PAKENHAM, Ontario, June 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Before becoming an award-winning and bestselling novelist, Ellen Gable practically devoured any book she could get her hands on. But the Catholic Mom and faith-filled woman of conviction constantly found herself disconcerted by much of contemporary secular fiction containing plot recipes that often included glamorous depictions of non-marital sex and gratuitous violence.
On the other end of the spectrum, Gable found much of contemporary Christian fiction not “deep enough” for her tastes. A near-death experience from complications of an ectopic pregnancy became the catalyst for Gable’s inspiration to write faith-based fiction with edge-of-your-seat plots that are inseparable from a life-affirming moral perspective.
“I write about what I know,” said Gable in an interview with LifeSiteNews.
Not only is Gable a wife, homemaker, and mother of five boys ages 12 to 24, but she is also a Natural Family Planning (NFP) instructor, marriage preparation instructor, and pro-life speaker.
“I want my stories to be packed with meaning. And I have found the most meaning within the treasures of my Catholic faith,” she said. Gable says that it “doesn’t matter” to her whether her readers are Catholic, Christian, or secular. “I want them to know and love the characters. I want to entertain them, but I also want them to come away with an important life-affirming message.”
Gable’s latest novel, Stealing Jenny, currently sits at number one in the Religious & Liturgical Drama category on Amazon Kindle. The ebook is approaching 62,000 downloads since its release in September.
Readers of Stealing Jenny say that from the first page they cannot put the book down.
“Stealing Jenny is a gripping novel filled with engaging characters, a compelling mystery and a message which underscored the precious dignity of life. I literally couldn’t put it down,” said Lisa Hendey, founder of CatholicMom.com.
Sarah Reinhard, who writes a blog at SnoringScholar.com, said that the novel will “keep you on the edge of your seat and probably destroy your sleep pattern as you stay up to find out what happens.”
Therese Heckenkamp, a book reviewer at TraditionalCatholicNovels.com, called the novel a “chilling tale of gripping suspense” with “terrifying moments and heart-wrenching moments”.
The storyline revolves around Jenny and Tom Callahan and their five children who are plunged into a horrifying intrigue when a mentally deranged woman kidnaps the pregnant Jenny as part of a sinister plan to steal Jenny’s yet-to-be born baby.
Gable explained to LifeSiteNews how she wrote the piece of pro-life fiction to appeal to people caught-up in a culture that views human life as ‘choice’.
“With Stealing Jenny, I tried to create characters who weren’t perfect, who had made mistakes and lived with them. My female protagonists tend to be a lot like me in that regard. And, of course, even if your message does turn people off, at least you’ve turned them. In other words, you’ve had an effect on them and you don’t know where that will lead in the future or what seed has been planted.”
One important ingredient that Gable weaves into all her stories is her belief that “life is a gift”.
“Life is a gift. Sometimes God gives gifts that are ‘not planned’. Sometimes God gives gifts that aren’t what we would consider to be perfect. But our culture needs to trust God more.”
“Our current culture of death, I believe, originates from fear: fear of ‘getting pregnant,’ fear of how much work it will be to take care of a child, fear of having a child change one’s life, fear of dealing with a handicapped child, fear that one would have to give up supposed goals and dreams if they had a child, fear of not having enough money.”
“God calls everyone to ‘be not afraid’ and to trust that he will assist you in dealing with these fears.”
Gable related how one of her own struggles became the inspiration for Stealing Jenny.
“Years ago, I was watching the news about Laci Peterson’s disappearance and the police suspecting that she had been kidnapped (she was found dead months later and her husband was eventually found guilty of two counts of murder). I remember thinking, ‘Gosh, I’d be in trouble if I were kidnapped at eight months pregnant because I wouldn’t be able to give birth naturally.’ My own obstetric history includes five C-Sections. I then got the idea for a story of a mother who is kidnapped and not able to have her baby naturally.”
Gable hopes that readers of her novel will come away with new insight into the beauty of the gift of life. “Babies are not a commodity,” she says, adding that they are “always a gift from God, from the moment of conception, whether planned or unplanned, perfect or not so perfect.”