Chris Fabry writes heartfelt
stories that are deeply rooted in the human condition. His stories make
readers aware of their need for God, while placing his characters
square in the midst of some very difficult circumstances, circumstances
that readers can relate to! He is now an award-winning author, and his
future is bright with promise. His desire to show God’s love to his
readers is the fuel of that promise!
an honor to do a second interview with you! The last time we talked
about your work, Dogwood was new on the shelves and
you were working on Junebug. Now you have two Christy Awards
and are working on a project that you deem “… perhaps my best, and I am
praying [the characters] will make readers squirm and laugh and cry and
want to run into the arms of God.”
statement is exciting to your fans! Tell us what has happened in your
life since Almost Heaven won a Christy and the
ECPA fiction award.
I was overjoyed that Billy
Allman’s story was so well-received. I wondered if everyone would give
up on it because his life as I told it was filled with valleys and few
mountains. But God has used it and I’m grateful. Personally, our family
is still in Tucson, Arizona, recovering from our bout with toxic mold.
What is it
like to have your stories named award winners? Does that affect your
writing in any way?
There is a danger to believe the
press releases. I’m no different winning an award than if I wasn’t
recognized. And in some way there’s more pressure to “perform” and win
again. But if I stay true to who God calls me to be, what He calls me
to write, I can’t go wrong. I may not win another award, but that’s
okay if I follow and obey Him.
release is A Marriage Carol, a Christmas book
project with best-selling nonfiction author Gary Chapman.
Gary, my wife, and I work on a
radio program called Building Relationships with Dr. Gary
Chapman. I used a couple of scenarios we’ve talked about on
the program and tried to write an imaginative story that would capture
Christmas and a marriage on the rocks.
Why was it
important to wrap this story around the holiday season?
Actually, Away with
the Manger was my first Christmas book, but that was back
when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Christmas is a romantic, nostalgic
time. Capturing the warmth and love of this season, and juxtaposing
that with the cold heart of a dead marriage was our task.
A Marriage Carol has
several symbols in the story, such as snowflakes, a red door, and a
very special door knocker; why were these important to the characters
and the story?
That imagery is important. For
example, the snow falling represent the daily choices we make to move
toward or away from each other. And those choices pile up. The door
knocker was Moody Publishers’ idea, and it was a good one!
do you hope people will receive from A Marriage Carol?
Hope. Hope for your marriage.
Hope for your relationships that feel dead. It’s easier to walk away.
It’s harder to stay but more rewarding. The best chance you have for a
happy marriage is with the person you last said “I do” to.
You have over
sixty published works to your credit, nine children who call you Dad,
and you host a popular national radio show live every day. How does
writing get done with your busy schedule? What does your writing day
God changed me from a night
writer to a morning writer years ago when I did a morning show in
Chicago. When I began writing full time, I kept my morning radio
schedule. In recent years I’ve gotten up a little later—but in the past
few months I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night to check our son
who has Type 1 diabetes. Sometimes that’s 4 AM, sometimes it’s 3 AM,
and I stay up and start my day then and hit the story. I journal and
read Scripture, then dive into whatever story is spinning in my head.
your large family provide fodder for the grist mill of your
Always. My wife is a major
character in the novel I’m working on now. I used a couple of my
daughters in my next project to be published in February, Not
in the Heart. My father died in August and that will probably
work its way into a future project. Life is the best place for stories
that the inspiration for Junebug was a seed planted as you observed an
RV pulling into the Walmart parking lot. Where did you draw inspiration
for A Marriage Carol? Why is this project is so
was a Facebook message from a
friend I went to school with at Moody Bible Institute. My wife and I
were good friends with her and her husband. She told me the sad story
of the breakup of her marriage, what her husband was doing now, how he
had turned from God. I’ve had several of those types of conversations
where people have said, “We’re not in love anymore.” So I used the form
of the Dickens tale to see if I could jolt some couples. This story is
a defibrillator to the heart of every marriage.
How long does
it take you to bring a story from your imagination to the finished
page? What is your favorite part of that process? Your least favorite?
Every story is different. My
bigger novels take about six months. Dogwood took
several years. I’ve found you have to be patient with the story and let
it flow and not try to force it into a certain amount of time, but at
the same time you have to hit deadlines. My favorite part of the
process is when I learn something new about a character that I didn’t
expect. Some little thing that makes them come alive. Least favorite is
having to stop and do whatever else I need to do.
You also have
a great love for live radio. Does the radio show enhance your writing?
I had the choice a few years ago
to keep writing children’s books or do a daily radio show. A good
friend told me to do the radio because I would be more connected with
real life that way and be exposed to more stories and ideas than if I
just wrote books in a closed room. She was right. Almost
Heaven came directly from a conversation on the radio, and
I’ve had several ideas I may pursue because of sparks from the radio
You had to say
farewell to your earthly father in August of this year. What influence
did he have on your writing? How has his passing affected your
viewpoint of family?
I spoke at the funeral and
talked about my brothers. One is in the military and the other a
chemist. My dad worked at a chemical plant and wanted to serve in the
military but couldn’t because of a physical problem. So my dad could
understand those two boys, their life pursuits, and then I came along
writing poems, songs, stories, taking pictures of our family dog
dressed in costumes—I must have seemed from another planet. But even
though he didn’t understand me, he encouraged me. He always believed in
me, even if it was more of a quiet belief.
losing your father, you had to move from your home, leaving the
contents behind, and undergo treatment for mold exposure. How has that
impacted your life? Your writing?
Pain gives you the opportunity
to go deeper in life. Loss and sorrow can make you either bitter or
better. Can’t recall who said that, but it’s true. And suffering, the
Scriptures say, can produce perseverance and character and hope. But
you have to allow it to do that. We’re part of the process. So I’ve
tried to use this struggle we’ve had to inform my writing and get to a
different level than I might have gone without it. As far as life goes,
we’re starting over. We don’t own a house. We haven’t replaced our pets
yet. Well, we have a bird. The kids are just now able to go back to a
school. We’ve traveled a few miles on this road and there are many more
your readers what exciting things God is doing in your life now.
I’m excited by God’s
faithfulness and how no matter what happens, He’s working out His plan.
I wouldn’t have chosen the path He’s given us. Probably many of your
readers feel the same way. But the best path is the one He’s on. I’m
excited to wake up each morning and do something I love, something I
feel I was made to do, and share that with the people I love most in
the world. What a gift!
latest book is a Christmas novel, can you tell us about one of your
favorite Christmas traditions?
I get up early Christmas morning
and make breakfast for everyone. We have a new diet so I can’t make the
same stuff we used to eat, but it’s one of the highlights of the day.
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