Q&A with Karen Kingsbury
Author of "Forgiving Paris"
Q: You bring up some serious issues such as drug addiction and suicide in this new novel. Why did you decide to tackle those topics?
A: Drug addiction and suicide have always been a part of life — twenty-three years ago when Ashley was first in Paris, and of course those things are still a very great problem today, especially during the pandemic. Life can feel hopeless, no matter what season of life. I write redemptive fiction to help readers see there’s a way out, a reason to believe again.
Q: What will fans of your novels find surprising about FORGIVING PARIS?
A: I wrote a surprise into Forgiving Paris. Ashley refers to this situation as her greatest fear, the danger she never shared with anyone. Readers who have known Ashley Baxter from the beginning will find this detail gripping. But Forgiving Paris is truly a stand-alone novel. Readers don’t have to have read anything about Ashley in order to understand the storyline here. And certainly, all readers will enjoy the high stakes storyline of a danger that is still a problem for our main character.
Q: What role does your faith play in choosing your storylines?
A: Faith is an organic part of all my stories, including Forgiving Paris. I tell a deep story, stories that involve the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the characters and their struggles. In this novel, some characters have no faith, yet you will come to know them in a deep and spiritual way. Ashley, on the other hand, knows she has been forgiven by God. Now the question remains: Can she forgive herself? Wherever the struggle is, there is the faith, too. Because hope and redemption is real for all of us— and my characters are no exception. This does not mean a guaranteed happy ending. Problems do not solve themselves and nothing is neat and tidy just because a person believes in God. But it does give us a very deep and fulfilling story —one that will need a box of tissues to finish.
Q: What do you want people to learn about the role of forgiveness of others and ourselves?
A: There is healing in forgiveness. Think of our souls and hearts as dry erase boards. We cannot write something new on a surface that hasn’t been wiped clean. Forgiveness of others and ourselves gives us the clean slate, the fresh start that God desires for us. Freedom from the pain of the past was important enough to Jesus that he went to the cross for it and for us.
Q: What keeps you inspired to write stories?
A: God is always giving me ideas! The other night I was going through my father’s things from decades ago. Something about that sparked a very deep story, one I cannot wait to write. I ask God to make me an investigator of the emotions, to have the eyes of my heart open to the people and events around me. And every time, He answers my prayer.
Q: Any other things coming up we should know about?
A: Big announcements coming on the film side! Soon I will be announcing the details of a TV series based on my book series, Angels Walking. I can’t wait for the greater world, beyond my readers, to know these special stories!
About Karen Kingsbury:
Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print.
Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development as major motion pictures. Her Baxter Family books were developed into a TV series.
Karen is also an adjunct professor of writing at Liberty University. She and her husband, Donald, live in Tennessee near their children and grandchildren.