process the editor wrote, “This is not one book but one and a half.” These words were like a knife in the chest. Again I prayed, and eventually listened to the editor’s wisdom and as a result a series was born. Having to cut off the best third of my first book and write a new ending was painful but that material became the conclusion of book 2, Grace in the Shadows and even two chapters of book 3, Grace in Deep Waters.
Christine Dillon: Key lessons I’ve learned
- Pray about everything, especially that you’ll be led to the right people to help you produce the best possible book for God’s glory.
- Writing is a slow, hard, process.
- The right editors make or break a book.
- Never be too independent. You’ll make far less mistakes if you belong to a community of writers and are willing to ask questions.
Grace in Strange Disguise by Christine Dillon
Instead of a wedding, Esther is facing radical surgery and chemotherapy. Where is God when she needs him most?
Esther is a people pleaser. It’s never been a major problem because she’s just gone with the flow. Her father has always preached, “Follow Jesus and you’ll be blessed.” And up until age twenty-eight, Esther has never had any reason to doubt it.
Will she appease her father? Or will she listen to the words of a stranger who challenges everything she believes?
Grace in Strange Disguise by Christine Dillon is a soul-stirring contemporary Christian novel. Book 1 in the Grace series.
Prologue from Grace in Strange Disguise (Book 1) by Christine Dillon
“You have cancer.”
Acid surged in Esther’s throat. No, no, no, no, no. Impossible. William Macdonald’s daughter couldn’t have cancer. Esther wrapped her arms around her stomach. The nausea reminded her of that horrible day she’d taken her first rollercoaster ride as an eight-year-old. The car had chugged slowly, slowly, slowly to the crest of the ride, then plunged down, down, down. She’d been unable to escape, unable to do anything but hang on, knuckles white, and try not to throw up.
The doctor was still talking, but Esther’s brain was stuck on those three short words. Thirteen fateful letters. Meaningless on their own, but strung together. Cannonballs. Cannonballs, punching ragged holes in her life.
She was only twenty-eight. How could she have cancer? This wasn’t what she’d been promised. Or, what she’d been raised to expect. Hadn’t her father always preached that those who have faith would be protected from the problems that plague other people?
She’d taken the tests the doctor had ordered ten days ago, but only because that was expected of her. She hadn’t anticipated anything would be wrong. Not this wrong. And if there was something wrong, surely God would cure her. Wasn’t that his job?
You have cancer.
Three stark words.
No more fantasies of health. No more hiding. No more false hope.
There was no escape. No way out. Just like on the rollercoaster. The only option was to hang on for the ride, and hope she’d survive.
Christine Dillon’s Giveaway:
Ebook of your choice from her series (Books 1-5)
The print version is available at multiple booksellers and on Amazon.
For ebooks on multiple platforms go here: https://www.storytellerchristine.com/bookstag/my-book-table/
Connect with Christine Dillon:
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Dear Lord, please bless each word Christine writes for You.
~For Jesus’ sake~