Friday, June 3, 2011

An Interview With Karen Kingsbury

                                                   Karen Portrait by Dan Davis Photography

About Karen:
USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's #1 inspirational novelist. There are nearly 20 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 50 novels, ten of which have hit #1 on national lists.

Karen's newest novel, Unlocked, released Oct. 12 and has stayed in Amazon's top fifty for the past few weeks. Unlocked debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times Bestsellers list. Another recent and popular title of Karen's is Shades of Blue - the story of a 28-year-old ad executive who is six weeks away from marrying the girl he loves. But as he prepares for his wedding, something brings up his past girlfriend - a girl he dated in high school. He realizes he can't go forward and say, "I do," until he goes back to Holden Beach, finds the girl he loved back then, and tell her he's sorry.

Karen's novel Like Dandelion Dust is the subject of a major motion picture currently in theaters. Like Dandelion Dust stars Academy Award winning Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper, along with Cole Hauser and Maxwell Perry Cotton. The film has received more than 30 awards in the Film Festival Circuit including numerous Best Picture awards. Several of Karen's books are currently under theatrical development.

1.Where do you get your story ideas?

 I get my ideas from life happening around me, mostly. The news, the radio, a conversation, a trend, a contemporary struggle of some sort. Obviously the war is very contemporary, and the issues are those facing all Americans . . . that sort of thing. But most of all, my ideas come from the Lord. He puts the picture in my head, the whole story. It’s very visual. I’m just responsible for getting it onto paper.

2.What are the steps you take when you write a new book?

 First I take an idea that God has placed on my heart, and I find a title. Next I flesh out the characters. I name them, give them biographies, strengths, weaknesses, etc. I figure out how the story will change them, make them stronger, and how God will be glorified in the process. Finally I write a very detailed chapter outline. From there, I write the book.

3. Which of the books that you have written is your favorite and why?

 Each of my books is special to me so that’s a tough question to answer. Each story was placed on my heart by God, and comes with a theme or storyline that God has used to change the lives of various readers.

4. You've said, "Christian fiction is more powerful than other fiction." Could you expound on this?

   Christian or inspirational fiction is more powerful because the characters can be fully developed. In mainstream fiction, readers can only learn about a characters physical, intellectual, and emotional traits. But with inspirational fiction, readers can learn about the character’s spiritual traits, as well. In this way, readers are identifying with these books like none others. I’ve trademarked my fiction – Life-Changing Fiction™ because I hear from hundreds of readers every week who say God is using these novels to change their lives. That’s more powerful than books written for sheer entertainment value.

5. You were a reporter for the LA Times & LA Daily News long before you were a novelist. What first drew you to journalism?

  I knew from fifth grade on that I wanted to be an author, but I also understood that not everyone can become a novelist. Journalism was my back-up plan. It was something I loved to do, and it was a job I could take to any place in the world. The camaraderie of the newsroom is something I still miss, but no question my work as a reporter opened doors for me to become an author

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