still operate from
the belief that the human heart remains unchanged; if Jesus walked
plainly among us today, healing us, bringing our dead back to life,
we’d murder him eventually, for everything He exposed in us, and
everything we saw in Him." This is the heart of Ginger
Garrett’s fiction. Garrett explores the human heart through a plethora
of historical settings, and through this lens she creates unforgettable
characters and suspenseful story lines that showcase God’s unchanging
grace and mercy toward the lives of His children. Garrett’s writing
causes reader to consider the role that the human heart played in
historical events, and then reconsider how God worked to bring about
His purpose in spite of human frailty.
suspense-filled fiction, a book of ancient beauty secrets, and a book
on mother-daughter relationships seem like an odd mix to spring from
one author’s pen! Yet all have come from your heart and been
enthusiastically received by your readers. Tell us a little about your
path to publication and how you have been able to successfully breach
both fiction and nonfiction markets
As a newlywed, I was battling
infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. I went to every bookstore I
could find, hoping to find a book of comfort. I went to both mainstream
and religious stores, but no one had written a book that was meant to
comfort women like me. Plenty of books at that time dealt with the
ethical and moral issues of using technology to pursue parenthood, but
I could not find what I most wanted to read. That hurt, because books
had always been such a source of comfort and joy for me. So I decided
to write for myself what I needed to read. I journalized as a way to
encourage myself to keep going; I wrote down Scripture that moved me
and comments that wounded me, moments I wanted to remember and
heartache I wished I could forget. Writing began as an escape, but as I
continued, I began to see it as a way to help others.
The defining moment came when I
saw a pregnant woman on the street. For several years, I secretly
loathed pregnant women. I was filled with rage at the injustice of
life. Everywhere I looked, I saw women who seemed to have an easier
life than me. Richer, thinner, more beautiful women, women with
children, with successful careers . . . It was as if a looping tape ran
through my thoughts constantly: “Look what she has that I don’t.”
But I kept praying. And reading
the Scriptures, and struggling to keep still at the feet of God. And
then one day, I got my miracle. I looked at a pregnant woman, a woman
who seemed to have everything I did not, and the tape in my head
changed. For the first time, I asked, “What does she need that I have?”
When I asked myself this, my world changed forever. My blinded eyes
were opened to the suffering all around me, and the calling God had
given me to reach out to others. He didn’t remove my own suffering—not
for a while, at least—but instead, He changed me because of it.
And while I still didn’t get
pregnant, a new life was born for me just the same. Only the new life
was my own. I began to research how publication worked. I knew that I
could communicate comfort and hope through the written word, and I
wanted to explore that option. From there, I was connected to Alive
Communications and Stephen Arterburn, and began writing nonfiction.
The fiction came later. I was
writing a nonfiction book on Esther, and it kept coming out as a novel.
The publisher didn’t mind, and Chosen: The Lost Diaries of
Queen Esther was published in 2006, and ECPA recognized it as
one of the top five novels of the year.
Since then, I used my research
on Esther to create nonfiction books. Women all over the world struggle
with self-esteem and image issues; Esther in particular has a lot to
teach us about God’s sovereignty even in our appearance, and the
knowledge of what she used to make herself beautiful is both
fascinating and timeless.
The more I listen to my readers
and the research, the more I am humbled and see how very much we all
need to be encouraged. I’ve continued to publish both fiction and
nonfiction, all with one aim: to comfort women and get them into the
Word. I’ve discovered the two best ways for me to do that are to invite
them into the biblical world of beauty, and tell the best-kept stories
that are often overlooked.
When did your
writing begin? When did you seriously start to pursue publication?
I loved books as a child; books
and Elvis and monster movies were my greatest passions. Somehow they
are all related, although I’d have to pay a therapist a lot of money to
discover the link. But even as I grew disenchanted with monster movies,
and Elvis left the building, I continued to love books. Some people
remember where they were when President Kennedy was shot; I remember
where I was when I first read Poe, Barbara Cartland, Pat Conroy,
Michael Crichton, and C. S. Lewis.
a large role in both your fiction and nonfiction works, and you make
many references to Queen Esther. Tell us how you became so interested
in the role of women in history and Esther in particular.
I took quite a few Women’s Study
courses at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. They were
mesmerizing. Not that I agreed with everything being taught, nor did
the professors want me to. They wanted me to think, to learn to see
history through the eyes of the women who lived it.
Having grown up in church, I had
often heard the story of Esther referred to as a “beauty pageant” kind
of story, an ancient feel-good fairy tale. When I reread the biblical
account years later, I saw the story through her eyes. Taken from
family, forced into a harem with no hope of a normal future, threatened
with death at every turn? That’s not a sugar-and-sweetness tale. Her
story is rich with meaning, warning, and ultimately, her story is a
foreshadowing of Christ and His call on our lives.
can be found in ancient history that women can apply to their
In the sixth grade, I had a new
teacher whom no one especially liked. She had a severe haircut, dark
red lipstick, and a razor’s edge intellect. One day she saw that I had
written a note about a history assignment, telling myself that ancient
Romans were probably a lot like us. (I meant emotionally, but hadn’t
written that part.)
