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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Book Club Talk with Ginny Yttrup

About the Author: 
Ginny dreamt of becoming a writer most of her adult life and pursued her dream by learning the craft and honing her skills. Her debut novel, Words, is the fulfillment of that dream. Ginny is a mother, friend, writer, life and writing coach, dog lover, and gourmet cook wanna-be. becoming a writer most of her adult life and pursued her dream by learning the craft and honing her skills. Her debut novel, Words, is the fulfillment of that dream.

What have been the benefits to you in having relationships with reading groups?

I love reading groups! The primary benefit comes with the word "relationship"--when I meet with reading groups, whether in person or via the phone or Skype, I'm building a relationship with readers. We connect on a personal level. Share our love of reading. And discuss the book I've written. Often times members of the group ask me questions about the book and their questions are so insightful--they'll experience something through reading my book that I never thought of. It's a powerful demonstration to me of how the Holy Spirit works. I learn a lot each time a group asks me to join them. Then, hopefully, once that relationship is in place, the group will follow-up and read my next release.

Where would you like to see your relationship with reading groups grow? How do you think your goals can be met?

I'd like to connect with more groups. One of my goals after I meet my deadline for the manuscript I'm writing now, is to spend more time on some of the websites book clubs go to--especially The Book Club Network

What have you learned about your book and yourself from book club meetings? 

I've learned that book club members don't ask scary questions. I've also learned that, because I wrote the book, I'm able to answer most of the questions, which seems obvious, but I feared there would be questions I couldn't answer. One of the gifts of speaking with reading groups is that it's helped me hone my skills, and relax as a speaker. I've also learned that the more transparent I am with the club members, the more they seem to see themselves in my characters or relate personally to the lessons the characters have learned. The best group discussions are those where we each take risks and share the truth about ourselves and what we've learned through either the writing of the book or the reading of the book. That honesty begins with me, the author.

Nora: Now does Marcia Massie look scary!! Happy and thrilled to meet you but not scary!! Grin!

Did you learn more about your characters than what you had originally intended? If so what?

Yes. Reading group members often teach me more about my characters than I know. Last year, a reader who read my debut novel, Words, made a comment about how the protagonist attempted to redeem herself by something she'd done, but that we truly are only redeemed by the blood of Christ. I hadn't intended to show my character attempting to redeem herself…but, I believe the Holy Spirit wanted to show that reader a particular lesson. And it's a lesson I learned about my character when seeing her through the eyes of a reader. 

Nora: I think Finding Hope Book Club dug deep into your book. It was great to hear their questions and comments about how the book affected their lives. I told you Ginny that I almost missed out on a huge blessing because I didn't want to read about the subject of your book. I loved how you didn't have any of the abuse on center stage. I also was fascinated about the little girl in your story being so in-love with WORDS!! Being dyslexic and catching her love for words was fun to read about. The message of your book WORDS touched me and many in my group deeply!

Have you been surprised by readers’ reactions to one of your books? Characters? If so, which ones?

I'm consistently surprised by readers' reactions, by reviews, by the fact that God's given me the desire of my heart and allows me to do what I love and that others relate in some way to the stories I write.

Has your book club experience - getting feed back from reading groups - helped you in writing future books? If so, how has it helped you?

The feedback I've received from book club members spurs me on, it encourages me to push through health issues, fatigue, or writers block, to persevere and continue following God on this amazing path.

What would you like to see in reading groups that you haven’t experienced yet?

I can't think of anything I haven't seen before, but I would like to see more reading groups reach out to authors and include them in their discussions. Many authors are accessible to book clubs either via phone or Skype. Of if the author lives in the same area as a group reading their book, they're often honored to be asked to meet with the club in person.

What was your most memorable reading group experience? What made it so fun?

It was definitely my experience with the Finding Hope Book Club. It was truly a wonderful experience for me. The group was warm and welcoming and affirming. I felt like I made connections there that will last. Because I was in Georgia for the International Christian Retailers Show, I had the opportunity to meet with one of the groups in person--and that is always the most satisfying experience for me.

