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Karen Kingsbury Injects Faith Into Her Fiction

Best-selling author Karen Kingsbury shares how her faith influences the stories she writes. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: She's known as the queen of Christian fiction.

With over 25 million books in print and millions

of fans around the world Karen Kingsbury

lives up to the title.

Some of her heartwarming stories have even

been adapted to the big screen.

Karen's latest book, "A Baxter Family Christmas,"

focuses around her most popular characters, the Baxters,

as they come together after tragedy and witness a Christmas


Karen joins us now.


What a history you have in this crazy book business.

It's true.

Because it is a little crazy.

But it's like God has just given you

an anointing that brings forth prolific production, can I just


Did you ever think when you wrote your first book

that it would come to this?

When I would pray about it I could see--

I felt like I could see tables with stacks of books.


Like God was saying, this is going to touch culture.

It's going to change culture.

And I just had to be faithful.

I couldn't focus on that, I couldn't will it.

I just had to let it be all him.

And honestly, I feel like the first reader.

So when I'm writing it's just like a movie in my head

that God's put there and I just feel

like I get a chance to download that onto my laptop

and then you get to read it.


That is amazing.

You have brought to life the Baxter family.

And you know, I hear that it's patterned

after your own family.

Was your own family really like that?

Well the Baxters have a best friend

family called the Flanagans and they are shamelessly us.

Like they-- I mean, they really are.

Like they have Jenny and Jim, they are the parents,

and they have six kids, three are adopted from Haiti.

And so very much our family.

And so the Baxters, when they have funny moments,

there are funny moments, you know,

they came from our family.

When they have tender traditions or ways of resolving conflict,

even, that came from us.

But the Flanagans really are us.

Except for their conflicts, really, are fictional.

So I kind of told my family--

You're safe.

Yeah, exactly.

Once the Flanagans began to kind of take more center stage

and we wanted to know more about them, I said,

don't worry, you know, I'm never going

to put our real heartaches or whatnot into a fiction.

So where do your story ideas come from?

Well sometimes they just come--

they always come from God.

He gets all the credit, for sure.

But I might be at an airport and witness

a heartbreaking scene between a father and a son.

And one time I saw this where the father was saying

goodbye to his little son, obviously

it was a divorce situation where the little boy was going home

after a summer visit.

Step mom was sort of there but detached,

sitting off to the side.

And the dad was stoic until the little boy, who

was crying, until he got on the plane and then the father,

literally, I mean, with everyone watching, turned to the wall,

just put his arm up and wept.

And just wept.

And I thought, you know, that-- so then that

ignites something in me.

And I think, in addition to writing,

God's given me this blessing of empathy.

I was just going to say.

I mean, you talk about the wife being detached.

But how do you enter into someone's pain like that?


And in that case, I didn't talk to him

but I did talk to on the other side,

because the little boy was on my flight.

And at the other end, once we got to Portland,

where we lived at the time, the woman

who picked him up was welcoming him off the plane

and she was so tender hearted and I told her what I saw.

And she got tears in her eyes and she said, he left us.


And I thought, you know, just heartache of their situation.

So that works its way into my books.

Yeah, choices.


That love is a decision.

It's a decision to stay and to make this honoring to God.

Power through.


Yeah and then you'll find joy in that, too.

I've had some crazy funny letters as well from people

where they'll sometimes write and say,

your characters are so great.

One woman said, I feel like God's telling

me to leave my husband because my husband's not

like your characters.

I thought, oh my goodness, that is not what God's telling you.

Let me write back quickly.

Yeah so i wrote back quickly and I said,

you know, why don't you build your husband up?

Why don't you try some of the things

the Baxters do to save their relationship,

to make them better.

And they ended up staying married and having more kids.

And so, you know, the Baxter family

has become a real teaching tool for lives.

Influence, yeah, yeah.

It has.

You have a wonderful opportunity

coming up with Roma Downey and her husband Mark.

Tell us what's going on.

Well about two years ago Roma called and she said,

I'm reading the Baxter family.

At that point she was in "Redemption," so the very first

book and had moved on to the second book.

And she was loving them.

And she called and said, I'd like your blessing

to turn the Baxter family into a classic television

series for everyone to know.

And we began to be not only working together, but friends.

And this last summer I got a chance

to spend a couple different days where I would just

hang out at her house.

We would have lunch together.

And just pray over the Baxter family.

She is so excited to keep them who they are.

Because they don't know they're about to be famous, you know?

I love what they're doing.

That they're planning a network that's

going to feature family friendly faith-based stories.

I mean, what a boom to the Christian community.

Well we need it.

And it will be a source for original content, as well.

So they've got some great content that's

been part of the MGM library.

But they also have some great opportunities,

as do all of us who write Christian books and stories.

Because a lot of the networks, though they'll sometimes

run something, you fight for every mention of the word God.

And we just-- I mean, with Roma it's

going to be the complete creative control that you

always wanted that will-- I mean well

you see the "Duck Dynasty" family prays on TV.

Why can't they do that on movies and in films?

What's the start date for that?


We're looking at the end of 2017.

So it'll be about a year from now or early

into the next year.

But I've already seen the pilot-- the pilot script,

rather-- and it is amazing.

And it's so much like the book.

Ah that's so exciting.

So it's going to be fantastic.

That is wonderful.

You spoke after the election at Liberty University.

Speaking of moments of inspiration,

you bring a word of wisdom.

What did you say to the student body there?

Well I wasn't looking forward to that moment, necessarily,

because who knew who was going to win or that kind of thing

and, you know, obviously it's very conservative university.

I'm very conservative in my viewpoints and very pro-life.

And just we didn't know.

So I was praying and asking God to give me something

that was inspirational.

And he gave me, this poem.

And the poem had to do with the political landscape

in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth.

And how there were factions and divisions and unfair taxes

and a King who was absolutely not pro-life, I mean,

he was going to go on to kill babies because of Jesus.

So very similar.

And they wanted a leader to make Israel great again.

And that wasn't-- God took a look at what they needed and he

said, you know, it isn't going to end up being a King,

it's going to be Christmas.



Mentioned also that this is a national adoption month.

You are an adoptive mom.

And how has that changed your world?

When you adopt I think you set out to bless a child.

You're going to try to help them.

But as is always the case, children bless us.

And our adopted kids have brought us

everything from humor to a realization

of the actual [INAUDIBLE].

And there's kids that are starving to death.

So we're big fans of Compassion International now.

Our family sponsors 16 kids through them.

That's wonderful.

Because it's just one of those things

that the need is so great.

One of our adopted boys, Sean, he

lost a sister who was three years old who

died of starvation.

So they have blessed us beyond words.

And I got a text this morning from Sean

and he said, hey, beautiful Mom, I'm praying for you today.

And our family is so full and so rich and we laugh,

we have so much fun together.

I can't imagine that they ever weren't part of our family.

All the better for it.

Oh absolutely.

Well I just want to remind people, again,

if you've read all 22 of the Baxter books

or if you're new to the series, you

want to be sure to pick up a copy of "A Baxter Family


Put this on your gift list for folks,

they'll be inspired by it.

Karen, thank you so much for being with us.

It's always a treat to visit with you.

Thank you.

God bless you, Merry Christmas.

You too.

Thank you so much, Terry.


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