Exclusive Interview with Karen Kingsbury: Faith, Love, and Taking Her Stories to the Big Screen

Maina Mwaura | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Updated: Nov 21, 2023
Exclusive Interview with Karen Kingsbury: Faith, Love, and Taking Her Stories to the Big Screen

Exclusive Interview with Karen Kingsbury: Faith, Love, and Taking Her Stories to the Big Screen

Karen Kingsbury’s wide body of work, from the ongoing Baxter Series to her many New York Times Bestsellers, produces a wide range of emotions. Now, Kingsbury is set to tackle the big screen. She recently sat down for an exclusive conversation with Christian headlines. Kingsbury opened up about her new book ‘Just Once,’ a love story set during World War II. A woman on the move with a keen knowledge of her readers, she clearly emphasizes that her number one audience is Jesus. Maybe this explains why her audience keeps returning for more, knowing her commitment is first and foremost to God. 

CH: How do you keep writing and producing number-one hits back-to-back? 

Karen: The Lord just keeps putting stories in my heart to write. Most novelists are introverts, but I’m an extrovert. Being around people keeps me energized. I love public speaking and writing. God has been good and faithful. 

The answer is I am just a tool and a vessel in his hands. Writing is a holy process for me. 

CH: How did you come upon your new book, “Only Once”? 

Karen: I love writing about the Baxters, but I felt it was time to write an adult novel. The story is about Irvel Holland, a spy during WWII. I’ve written about her before, and the last time the audience saw her, she was dying of Alzheimer’s. I cried when her life was over. I can still remember my husband walking in as I was writing about her death, asking if she was a friend of ours. I know he must have thought I was crazy. At that moment, my husband mentioned I should bring her back to life. I thought about the possibility of bringing her character back so I could tell her World War II love story.

CH: Where were you when you decided to bring her back and write a book about her life? 

Karen: I was walking the beach on vacation and thinking that if I did bring her back, it would be to tell the story of a younger version of Irvel. I honestly thought about writing about another side of her that the audience hadn’t seen before, another side to Irvel. What if she worked for the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, the original branch of the CIA? What if she was one of those 4,000 women who were codebreakers or nurses stepping off ships onto battle, taking secrets to generals behind closed doors? What if she was one of those people? I wanted the weapon she used in the story to be Scripture to guide her through being used as a spy. 

CH: What reviews are you getting so far from the book? 

Karen: I’m getting the best reviews I’ve ever gotten, and I thank the Lord for that. It’s very adventurous and has a gripping love story. 

CH: What comes to mind when you look at what God has done through your gifting to write throughout the years? And what’s next on the journey?

Karen: It’s all about Him. This past year, my husband and I decided to take all our savings and develop a movie. I’ve always wanted to produce a movie but never have until now. So, this is something new for me on this journey. My husband was so kind and great. He said, “Karen, if we have to sell everything, God is calling us to make a movie. 

CH: So, you’ve made a movie? 

Karen: The movie will be out next year. The entire family was a part of it. My son Tyler and my writing partner directed the movie. We’re new to this type of thing, so it was a learning curve. The Karen Kingsbury Production company will launch a movie in theaters everywhere on April 2, 2024. I loved every minute of the process and can’t wait for the audience to view it on the big screen. It’s a beautiful love story with jet skis and amazing imagery. We finished filming the first week in November, and the trailer has over 1.2 million views. We opened every filming day with prayer and devotional time, giving the movie back to God. It was sometimes terrifying to produce a movie, but I knew God was in it. 

CH: What’s your hope for your books and movies? 

Karen: I'm an evangelist. I love the Word of God. I stand by the Word. That's been true from the beginning with me. I pray that people will read a book like this, be drawn to Jesus like never before, fall on their knees, and go, ‘I need you, Lord.’ I pray that people will know, just as Hebrew 12 says, that a great cloud of witnesses is watching and cheering us on. 

Photo Courtesy: Courtesy Pure Flix

Video Courtesy: Karen Kingsbury Productions via YouTube

Exclusive Interview with Karen Kingsbury: Faith, Love, and Taking Her Stories to the Big Screen