Nora: What a treat to hear your testimony and hear you speak. I'm so thankful for that opportunity. It was great to get to know you through the book club experience and the book signing you did at the store! You are a blessing Ginny and transparent!

What type of stories do you like to tell?

Often the stories I write begin as painful stories--stories based on issues drawn from real life. But the point, for me as an author, is to present the issue and then through the experiences of my characters show the reader God's faithfulness in redeeming our pain when we surrender ourselves to Him. I hope my books are known for offering truth and hope, through Jesus Christ.

Why write Christian Fiction? What is the draw for you?

Jesus is the draw for me… My relationship with Christ is central to my life experience and I can't imagine not including the truth of who He is in the books I write. 

What do you hope readers take away from your new book Lost and Found?

Lost and Found, like Words, is a deeply personal story. Many of the emotions I assigned to my characters came from my own life as I was learning what it meant to follow Jesus, regardless of the cost. My prayer is that my readers will be drawn to an intimate relationship with Christ--a relationship they allow to transform them. I hope they will hunger and thirst for more of God after they turn the final page of Lost and Found.

Nora: Lost and Found is Finding Hope Book Club's March Pick!! We'll be talking to you on the phone from a new location. The store I work at down-sized we lost our huge space, so we'll be talking to you from Shadow Brook Church. I have many new members who didn't meet you then and are excited to talk with you!! I am too!

an you give us a peek at what you are working on now? When will it be out?

The title of my next novel is Invisible. It is a story of two women in hiding--one behind her weight, the other behind her own sufficiency. The story is set on the northern California coast, in the little village of Mendocino, where I've spent the last month writing. This has been the most difficult book for me to write, but the story may be my favorite. Surprise! It's a romance. Actually, I was the one surprised by that.Invisible will release February 2013.

Nora: Sounds great Ginny!! I'm marking my calendar!! Grin!

How has TBCN been helpful to you?

TBNC has linked me with both book clubs and other authors. The St. Laurent's have given us a place to connect and build relationships. I love it!

Nora: We've loved having you there. I know that a few clubs set up to have their book club meeting at the site and a few of them discussed Words. Fun to see!! I hope more clubs follow suite so that the other clubs can see how the discussions went and be encouraged to do the same!

What would you like to see evolve or start at the Network?
Whatever Nora and Fred want… :-) I wish TBNC continued growth.

Nora : You're sweet. I'd love for TBCN to be the one-stop shopping for Christian book fun. Many of the authors are posting their book tours and festivals at the site so people from all over the USA can find them!! Grin!

Thanks Ginny for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your book club experience. I know that Finding Hope Book Club had a great time with you speaking to their group last year in Atlanta. I do have your talk on DVD I just now need to figure out how to put that at The Book Club Network so everyone can enjoy hearing about your writing journey!

Thanks also for this giveaway.

If you haven't read any of Ginny's books. I highly recommend them. She's fun, engaging and she has you care about her characters instantly. She has a richness to her writing that is unique. I love it!!

MANDATORY - PLEASE ANSWER QUESTION BELOW to have your name to be entered in the drawing for Ginny's New book.


********DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to residents of the  U.S.A and Canada, odds of winning depend on number of entrants.

 This giveaway is sponsored by the author and is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Twitter. Winner will have 2 days to respond to email with your name and address - If we haven't heard from you another winner will be picked. *****

QUESTION: WHEN CHOOSING A BOOK TO READ - WHAT ARE THREE THINGS YOU LOOK FOR?? or Do you just go by one thing - let us know what seals the deal for you to buy the book and read it! DO TELL!!

