Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development as major motion pictures. Her Baxter Family Series books were developed into a TV series. Karen is also an adjunct professor of writing at Liberty University. She and her husband, Donald, live in Tennessee near their children and grandchildren. In 2022, she founded a production company called Karen Kingsbury Productions.
In this interview, Karen talks with FamilyFiction about her latest novel, Just Once.
FF: What inspired the story in your book?
Just Once is my first book set against the backdrop of World War II. I chose this era because I wanted to tell the love story of Irvel Myers, who was twenty-one when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Irvel has long been one of my favorite characters, though she played a relatively minor role in previous Baxter family books. This story is definitely a stand-alone title, giving not just context but the most beautiful back story to Irvel’s life and love.
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
Irvel and Sam and his brother Hank feel real, like they represent actual young people from that terrible time in our nation’s history (WWII). The loss and impossibility of the situations these three faced had me reaching for tissues often as I wrote this book. Tissues are a must for Just Once!
FF: What kind of research did you do for this book?
The fact that Just Once is anchored against true events makes it different from other novels I’ve written. For this story, I did extensive World War II research, needing to know which battles happened when and where and how my characters would most likely have navigated those events. Because Irvel was a spy with the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), I needed a strong knowledge of that organization, as well.
FF: What is coming next from Karen Kingsbury?
A movie! Someone Like You is first offering from Karen Kingsbury Productions, a movie is based on my bestselling book by the same name, starring Sarah Fisher. It is coming to theaters nationwide beginning April 2, 2024! You can watch the beautiful trailer here!
FF: Will faith-based readers enjoy Just Once and if so, why?
Faith-based readers will definitely love Just Once, as it will affirm their worldview. But just as importantly, fiction readers and fans of World War II literature will also find a home in Just Once.
Genres: WWII Fiction, Historical Romance
Release Date: November 14, 2023
It’s 1941, and while World War II rages overseas, Irvel Ellis is dating one man, Sam, but in love with his brother, Hank. Then, the unthinkable happens—Pearl Harbor is attacked. Sam is drafted, while Hank and Irvel take up the battle on the home front. While Sam fights in Europe, an undeniable chemistry builds between Irvel and Hank. Then two military leaders pay Irvel a visit at the classroom where she teaches. The men have plans for her, plans that will take her into the secret spy world of World War II. Then a telegram comes, and the news is devastating. Hank enlists the next day and just two weeks remain until he and Irvel ship out. Will any of them make it home alive?
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