C. J. Darlington won the 2008 Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest with her first novel, Thicker Than Blood. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over twelve years, scouting for stores similar to the ones described in her novels before cofounding her own online bookstore. In 2006 C. J. started the Christian entertainment Web site www.TitleTrakk.com with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. A homeschool graduate, she makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Visit her website www.cjdarlington.com
1. If Bound By Guilt were a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?
Tonya, you got close to really stumping me on this question! For my main character, Roxi Gold, I would want a young actress who could do justice to her character, but it wouldn't have to be a well-known name. In fact, it might be fun to have an unknown play her. For police officer Abby Dawson I could see Nancy McKeon. Or Maura Tierney. Actually, if I recall correctly, it was her portrayal of another Abby in the TV show ER that inspired me to name a character Abby in my novel. For Jan Mercer all I'd really care about is if she was the right age (early fifties) and could act well.
2. What gave you the idea to write Bound By Guilt?
Several years ago I read a news article about a young man who'd been arrested in California for stealing rare books from various bookstores and re-selling them to other stores for a profit. I asked myself, "What kind of story I can I build around that idea?" For many years I'd also wanted to write about someone who suddenly found themselves with nowhere to go and nothing but the clothes on their back. What would they do? How would they survive? These two ideas propelled the story.
3. What was your favorite and least favorite part of writing Bound By Guilt?
It was difficult, but rewarding, to plot out the ending. I had some head-scratching moments trying to figure out how to get my characters where they needed to be and still remain completely realistic and believable. My favorite moments writing the novel were the rare eureka moments where I know the Lord was prompting me with the answer to a particular scene or character problem I was facing. There was a small twist that's revealed at the end of the novel I did not see coming. Really. It was a complete surprise to me. I love when things like that happen!
4. What do you hope people take away from Bound By Guilt?
I hope they'd be challenged to look past outward appearances and see people, especially teens, the way God sees them. Love them for who they are with no strings attached. Love them even when they make mistakes. Love truly does cover over a multitude of wrongs.
5. On Pink Sapphire, books are rated by gemstone carats, 5 carats being an awesome books, what are some of your 5 carat choices?
Definitely The Rivers Run Dry by Sibella Giorello. She's become one of my favorite authors writing suspense that's character-driven. A lovely combination. All of Sibella's novels are worthy of 5 carats, but The Rivers Run Dry is my favorite. Though her latest novel The Mountains Bow Down comes close. I also highly recommend James David Jordan's novel Forsaken, and Kathy Tyers' Firebird trilogy that's just being re-released by Marcher Lord Press!
6. What are you currently working on? What is next for you?
I am working on my third novel. I've just finished the rough draft and actually need to hit the ground running on my re-write!