This is your FIRST change to win a copy of this book. There will be FIVE more chances on the 19th of March at The Book Club Network 

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network CEO 


  1. The three things that I look for when I am choosing a book ~~~hmmmm. I always check out the discriptive summary on the back of the book, the author and the genre~~whether it is a love story, a Christian book etc. And, I have to admit, I love looking at the covers of the book even though you are not to judge a book by it's cover. Kristin J

  2. I'm definitely grabbed by the cover first!! I really enjoy and am inspired by Christian Fiction so I guess I should say that it's the FIRST thing I look for and then the cover. Then I usually read the First page. If I'm hooked by the first page. I'm not putting the book down. It's coming home with me!! Grin!

    Thanks for your comment Kristin!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network CEO

    1. Your welcome Nora. I did not want to admit that the first thing I do look at is the cover :-)~~~~Blessings, Kristin J. (keithkrisjagerataoldotcom)

  3. I usually always look at the cover that is what inspired me to pick up the book then I will read the back to see what it is about, but it is mainly the cover

  4. The Cover is an eye catcher for sure. The Two books that Ginny has written have had amazing covers. WORDS Was fascinating. I had to pick it up and see what that was all about and with Lost and Found the cover almost sets a mood! Intriguing!! Thanks!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network CEO

  5. The cover has to catch my eye for sure. After that I read the inside cover and than the back of the book as well.


  6. If I am shopping the first draw is the cover. Always looking for new authors to discover, and a great cover will have me picking up the book and looking. The second is the back cover blurb to see if the subject is one I would be interested in. The best thing I rely on is a recommendation from a friend. And with a tight budget now-a-days, recommendations are the biggest draw.
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of "Lost and Found". I am enjoying Jenna's blog!
    Sharon Moore
    South Sub Book Club Coordinator
    smoore at tcq dot net

  7. i guess the first thing i look for is, of course, the cover. That's what's out there. Then the author...and the blurb at the back. i have been known to look for author's name first, but the cover is usually what's in front of me. i read WORDS and though it was hard reading, i really enjoyed it. i will be looking for Ginny's Lost and Found. Thank you for the opportunity to win it here. It's an awesome giveaway! Also, i am enjoying this blog. Thanks

  8. Many times, as I search for a book I will feel an undescribable draw to a book. That's when I know I need to read that book and the one's I do not want to pass up. When I am casually browsing I would say that most of the time the cover of the book is the first draw; after that I read the back summation about the story and the author.

  9. I'm immediately drawn to the cover of a book, then check the back cover copy, then read the opening two paragraphs, both of a prologue, if there is one, and of the first chapter. If those things intrigue me, I flip through the book and read random paragraphs. I guess that's four things!
    This is a wonderful posting about authors connecting with reading groups. Thank you so much for sharing your insights!

  10. I always read through the summary on the back cover first to see if it draws me in!!! Also if the book comes recommended by a friend. Thank you for the great blog post and giveaway!

  11. I am attracted first by the cover. Then I will read the summary on the back. Somehow I just get a feeling of whether or not it will be good. If it's a library book, I'll sometimes take a chance, knowing I don't have to finish it. Sometimes I'll just look for the latest by an already favorite author. It was interesting to read your view on book clubs! Best wishes on the new book.

  12. Oh, first things first- the cover! Even though I try not to judge a book by its cover, I can't help it. A beautiful cover attracts me instantly. Second, I usually read the synopsis. If it's interesting (or sounds scary!) then I'm hooked. Third, I look at the reviews and if their mostly good then I'm completely reeled in!

  13. The Book Blurb
    Reviews on Amazon
    Author interview telling about the book, his/her reason for writing, etc.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  14. Yes, Jo and Sharon, I’ve definitely been hooked by a book cover! Grin! I don’t much check out the back of the book because I’ve found it doesn’t really tell you a whole lot. Yes, Sharon a recommendation of a friend is a big draw to me too.

    Marianne, I had the chance to read WORDS the ARC copy and didn’t want to touch it because of the subject matter. But then I had the opportunity to interview the author and had to read the book. OHMYGOSH!! I almost missed an amazing experience by not reading WORDS!! I was so thankful I did. To me it was a word picture of how God heals us from the inside out. It’s hard to explain but Ginny did an Amazing job of it!

