Best-selling author Karen Kingsbury discusses her famous fictional Baxter family being featured in a new TV series by Roma Downey.
- Well, what happens when a young father
gets so caught up in social media
that it almost destroys his family?
That's the subject of When We Were Young,
the latest novel in thepopular Baxter family series.
Take a look.
- [Announcer] Karen Kingsbury
is a New York Times best-selling novelist
and America's favoriteinspirational story-teller.
She has over 25 million copies
of her award-winning books in print
and millions of fans around the world.
Many of her novels are under development
as major motion pictures
and her popular Baxter family books
are being developed into a TV series.
Roma Downey and Will Packer
have teamed up to produce The Baxters.
The first script dramafor MGM's digital platform
which premiers in 2019.
For latest novel When We Were Young
features the beloved Baxter family
and a father who finds his whole world
turned upside down
on the eve of his separation.
- And please welcome back to The 700 Club,
Karen, it's so nice to meet you.
- Oh, it's so good to be back.
It is great.
- You've got 25 million books in print.
Why did you decide to take on this issue
of a destructive power of social media
in your latest book?
- Well, I've seen a lotof my younger readers
particularly who are just all about this
Like they follow these couples
that have millions andmillions of followers
and that's what they wanna do.
They think, well, I'm justgonna post beautiful pictures
and put up beautiful words
and then, before you know it,
someone will pay me to be on social media.
And I just think it's so unrealistic.
The comparison game, this is not healthy
and it can actually destroy relationships.
- Well, how is When We Were Young
primarily a book about second chances?
- So When We Were Young follows the story
of Emily and Noah Carter
and they are an Instagram-famous couple.
They have a four-year-oldand a two-year-old.
But over time, their beautiful story
becomes more of a facade.
It's more of a set where like they wake up
and specially Noah, hekinda rushes to the table
and he sets it up and makes it look
like a perfect photo shootand forgets to hug his wife,
forgets to say hello to his kids.
And he's finding more sort of affirmation
from the people who arefollowing him and saying,
oh wow, relationship goals.
This is great.
You're so cute.
And he's playing like
this is where he's turning his attention.
So their marriage now is kinda crumbled
and he is gonna walk outthe door in the morning.
And so this story takesplace in just 24 hours.
- Oh my goodness.
You're kidding, wow.
You've got 24 hours into that.
Well, how does the novel contain
an angle similar to that of Scrooge
or Scrooge's experiencein A Christmas Carol?
- Well, that's always beenone of my favorite stories
and I love the movieScrooge with Albert Finney
and the musical.
That's our family's favorite.
So I wanted Noah,
Noah is a former football player.
He's had concussions in his brain
and he's kinda suffers from that.
So he'll get headachesand he'll have moments
of almost amnesia becauseof those concussions.
So he goes to sleep.
Now he's gonna walk out in the morning.
His truck's all packed,
his bag are all in the car,
and in the morning,
instead, what happens as he wakes up,
he's five years older.
The kids are older.
He gets to know what's going on.
He can't understand where his wife is.
He doesn't remember walking out.
Goes back to sleep, wakes up again,
another five years older.
And this continues all through the night.
He is waking up and he's older each time
and he's able to see
where his choices are gonna go
and what life is gonna look like
five, 10, even 20 years later
if he really walks out that door tomorrow.
- Wow, that's powerful
and scary (laughs).
Well, tell us about theupcoming TV series, The Baxters.
This is exciting.
- Yes, The Baxters.
I'll have The Baxters play into this book
is Carrie Baxter is thefriend of the main character.
So it's just been kind of fun
to put cameo appearances of The Baxters
in a book like When We Were Young,
which is standalone.
No one have to read theothers to read this.
But The Baxters will be on TV next year.
This time, they have already filmed
and completed six episodes that we love.
So Roma Downey is starringas Elizabeth Baxter
and then we have Ted McGinleystarring as John, the father.
And lots of talented young actors
playing the adult kids.
So what happens is MGMsupporting obviously Roma Downey
in LightWorkers and her company.
And as they finish the first six episodes,
MGM said this is the bestTV show we have seen.