“I doubt it. Try to prove it!”
she wrote on my paper.
So I did. She failed me, but I
had convinced myself that I was right. Today, I still operate from the
belief that the human heart remains unchanged; if Jesus walked plainly
among us today, healing us, bringing our dead back to life, we’d murder
him eventually for everything He exposed in us and everything we saw in
this same belief
that the human heart remains unchanged is also an obstacle for me. I
have to shed my American mind-set, as much as possible, to understand
lost worlds and distant viewpoints. Values change, roles change, and
laws change. Only God does not.
Why do you
are sometimes discontent with their God-given role as mother, wife,
sister, friend? Do you think modern society has created a vacuum within
a woman’s heart that creates a longing for “something more”?
Every one of us struggles at
some point with the belief that someone has a better life than we do.
We spend a lot of time trying to blame others for our own
discontentment. Sometimes we blame men, our culture, our thighs.
culture compounds this human weakness by throwing a million images and
voices at us daily. For example, a biblical woman likely had three
things to eat every day. Depending on the season, the items might
change between bread, olives, grapes, wine, fish, or goat. A modern
American woman makes 217 food decisions every day.
And studies show that the more
choices we have, the less content we are. How can we ever be sure we
chose the best option? We fall into the trap of believing that someone
has it better than we do. In a culture of vast choices and fading
morals, how can we ever find contentment apart from Christ?
co-existed with a growing media presence in both radio and television
markets. How difficult is it to balance these two media outlets? Do you
prefer one over the other?
I love radio because I don’t
have to hold in my stomach while I talk. If I’m on TV, there’s a whole
’nother level of drama going on behind the scenes. You have to have a
good hair day, a good skin day, and a good wardrobe day. It’s the
trifecta of good first impressions, which I rarely achieve.
But the advantage to TV is that
you get to meet other guests in the studio. I’ve met some fascinating
people: Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, Don Piper, Lee Haney, Cecil Murphy,
long to convey to readers of both your fiction and nonfiction works?
It’s changed from wanting to
just tell a rip-roaring great story to wanting to tell a rip-roaring
great story that heals. So many of my readers are struggling right now
with health, marital, or financial issues. A good story can comfort and
heal in a divine way. I want to be a part of that process.
changed your life both positively and negatively?
I went from scribbling in a
journal to publishing on an international scale. The first year nearly
killed me. I was so nervous about strangers reading my private thoughts
that I couldn’t eat for days at a time. I was a wreck. But I met some
amazing people, like my agent Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary and
novelists Siri Mitchell and Kimberly Stuart, and I loved the way they
saw the world. I wanted to keep going, too. Publishing is still not
easy. It takes a toll on my nerves, my confidence, and my social life.
And my housecleaning has suffered terribly. I finally broke down and
hired a maid to visit twice per month.
Can you share
about your current project? What is it that excites you about it?
Wolves Among Us
just hit bookstores and Wal-Mart. Based on the true stories of the
witch hunts of medieval Europe, readers will follow the tale of a
heart-weary wife who witnesses the power and seductive theology of an
Inquisitor. I hope readers will feel as I did when researching the
book: if we don’t know what the Bible says, how can we ever be
protected from making these same deadly mistakes?
And here’s the crazy part: I’ve
heard this same dark theology proclaimed from the pulpit of a famous
minister who “specializes” in marriage. Bad theology is timeless, I
Later this year will see the
release of Desired: The Story of Samson and Delilah.
Told from the point of view of the women who loved him (his mother, his
first wife, and Delilah), the book offers an epic love story that will
surprise even the readers who have read the biblical account.
God doing in your life right now? Any closing words of encouragement
you’d like to share with your readers?
One of my children was just
diagnosed with celiac disease. It’s turned our world upside-down while
we’ve struggled to get a handle on the required treatment. And while we
wrestle with this, I was invited to Thailand to speak to missionaries
there, offering them a day of rest and encouragement. I don’t like
international travel. I don’t like going to the grocery store, much
less a different country! I am learning, yet again, to trust God in
everything, for everything, and through everything.
Ginger Garrett is the author of
the novels Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther, In the
Shadow of Lions, In the Arms of Immortals, Wolves Among Us,
and the nonfiction books Beauty Secrets of the Bible
and A Woman’s Path to Inner Beauty.
Focusing on ancient women’s
history, Ginger creates novels and nonfiction resources that explore
the lives of historical women. A frequent media guest and television
host, Ginger has been interviewed by Fox News,
Billy Graham’s The Hour of Decision, The Harvest Show,
104.7 The Fish Atlanta, and many other outlets.
You can learn more by visiting
Ford has been a resident of
Alabama for more than ten years. Originally from Georgia, she holds a
Bachelor’s degree in English from Brenau Women’s College. She has spent
the past 9 years in sales and marketing and has been an avid reader of
Christian Fiction for more than 20 years.
A mother of two teen sons and married to a technical writer and Army
veteran, Kim’s life is full and blessed. She and her husband also
volunteer as teachers for a resident rehab program for women with
life-controlling issues. She uses her fiction to encourage the ladies
she teaches. She blogs at: Window
To My World