    Thanks for sharing Sheryl.

    Cathy I’m immediately drawn to the cover too or replied by the cover as well. If the cover really creeps me out. I don’t want to read it either. I’m funny that way. Grin! I read the book too Cathy. It really gives you an insight the back cover can’t. Thanks for sharing Cathy!

    Yes, I agree with you, Jennifer. I do pay attention to a friend’s recommendation. I work at a book store and I pay attention to the books flying off the shelf. When that happens like in the case of The Shack and Heaven is For Real. I ask people buying the book, why are you buying this. They almost always tell me a friend told me about it and I they had to read it. Grin!

    Thanks Christina for sharing. I love it when the book I’ve wanted to read is at the library. It’s a WIN WIN!! If I like it then I’ll tell all my friends! Grin!

    Funny Aizess!! Judging a book by its cover? I’m been guilty of that!! You do check out review!! Good to know!!

    Thanks for sharing Linda! You check out reviews too!! I can’t say that I do!! Grin. I really don’t have much time and I like to buy my books in person not on line!! It makes it easy since I work at a book store. Grin!

    Thanks everyone for sharing and reading Ginny Yttrups Book Club Talk interview. She’s and her books are a keeper!! Grin!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network CEO

  15. Thanks for sharing this info about Ginny and her book and book club experiences. When I'm looking for a book I think the three things I check are:
    1. the cover, does it grab me and look like a book I would enjoy
    2. Am I familiar with the author? Have I read a book by them before and liked it?
    3. The back cover blurb. Does this book sound like one I would enjoy.

    I've heard good things about Ginny's books, but I haven't read one yet. Thanks for this opportunity to win a copy.

  16. Yes, Carrie!! You need to Treat yourself to one of Ginny's books. Make sure you have time to savor every word!! Her books are an experience!

    Nora St.Laurent

  17. When selecting a book, if I don't know the author, I am first drawn to the cover. Second, I read the blurb on the back and the reviews. The third thing that helps me buy a book is the author. Some authors I buy no matter what the blurb is or the cover looks like & the reason is because I know the author's work.

    Thank you so much for a chance to win a copy of Ginny's new book.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  18. I hope for a stunning/intriguing cover. I want a brief but pointed blurb that teases. If it's too long, I'll only read a couple of sentences to decide. I want to know the characters will grab me, but it has to be conveyed by the cover and the blurb. Tough, I know.

    (hopeofglory [at] hotmail dot com)

  19. I look at the book blurb to see if it sounds like my type of read. I prefer books that deal with interesting or off-the-cuff subjects.

  20. Interesting way you go about choosing a book Cindy if you know the author. I like that.

    Nicole yes a stunning/intriguing cover gets my attention.

    Kate yes I like interesting topics too!!

    Thanks for sharing everyone!!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network CEO

  21. What three ways do I choose a book?
    That is hard!!! I have gotten more and more picky as space has become an issue! I found that #1, it needs to be a topic that I can relate to or one that will interest me to want to read it more than once, #2, It should have great typeface....the wrong type of type face ruins the book! #3, I want the book to draw me in...I read the back cover first, check the inside for style of writing and then I will probably buy it if it passes muster! The cover is unimportant, some of my favorite books are plain!! Also, if all my friends are talking about it, positive or negative, I look for it! Negative actually gets my attention more than positive sometimes!


  22. Good Point Martha! Space. I'm impressed that you re-read books. Grin! Thanks for sharing Martha!!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network CEO

  23. I always read the back cover, look at the front cover, and a big determining factor is if it's in the genre I enjoy reading.

    I'd love the chance to win.

    Jodie Wolfe

  24. Thanks Jodie. Yes, Genre is important. I branch out all the time. But You are right I have to be in the mood to take the leap! Grin!