We are so excited about it.
But we need more material.
- More material.
- So they green lit them to go back
and do another 18 episodes,
and those episodes actuallyare scripting right now
and they'll start filming in January
so that next year at this time,
I think everyone's gonna know the Baxters.
Well, we know about it now.
We can't wait.
I love Roma Downey in anything,
so that's amazing.
Why do you think your booksabout the Baxter family
continue to be so popular.
You tried to end that series
but your fans wouldn't let you, right?
- That's really true.
I thought it would be five books
and now here we are
these many years later with20+ books about the Baxters
and then the additional ones
that have them as minor characters.
I mean, it's like what you said earlier,
it's the second chances.
And the Baxters are not perfect people.
They make mistakes andthey had times of doubt.
As these young adult kids were growing up,
they had moments wherethey walked away from God
and didn't care,
and the parents kept praying
and they had their own secrets,
things they had done in their background,
in their younger daysthat weren't perfect.
So I think we relate to the fact
that they are not perfect
and yet continually, yousee them getting redemption.
- Except on Instagram?
Or that's a different, right?
- Well, if the Baxters hadhad an Instagram account,
they probably would've beenin Instagram filming this too.
- Well, Karen, you writeabout life changing fiction.
How was your own real lifechanged back in the '80s?
- Well, when I was oftenin a healthclub working out
and my teacher has beencame to workout there,
we've spotted each otherand began a conversation.
And he was so cute and he was clean cut.
He didn't party.
I thought this guy is gonna be amazing.
And he asked me out in a date
and then he had this strangest request.
He said, would it be okay ifI bring a Bible on our date?
And I said, okay, so I'dnever opened a Bible.
And I thought this was really weird.
But I didn't wanna losehim right off the bat,
so I said sure, yeah.
You can go ahead andbring a Bible if you must.
- He was that cute?
- He was that cute.
He was definitely.
He's still that cute.
So he brings a Bible to our date
and he wants to read Philippians four,
and I don't know Philippiansfrom any other ippian.
I don't have any ideawhat a Philippian is.
But we are reading Philippians
and I'm just like watching my watch.
I'm just saying, okay.
- Yeah, maybe this isn't gonna work out.
- Can we check this off?
Can we be done with the Bible?
So we finished up that day
and then the next three months,
it felt like we were justconstantly talking about the Bible
and I had no reference.
I didn't know how tosort of defend my worldly
man-made beliefs becauseI didn't know the Bible.
So on a really bad day,
I just took his Bible,
precious, highlighted,underlined special Bible
that he'd been seeking God with
and I threw it on the ground
and broke it in half.
The binding split down the middle.
- Oh, dear.
- I know, and I felt like, okay.
That earth is gonna open up
and I'm gonna be the firstone on that down staircase.
I mean, you just can't throw the Bible.
- But he picked up the pieces.
He left sort of sadand he didn't say much.
And I took a drive to a storeI had passed all my life.
The strange weird storecalled a Christian bookstore
and I went inside
and I asked if they could find,
if someone can get me a Bible in English
and a way to look up words.
But they didn't have apps back then.
So I got this NIV Bible
and this exhaustive strong concordants.
I carried them out to my car
and I did not get out of the parking lot
before I was looking up words
and seeing and hearing God say,
you know, your man-madebeliefs are not there.
So you can either fallaway with all of those
or you can grab on to my word
and never let go.
And so I grabbed on that day
and God's word is thefoundation of everything I do.
It's all him.
- Wow, and you ended up marrying him?
- I married the guy.
He forgave me.
He forgave me.
- I'm so glad he forgave you.
- 30 years.
This week, we celebrate at 30 years
and we are still bestfriends
and he is still the one who gets up early,
prays for our family andalways is asking the kids,
what are you reading?
How is your soul doing?
- Nothing like that?- Yeah.
- It's nothing like that.
Karen, that's a great story.
You should write that.- I know.
- Well, Karen Kingsbury's new book
is called When We Were Young
and it's availablewherever books are sold.
You can also watch asocial exclusive interview
with Karen on her Facebook page.
Just go to Facebook.com/700Club.