It is such an honor for me to chat with Ginny Yttrup today!
Ginny Yttrup is the award-winning author of Words, Lost and Found, Invisible, and Flames. She writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys exploring the issues everyday women face. Publishers Weekly dubbed Ginny’s work “as inspiring as it is entertaining.” When not writing, Ginny coaches writers, critiques manuscripts, and makes vintage-style jewelry for her Esty shop, Storied Jewelry (etsy.com/shop/StoriedJewelry). She loves dining with friends, hanging out with her adult sons, or spending a day in her pajamas reading a great novel. Ginny lives in northern California with Bear, her entitled Pomeranian. To learn more about Ginny and her work, visit ginnyyttrup.com.
Her newest book, Home, released in April from Shiloh Run Press and received a TOP PICK from RT Book Reviews!
Melanie runs away. From conflict. From pain. From reality.
When novelist Melanie Vander faces a looming deadline, she decides it’s time for an escape to an inspiring, novel-worthy locale. She’s not running away. Really. She just needs time to focus. But as she disappears into her writing, she encounters a man whose tenderness leaves her reeling. Engaging and wise, psychologist Elliot Hammond tempts Melanie to question everything, including her marriage.
But that’s ridiculous. Dr. Hammond isn’t even…real.
Melanie’s husband, Craig, has his own problems, including a recession that’s threatening his business. Waning finances, a looming home foreclosure, and a wife who’s checked out emotionally, has Craig feeling as though he’s carrying his burdens alone. When his client, the beautiful and single Serena Buchanan, offers him a solution to his financial woes, he’s tempted by more than her offer of a business solution.
At a crossroads, Melanie and Craig seem headed in opposite directions.
As Melanie runs away from her problems by escaping into her own fictional world, Craig dives into his struggles, seeking God for strength and healing for his marriage. Ultimately, Melanie must choose whether she’ll check out completely, or allow her characters to lead her home.
Hi Ginny! Welcome to the blog! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Ginny: Gravenstein Apples. In a pie. With vanilla ice cream. Why? Ice cream. 🙂
Carrie: I have never heard of Gravenstein apples. But I’m totally looking them up right now!
Ginny: Winter. Because: soups and stews. But I love summer. I need warmth, sun on my shoulders, and healthy doses of vitamin D.
Carrie: I’m all for vitamin D but I’d rather absorb it during cooler temps 😀
Ginny: Dogs. No, cats. Wait. Dogs. Definitely. Okay, both. They have personality, are loyal (okay, dogs are loyal), soft, and comforting. They also make me laugh.
Carrie: Very diplomatic answer 😉 My dog Zuzu KNOWS you really meant to go with your first answer though. haha!
Ginny: Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Tea? Yuck.
Carrie: Amen. (of course I also say that about coffee lol)
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Ginny: I’d choose flying as my superpower. I jumped out of an airplane once and the one sensory detail that stands out even now, almost twenty years later, is the peace and quiet when you’re free falling high above land. I’ve never experienced that type of quietness. Hard to explain, even for a writer.
Carrie: I think I would be too terrified to focus on anything but the FALLING part haha! But that is a really intriguing thought…
Which books are “on your nightstand”?
Ginny: From the pile on my nightstand:
- The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
- To Be Told: God Invites You to Coauthor Your Future by Dan B. Allender. PhD
- Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle
- The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write the Story Beneath the Surface by Donald Maass
- The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art by Erwin Raphael McManus
- Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go by Richard Rohr
- Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
- The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life by Ann Voskamp.
AND on my Kindle which is in the drawer in my nightstand, I’m reading:
- What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.
Carrie: A woman after my own heart – a gazillion books in process and close at hand 😉 LOVE that photo too! Book photos make me happy 🙂
If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Ginny: You’d learn that I grocery shop at Safeway and obsessively collect their Monopoly game pieces which I leave unopened at the bottom of my purse for…safekeeping? You’d learn what foods I eat the most from the Safeway receipts cluttering my purse: spinach and dark leafy greens. I do most of my banking via ATM and file all my banking receipts with the Safeway receipts. It’s my “system” – and no, it doesn’t work too well. I have an obsession with little tins of mints and a bad habit of wrapping used gum in said receipts. I collect those cards from establishments all over town that they’ll stamp when you make a purchase and then when you have, say, five stamps on your card, you get a discount or a free cup of frozen yogurt, or whatever. But you’d notice there’s only one stamp on each card because I never remember to pull them out of my wallet when I’m at one of those establishments again. And, on a good day, you’d find a notebook with a pen filled with notes: book ideas, blog post ideas, recipes, the name of a book someone recommended, when I last gave my dog his flea and tick preventative medicine. All entirely fascinating, I know.
Carrie: hahahaha!! Love it.
Your newest novel Home is about a novelist who runs from the stress of her life by escaping to a novel-worthy locale and then into her fictional world. We’ll talk about the deeper issues behind that in a minute, but if you could take a no-expenses barred vacation to anywhere in the world (real or fictional) where would it be and why?
Ginny: I was gifted two weeks on Maui last September with dear, dear friends. It was an epic vacation in the sense that for two full weeks we did whatever we wanted, when we wanted. Money wasn’t a concern, for once, and the company was wonderful. We took walks along the beach each morning, snorkeled with the turtles in the cove our condo overlooked each afternoon, and had meals at some of the most amazing restaurants on the island. It was a gift like none I’ve ever received. And while I’d spent time on Maui before, having two full weeks there gave me a new appreciation for the beauty of God’s creation—both the breathtaking landscape and the wonderful people.
So if I could vacation anywhere, I’d go back to Maui. And stay. Forever.
Carrie: That sounds absolutely delightful! Hawaii is on my bucket list.
There’s always a fine line to walk when reading fiction as an escape. In the case of your main character Melanie, she’s writing fiction to escape her problems. Fiction is beneficial in so many ways, but when does it become dangerous?
Ginny: Wow, this is such a good question. When we lose ourselves in fiction and it causes us to become discontent with our own lives, it’s a red flag that we may have some issues we need to deal with. When we read to fill an emotional void in our lives, reading can become dangerous. Books can “protect” us from delving into pain in our lives and keep us from inviting God into those areas He longs to heal. Obviously, that’s a false sense of protection.
Carrie: So true. Yes.
What do you most want readers to take away from Home?
Ginny: When the idea for Home began taking shape in my mind, I realized how much I wanted to write a story that highlighted strong, Christian men. I am the mother of two adult sons and I wanted to portray men who I’d love for them to emulate—men who fight temptation, who turn to God, and who love their wives above themselves.
When readers turn the last page of Home, I hope and pray they’ll let go of those things that have bound them emotionally and spiritually. And for those who are married, I pray they’ll walk away with a sense of what a Christian marriage can be once both husband and wife surrender to God.
Carrie: We definitely need more stories about strong Christian men!
Ginny, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Ginny: I’m not sure what’s next in terms of novels. I have several ideas I’m working on. Right now I’m enjoying my day job, building my coaching and web design business for authors—Words. For Writers.
Shiloh Run Press is giving away a copy of Home to TWO of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
Is reading (or writing) an escape for you? If so, how do you protect your heart?