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I am excited to introduce you to Ginny Yttrup today. Ginny is not only the author of several novels, but she also has her own Etsy store with some fun handmade items. (You can find her shop here.)
She’ll be giving away a paperback copy of Flames and a special bookmark from her shop! You’ll find those details at the end of our visit. But first, let me share a quick summary of Flames in case you haven’t seen it yet.
I preserve legacies.
So begins the story of Jessica Weaver—wife, mother, and fire archeologist. Preserving Yosemite National Park’s natural and cultural resources is Jessica’s job. Preserving her family’s legacy is her obsession. But when she discovers her husband’s infidelity, betrayal’s flames threaten her family and all she’s fought to protect.
Haley Weaver, a sophomore in high school, is a daddy’s girl. As she enters the throes of first love, timid yet intrigued, Haley also discovers her father’s affair. Stunned and broken, Haley flees into the wilds of Yosemite National Park. If she can’t trust her father, how can she trust her boyfriend—or even love itself?
When wildfire breaks out and Haley is missing, Jessica fears the worst. In a race against time, she searches for her daughter as she deals with the magnitude of what her husband’s affair may cost her family. How can she go on if she doesn’t find Haley in time?
And what will Jessica do to preserve the legacy that matters most?
Welcome, Ginny! Could you share with us what inspired you to write Flames?
As I was out speaking the last several years, I heard one story over and over again—the story of adultery and its devastating impact on marriage. Because I write issue-driven fiction, I knew adultery had to be the topic of my next novel. And as a native Californian, pairing the destruction of adultery with the destruction of wildfire seemed an obvious choice. What isn’t as obvious, perhaps, is the hope following both infidelity and wildfire—that hope became one of the themes of Flames.
Unfortunately, that is an issue that affects way too many of us. What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
Flames is my first book written for a general audience rather than specifically for the Christian market. However, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, I believe the themes of forgiveness, new life, and most importantly, love, bear witness to God’s love for us, and our redemption through Christ. At the core, Flames is a parable, I pray, like those Jesus told, and my hope is that readers will take away a sense of the importance of love—love for others, of course, but also love and respect for themselves as creations of God.
I fell in love with Haley as I wrote her. She’s a wise, spunky 15-year old. Haley, as I wrote, became the daughter I never had and gave me the opportunity to impart the lessons I’d have shared with a daughter. I adore my sons! But it was fun to envision a relationship with a daughter.
I wasn’t sure if I liked her at the beginning, but my feelings changed as I got further into the story. 😉 What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
Honestly? My favorite part of working as a writer is not having to do my hair, put on make-up, or think about what I’m going to wear to work. I love working from home and the freedom it affords me. My biggest career aspiration as a teenager was to read for a living. In a sense, I do that now. There is a lot of hard work that goes into both writing and publishing—I often work 12 to 14 hours a day. But I also take a day off now and then and work odd hours if I want to. If one of my sons calls and wants to meet for lunch, I go. If that lunch turns into an entire afternoon event, I’m free to do that much of the time. I adjust my hours and work later. I also love working with other writers, which I do in my other days jobs as a writing coach and as a creator of jewelry specifically tailored to readers and writers. Having several focuses during the day seems to stimulate my creativity.
I imagine that freedom could be a challenge to some, but it sounds like you do well at keeping yourself focused on what needs to be done. Not to be a distraction, but what is your favorite dessert? Would you be interested in sharing the recipe?
My favorite dessert is Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. Recipe: Get in your car and go there. Taste as many flavors as they’ll let you taste. Then order a double cone with Gold Medal Ribbon and Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice creams. Indulge.
That sounds good, especially since summer seems determined to stick around a while yet! What does your ideal writing space look like (whether you actually write in an area like this or not)? What do you have to have handy, and what would you surround yourself with to make it easiest, and most inspiring, to write?
I always thought my ideal writing space would include a desk situated in front of a large picture window overlooking the ocean. However, when I wrote Invisible which was set on the northern California coast, I spent a month sitting in front of such a window with a view of the sea crashing against the cliffs, and I discovered that…it wasn’t conducive to writing! I just wanted to stare at the grandeur of God’s creation. It was worship, not work. Not long after, I came home and rearranged my office. I moved my desk away from the window and instead faced it against a wall. Now, I’m no longer tempted to stare at neighbors out walking their dogs or whatever else is going on outside my house. I tend to like organized clutter and lots of inspiring words around me. And I need bookshelves within reach so I can grab a dictionary or other resource without having to get up while I’m writing.
Very nice! Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us, Ginny!
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