Francine Rivers is an award-winning writer who was named to the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame in 1997. Her fiction often deals with real issues and causes readers to think through their own beliefs. Her books include The Atonement Child, Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion trilogy.
How did you get started as a writer?
Well, I always wanted to write from the time I was very little, and my mother encouraged me. She wrote a journal from the time she was 15 up until about the age of 76. So she was encouraging me to write stories.
You got your start in books by writing steamy romantic novels. How did that fit with your faith?
I had been raised in the church, but I wasn't a Christian. I had a lot of head knowledge but no heart knowledge. So it didn't really make any difference. But I was searching. I can see in the last couple of those novels that I was really searching for answers. They were dealing with God, touching on God and the search for God.
What were the titles of those books?
I'd rather not give the titles because I don't want people going out and looking for them. I have gotten all the rights back to those books, and they're no longer in print. I have friends that buy them. And they toss them.
Some of them are in libraries, but I see them as an opportunity for me to witness and say, "Well, this was the before. Then Christ came into my life, and everything changed after that in dramatic ways."
So there you are exploring spiritual yearnings in not-to-be-named steamy romance novels. What happened to change things?
We moved into a new house. An 8-year-old boy came over and said, "Have I got a church for you." And when I walked into that church, they were teaching from the Bible. New concept. I had grown up where they ...1