    Nora St.Laurent

  25. i follow the genre, the author & recommendations. thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  26. I look for a catchy cover, an interesting synopsis, and genre interesting to me. :) I'd love the chance to win!

    cbus.blogger at gmail dot com

  27. When I am looking for a new book to read I look at the cover first, an appealing cover does make a difference. Then I will read the blurb to see if it touches a cord with me. Finally, I really rely on reviews from my favorite blogs, CBD and Amazon; there are so many books I'd love to read but I can't get them all!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  28. If I am not familiar with the author, the first thing that draws me is the cover and the details there. Then I read the summary on the back cover. I also look to see who has commented on the book and made recommendations. If a comment is made by an author I am familiar with, then that carries some weight with me too.

    luvs2stmp [at] yahoo [dot] com

  29. When I go to a bookstore, I look at the section/genre
    of the type of book that I am wanting to read! Next, I
    look at the name and book cover...Then, I read the back
    of the book and the beginning of the book!
    Many thanks for the opportunity to win this delightful

  30. Bethany I'm there with you on the cover catching me, Merry thanks for letting us know that you check out your favorite blogs and CBD and amazon for reviews. Not many do that. Fun to know that you look at the recommendations on the book. Fun. J-ME. Thanks for letting us know that you check out the genre first. Now many said that!!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network CEO

  31. The first thing that draws me to a book is always its cover. I love covers that pop out at me. Then I turn the book around and read the back. After this, I will read what other authors have written about the book. For most of the time, I will find that a number of my favorite authors and authors that I am familiar with have written some neat things. I wish that I could say that I am like some of the others that will read the first page, but, that is for when I get home, settle down in my chair and relax.

    Thanks for the chance to win the book.

  32. CONGRATS GOES TO kristin j.Mar 6, 2012 09:49 AM
    Your welcome Nora. I did not want to admit that the first thing I do look at is the cover :-)~~~~Blessings, Kristin J. (keithkrisjagerataoldotcom)

    I used Random Number Generator. THANKS to everyone for your comments. Thanks to Ginny for offering this giveaway and letting us know about your book club experiences.

    Hey GANG I just finished Lost and Found Last night and OHMYGOSH!! I don't know how she did it but it's even more profound than WORDS!! LOVED IT!! I can't wait for our book club discussion on this book! WOW!! Congrats to Kristin!!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network CEO

  33. Left comments, not here?

  34. Just linked your blog to mine!
    Please stop by & visit mine!

  35. Hi, Sheri;

    I had the contest from March 6th to March 10. I did accept comments and have chosen a winner. I picked a winner. Not only am I giving you a glimpse about Ginny Yttrups book club experience. I'm letting you know about her AMAZING NEW book called LOST and FOUND.

    I'm also telling you about a NEW CONTEST that will be at THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK on MARCH 19th. B and H Publishers will be Giving away 5 copies of LOST AND FOUND!! So you'll have to stop by TBCN and answer Ginny's Question to be entered into the Contest on March 19th.

    Gina Holmes was sweet to let me advertise my give away At The Book Club Network here along with telling you about a brand new author!!

    I hope that explains it Sheri!!


    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network

    1. Thanks so much Nora for the info and answer to my questions! I am new at this and am in process of getting devotions I wrote from 2000-2007 ready for the RIGHT publisher. Have suggestions or referrals for publishers who are 'devotion friendly' for unpublished, unknown writers like myself?
      God bless you and your work for others,
      Sheri DeLoach

  36. good writing - realistic dialogue, characters, descriptive details...
    relevance to my life or a creative unique story

  37. I AGREE with you Faith! It was a powerful and moving creative unique story!! Thanks for stopping by!

  38. B & H PUBLISHERS is GIVING AWAY 5 Copies of Lost and Found starting MARCH 19th @ TBCN Hope to see you all there!!

    Nora :o)
    The Book Club Network CEO


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