Linda Lee Chaikin
Linda Lee Chaikin is a top selling author who began her literary career as a teenager when she rewrote the ending of novels because she was dissatisfied with them. Two of her novels have been awarded the Silver Angel Award for excellence. Linda is a graduate of Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and taught neighborhood Bible classes for many years. She and her husband make their home in Northern California where her favorite recreations are reading and taking vacations where the wind blows through lonely deserts and ghost towns.
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April 30, 2010
Linda Lee Chaikin has written over 30 books, including The Silk House series and FOR WHOM THE STARS SHINE, a finalist for the prestigious Christy Award and a story that introduces the main characters in her latest title, THE SPOILS OF EDEN. In this interview, Chaikin explains her interest in Hawaii, which became a state when she was growing up. She also discusses the novel’s emphasis on the sometimes-misrepresented Hawaiian Christianity and the theme of God as a loving father who is actively involved in our history.
Question: Why did you write THE SPOILS OF EDEN?
Linda Lee Chaikin: I was a teenager when Hawaii became a state. At the time, the publicity awakened a curiosity about the Islands. Around that same time, a Hollywood movie based on a bestselling novel came out. I read the much-publicized novel, and only later after I became a Christian did I realize the injustice to the early missionaries who were portrayed as dour, unsmiling people who went to Hawaii to put clothes on the Hawaiians. As I did my own research, I’m convinced the early missionaries were wonderful Christians who suffered a great deal for their work to honor Christ and the Bible. I always wanted to write about Hawaii.
Q: What message did you want to convey in THE SPOILS OF EDEN?
LLC: Choosing just one was difficult. The Christian history is stirring and challenging. But the plight of the lepers, and the children in particular, is key. And so I developed Baby Kip’s plight. Also, Eden Derrington is seeking a relationship with her earthly father, one long denied because of her father’s zeal in seeking an answer for Rebecca his wife, Eden’s mother. In the series, Eden will learn that the cry of her heart for a daughter-father relationship is answered in the precious Fatherhood of God through Jesus Christ. Christ. He said: “I ascend unto my God and your God, My Father and (now, because of His death for our sins and His resurrection) our Father! That moves my heart just as it moves Eden’s. It’s awesome.
Q: How did research for THE SPOILS OF EDEN compare to your other novels?
LLC: I had already visited the historical places in Hawaii for my 1999 novel, FOR WHOM THE STARS SHINE, which was the runner up for the Christy award that year, and introduced Eden and Rafe in their early youth. I had already collected an abundance of information on the old history and returning to the subject now in 2010 makes it all the more memorable and enjoyable to me.
Q: Did you learn anything from writing THE SPOILS OF EDEN and what was it?
LLC: First, I learned anew that God was, and therefore is also today, at work in history. His Providence provides for His future purposes. I’m pleased Hawaii is part of the United States. Secondly. I learned afresh how the sufferings of the earliest missionaries will outlast the secular criticism of their labors. Lastly, I discovered that the materialistic grandchildren of the missionaries became bogged down in building an empire of sugar and politics instead of building the Body of Christ. This, I believe, is the strongest message from Hawaii’s missionary past to the Christians of America in our decaying culture.
Q: What were the challenges in bringing THE SPOILS OF EDEN to life?
LLC: I have very frequent headaches due to sensitivities to food and other allergies. After one of these bouts, trying to pick up the fervency in the story where I left off two to three days earlier is always a challenge. Even so, God has allowed me to write over thirty books since the first one came out in 1991, and I’m thankful. The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” As long as He continues to give me an open door to write --- I’ll keep doing what I love to do. Even now, I’m thinking, “what do I want to write after the Dawn of Hawaii series is completed?”
© Copyright 2017, Linda Lee Chaikin. All rights reserved
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