Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ginny L. Yttrup spent nearly two decades learning the craft of writing. Through annual writers conferences, study of writing books, and the publication of devotionals and magazine articles, Ginny honed her craft and realized her dream of writing fiction. Publisher’s Weekly declared Ginny’s debut novel, Words, “a masterpiece!”

Ginny i
s working on her third novel and is speaking across the country and in Canada this year. She loves spending time outdoors in the grandeur of God’s creation or around a dinner table with dear friends. She is the mother of two wonderful young adult sons and the owner of multiple beloved pets.

Hi, Ginny. Welcome to The Borrowed Book. We love to interview debut authors, especially fellow Penwrights! Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

I didn’t see myself becoming a writer. It never occurred to me that I could become anything. Odd, now that I think about it. In our family, women got married. That was about it. Or at least that was my perception. So at 19 years old, I got married. I became a wife. I worked as an administrative assistant for six years and then resigned to have children. It was until my babies were toddlers that I began dreaming of writing, t
hough it seemed like an impossible dream because I didn’t attend college and had no experience. But I began to pray… Now, I believe that was a dream God planted in my heart.

How long did you write before you sold your first book?

Somewhere between 16 and 17 years. I began attending writers conferences and learned all I know about writing through those conferences and through reading craft books. I began writing magazine articles and devotionals and honed my skills. WORDS was the first novel I attempted to write and the first book I sold.

Many of the
people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

There are two tips I share regularly with aspiring writers: Read everything you can in the genre you want to write and read it with a critical eye. Learn from what you read. Also, if possible, attend a few writers conferences. If that’s not possible, then find a local or online writing community where you can share your work.

Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in a book, but not so much the authors themselves. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.

Well…my day to day life is pretty mundane, but I like it that way! I’m an early riser—usually up
by 4:30 or 5:00 if I’m working toward a deadline. I set my coffee pot the night before so my coffee is waiting when I rise. In the summer and fall months, I take a cup of coffee to my outside deck and sip it in silence. I need to ease into a day. I watch and listen to birds and spend time listening for God. This is, I believe, the most important part of my writing day.

Now that you are published, do you still experience rejections? If so, how are these rejections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?

I’m sure I will receive rejections. But my first book contract was a three-book deal, so I haven’t submitted anything new since then. I’m working now to finish the third novel and my agent will renegotiate my contract this fall. So rejection may be looming. ☺ Rejections are always disappointing, but I believe God is in control of my career. I’ve believed that from the beginning. Things will happen or not happen in His time and His
way. If the rejection stings, I turn to Him. He’s the only One who defines me.

Great attitude! And good luck with that contract. Now, tell us a little about your latest release:

WORDS, my debut novel, released February 1, 2011. My second novel, LOST AND FOUND, releases February 1, 2012.

WORDS is the story of 10-year old Kaylee Wren who, due to the trauma she’s suffered, doesn’t speak. Her mother’s abandoned her to the care of her abusive boyfriend who is sexually abusing Kaylee. It’s also the story of 34-year old Sierra, who has allowed the shame of her past choices to silence her present hopes. Through Divine intervention, Kaylee and Sierra are drawn together and through their relationship God’s healing begins for both of them. Though it’s a painful subject matter, it is a story filled with hope, mercy, and redemption. There are moments that will make you cry and moments that will make you smile and even laugh.

If you could only share one line from WORDS, which one would you choose and why?

I’d choose the opening sentence: I collect words. That line nagged at me for months-it begged me to sit down and write it. I didn’t know who was saying it or why. Finally, one day I sat down and typed it…and I was off and running.

Writers often put things in their books that are very personal—like a funny story that happened to them, a spiritual truth they learned through difficulty, or even just a character trait that is uniquely theirs. Is there something in that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

Kaylee, because of the abuse she’s suffering, hears a scream inside her head. It haunts her and she can’t make it go away. That idea came from my own life experience. As a child, I was sexually abused between the ages of 2 and 14 and I heard that scream in my head until my late twenties or early thirties. It wasn’t until I’d worked through years of therapy that the scream went away.

Readers often talk a lot about the hero and heroine of a story, but today I’d like to know something about your villain. Does he or she have a redeeming quality? Why or why not?

There are two “villains” in WORDS. First, there’s the abuser. I don’t see that he has any redeeming qualities. However, all abusers are also created and loved by God and I had to make that point in the book. I believe it’s a perfect example of God hating the sin but loving the sinner. Second, there’s Kaylee’s mother who is addicted to drugs. I can’t share her redemptive act with you here because it would spoil the story. But there are moments in the story where the readers glimpeses who Kat was before drugs and who she might become if she overcomes her addiction.

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful?

I really didn’t do any research for WORDS. Though the characters and circumstances are different, the emotions and experiences came from my own life. The setting is an area where I spent many of my teenage and adult years.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

As I mentioned, LOST AND FOUND releases early next year. It is a relational drama based on the lives of two women—one who loses her life for Christ’s sake and then finds her true self, the other who thinks she’s found her life and loses it. The story deals with the trauma of emotional abuse and what it means to pick up your cross and follow Christ. It’s set against the backdrop of San Francisco and the Napa Valley.

I’m writing my third novel, WEIGHT FOR IT now and I’m thoroughly enjoying the process.

The most common thing I hear when people learned I’ve published a book is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Faced with this statement, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?


What is the one question you were afraid I would ask…and how would you answer?

How much did you weigh last week and how much do you weigh this week? My answer: I’m afraid to find out! I’ve been traveling and speaking for a couple of months and all my clothes are now too tight! ☺

Thanks for stopping by, Ginny! Readers, connect with this author by visiting her at

Ginny is giving away a copy of her book, Words. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!


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