Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Veiw from Ginny Yttrup's Window - ICRS Orlando

I was able to share dinner with Ginny Yttrup, and Linda Attaway while attending the International Christial Retail Show in Orlando.  It was such a true blessing to sit and talk, laugh and enjoy fellowship with these two very special ladies!  Ginny had just won a Christy award for her first novel, Words, the night before, so we were able to share that excitement with her as well!  What a blessing to be able to share this time together!  We discussed her latest work, Lost and Found, over dinner, and I want to share her thoughts with you now. I hope this blesses you, and invites you to spend time reading Ginny's novels!

Where was that story for Lost and Found inspired in your heart?  It came from my own life…I was in the midst of unraveling my life from a very destructive relationship.  A friend quoted Madame Jean Gione. And  I asked myself the question: “What would a modern day Madame Jean Gionne look like?  So I began to take my emotions and the experiences I had had and began to weave a story around her life and my own life.

What do you hope that your readers will take away from this novel? What character resonated most with you?  The main character Jenna.  I spent my whole life as a people pleaser, placing people in the place that only God should be in my life and allowing them to have more control over my life than God did.  So I wrote Jenna character very much out of my own experience and my own heart.

Was there someone in your life similar to Skye? No…I had a group of female friends that were speaking truth into my life. So Skye was kind of a conglomeration of all of those women.

The pastor that counsels Jenna in the book sort of pushes the boundaries of what is appropriate in a male/female relationship between counselor and someone of the opposite sex needing counseling. What was your purpose in writing their relationship so near the edge?  There is potential for both positive and negative reactions.  Because I was loosely basing this story on the life of Madame Jean Gione…she was accused of having an affair with her spiritual director – and she did not. But that was part of her story.  I also wanted to created some tension in the story. But my main goal – my heart was to show a man – a godly man – who faces temptation  and turns away.  I think we all encounter people who we feel a real connection with, and we have a choice  - do we pursue it? do we run from it? do we bring in accountability to help us? – and I wanted to show a strong godly man who made the right choice.  There are a lot of godly men who are willing to help others of the opposite sex while reflecting God’s love to women in a totally appropriate way.

Then there is Amy – someone who has emotionally isolated herself. What was the inspiration for her character?  Matthew 10….he who loses his life for my sake will find it….I wanted to show that struggle…someone who was searching so much for her own life…and she experiences transformation. 

It’s hard to write an antagonist like that.  I wanted to portray the fact that she had wounds in her life, and I wanted my readers to be drawn in by her character and want to find the back story.  She was fun to write!

Your next project?  Invisible comes out in February.  I’m in the editing process now. This is the story of three women longing for invisibility. Their lives intersect and they struggle to find healing. First, a lady struggling with her weight…doesn’t know what that is blocking her from doing in her life. A young girl struggling with anorexia..the strongest character in the book. A counselor running from God.  And there is a thread of romance that runs through the book.  The overall theme is letting go of shame – which I totally understand.  I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life, and the abuse I experienced  early in life…and I wanted to write about letting go of shame and embracing who you are in Christ.  The quotes I pair with this story come from St . Augustine. I want to show readers that throughout time…the sins are the same, the struggles are the same, forgiveness and healing take place through God the same way. God never changes.

God is doing a lot of neat things right now. I’m doing a lot of speaking, retreats.  I never wanted to speak, but I felt like God was calling me to speak. When my publisher knew I was going to write issue-driven fiction, they asked if I would be willing to share my story, and they made it possible for me to be prepared for speaking engagements. God has brought me to those opportunities.

 It seems that God is using fiction as a springboard into ministry.  That is exciting to see!

What do you want to share with your readers?  The one topic that keeps coming up in my work is truth. The truth first and foremost is Jesus Christ. We are told that the truth will set us free. I like to explore that in my fiction. What does it look like when we speak truth? What does it look like to live truth? What does it look like to take the Bible and live it as truth?

I also want to explore an intimate relationship with Christ. If I can inspire that in the life of my readers then I will be one happy author!

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