Today’s guest, best-selling author Christina Sinisi, shares about her new release. Why They Call It Falling is not about depression, even though the main character Emma struggles with mental illness. This story is uplifting and offers hope and help, and Christina does this by bringing all the aspects of the human story into this exceptional novel.
Heidi: Welcome, Christina. Please share a bit of your new release and how Why They Call It Falling—Falling into Despair and In Love came to be.
Christina: In the spring of 2018, I experienced three hardships in a row…starting with the death of my father. That loss was difficult in a different way than most, perhaps, because my relationship with my father wasn’t very close. He’d always been a hard man and his passing was more of the same—hard. A month later, I lost a national election in my full-time profession; I was unseated as Vice-President of the psychology honor society I’d been working diligently to support for twenty years. Finally, I was demoted from department chair to regular professor (just information, I was reinstated a year later).
Heidi: Each of those situations would have been difficult to deal with on their own, but so close together?
Christina: God works in mysterious ways. When I’d been so busy being VP of the honor society and department chair, I’d dropped out of Romance Writers of America. These losses opened my schedule, but I didn’t feel comfortable with RWA anymore. A friend told me about American Christian Fiction Writers of America. I joined that fall.
Fast forward to the next June. I had just finished a Christian romance and started to submit to agents. Then, on June 6 of 2019, I saw a call for Christmas novellas due by the end of the month.
I wrote Christmas Confusion in 3 and a half weeks. In that book, I wrote about three sisters. Emma was the middle and somewhat of a villain. She’d seemingly left her child with Tiffany, the oldest sister, without a note or a phone call. There was no excuse.
After that book was published, my friends and mentor all asked for the other two sisters’ stories (Tiffany was the heroine of CC).
Heidi: As an author, I completely understand wanting to tell the stories of my other characters. Were these stories fun and easy to write?
Christina: Last year, I published Sweet Summer, the youngest sister, Shelby’s story. She’d barely shown up on the pages of the first book, so her story was easy to write.
Emma, however, needed redemption. I needed an explanation for her behavior. In the first book, the backstory was that Emma had been a wild child, and her misbehavior upset her father on the night he was murdered at work. She imbibed this guilt that she’d been the one at least partially responsible. The loss and the difficulties the family faced after her father’s death led to moodiness, depression, and shame.
When her high school boyfriend, Justin, couldn’t handle everything she was experiencing, he left. Then, she found out she was pregnant. She tried one time to tell him she was pregnant, but not again. She could barely function, but for the sake of her child, she pulled herself through—at least enough to work hard and take care of her baby. Not enough to enjoy life. This is now called functional depression. Part of this story is encouraging people to reach out for therapy.
Heidi: This is important and carries no shame. Reaching out for professional mental health is no different from seeing a physician for a physical ailment. I’m thankful for Christian counselors, but not everyone is willing to open up to a stranger. As an author, we have a unique opportunity to help others. When a reader works through an issue with a character, they may find an answer to their current situation. As an author with a psychology background and your personal experiences, I can imagine you bring something unique to your stories.
Christina: Another side to this story behind the story—I am a psychology professor. I majored in psychology rather than English so that I might know more about people. I hope to continue to bring all the aspects of the human story into my stories—and the hope we can all find in Christ.
Heidi: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Christina: Why They Call It Falling isn’t about depression even though Emma is struggling. Instead, her story is uplifting, offering hope and help.
To purchase your copy, please go to: Why They Call It Falling—Falling into Despair and In Love.
Christina Sinisi is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She 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 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.
Visit Christina on her website at https://www.christinasinisi.com/bio. You can also connect with her at the following sites:
Disclosure for Heidi’s website: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.