Publishers Weekly recently turned the spotlight on Karen Kingsbury and her latest installment of the Baxter Family series called "Love Story." God's love story for humanity and the often complicated relationships between family members inspired Karen to pen these "life-changing fiction" novels and will be the topic of her talks on the upcoming Love Story Tour, which begins in June. For all the dates and details, go to the Event Page!
Join bestselling author Karen Kingsbury as she brings her New York Times bestselling Baxter Family to the stage in the Love Story Tour. With 25 Baxter books, Karen will take you back to the beginning of the Baxter Family and the love story that started it all. You'll laugh and cry and talk about how much God loves you!
Karen will share two talks and a Q&A session. The night will be filled with encouragement, love and laughter. The audience will walk away uplifted, encouraged and challenged to love even more. Also, each ticketholder will receive a special gift from Karen - her new book, Love Story ($22.99 value)!
Enjoy this article by Publishers Weekly:
Spotlight on Karen Kingsbury
Megabestseller Kingsbury on crafting “life-changing fiction” that “connects with the heart”
While love, forgiveness, loss, redemption, and, of course, God are dominant themes in her writing, Karen Kingsbury’s work can’t be pigeonholed as Christian fiction. “It is important to me that people not of the Christian faith read my work,” Kingsbury says. “When I hear that more than half of my readers are not Christian believers, I smile. It tells me that I’m writing strong fiction, stories that connect with the heart. That’s my goal.”
It’s also why there are more than 25 million copies of Kingsbury’s 80-plus books in print. She’s a virtuosic chronicler of some of the most universal subjects: the trials of complicated individuals and families.
Kingsbury’s latest novel, Love Story, about lost love and its multigenerational effects, is the 25th book in the author’s bestselling Baxter Family series, which chronicles the lives of John and Elizabeth Baxter and their six adult children. It’s an epic drama that proves the strength of faith and family.
This latest title has John reliving an old love story, while family friend Cody Coleman works his way through a complicated relationship. Love Story, though a classic Baxter Family book, can be read as a standalone novel. “It’s, in many ways, a prequel,” Kingsbury explains. “The book takes us back to the beginning, to the dance where Elizabeth and John met—and reveals something about their love that has been secret until now.”
Kingsbury gives readers an abbreviated Baxter history and the complete and very intricate family tree in the new book’s prologue. This web of characters, including all the friends who flesh out the Baxters’ fictional world, came to life when the author was on a cross-country flight in 2002. “I boarded the plane thinking ‘family’ and ‘series,’” Kingsbury recalls. “By the time we landed I had all their names, their back stories, their personalities. But more than that, I could see them. They came to me complete. I don’t need charts or cheat notes to know them and remember where I’m at with them. They live and breathe and laugh and love inside me.”
The Tennessee-based author has a well-choreographed approach to her writing. Before she begins each novel, she answers 150 questions about both the protagonist and the antagonist. Then she outlines, so, as she puts it, “I’m in love with the story.”
Her prolific writing career began in the 1980s, when Kingsbury was a sports reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Her first novels were true crime books, but that genre didn’t feel quite right. After her fourth true crime book, Kingsbury began focusing solely on what she calls “life-changing fiction.”
What Kingsbury still keeps close from those early days as a reporter are the writing skills she garnered. “I can’t think of a better training ground than journalism for my work as a novelist,” she says. “When writing for a newspaper, you need a catchy lead and an unforgettable tag. And everything in between has to be written in a way that grips the reader. Now I do the same thing with chapters. Every chapter has to have an ending that makes it almost impossible to close the book.”
It’s a lively season for the Baxters. In addition to the new book, the family will be coming to the small screen—LightWorkers Media, the faith and family division of MGM, is at work on a Baxter Family TV series, which will debut in spring 2018. “We all believe the series will last a decade on the air,” she says. “There’s so much material!”