We're featuring book three in Virginia's Classic Trio romantic suspense series. Welcome back to the blog. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was raised going to church, and was aware of God’s love and His special plan for my life from a young age. But when I was twelve, my church held a special Sunday evening service to show a movie. It was called A Thief in the Night, and it was about the rapture. That movie brought home the fact that I’d never made a personal commitment to Jesus. So when we got home that evening, I told my mother I wanted to give my life to Christ. We knelt by the living room sofa and she led me in the prayer of salvation.
That's a wonderful experience for a mother, too. I was privileged to have one like that with my younger daughter. How did you and your husband meet?
We worked together for several years before we became romantically involved, both of us in the computer industry. He was a mainframe guy, and I was a PC gal. He used to tell me his computers were the real thing, and mine were just toys. I always replied, “That’s what the train people said to the airplane people.” We laugh about that now.
After we started dating, we didn’t tell anyone at work. But every Friday morning I arrived at work to find a bouquet of flowers on my desk. Rumors spread like crazy all over the office, with everybody trying to figure out who the mysterious guy was. We finally had to go public when he was offered a promotion and it was going to make him my boss, which was against company policy.
They fixed it, though. Rather than risk having one of us leave, they created a position for me in another department, and it was a manager position. So we both got a promotion out of the deal, and we ended up getting married!
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Oh, that’s a tough one! I’ve learned so much from so many different writers, and I’d want to have them all. But if I could only select four, I’d go with people I’ve never met, but know only through their work. That way I could learn something new. Karen Kingsbury, so she could tell me how to be so proficient without sacrificing quality. Francine Rivers, so I could soak up some of her beautiful writing style. Lisa Samson, because I admire the way she packs so much impact into her stories. And Dean Koonz, because he’s an amazing writer and able to write the unbelievable so convincingly.
I know you have a singing and speaking ministry. Tell us about that.
Singing was my first passion, and the Lord has given me opportunities to use my voice for Him. I sang competitively when I was younger, and I’ve always sang in churches, mostly solo work. But then in the 90’s I sang with a traveling contemporary Christian group, and that was an amazing ministry to be associated with. We did several recordings, and traveled for half of each year to sing in churches and festivals in several states in the west. I also sang with a ladies trio for several years, and that was another amazing experience. I don’t do anything like that anymore, though I’m still available to do solo work for various events, like Christmas teas and luncheons and stuff like that.
As for speaking, that started back when I was still in the corporate world. I was trained in public speaking because I had to do quite a bit of it for my job. One time I was speaking to an audience of over a thousand people about how a large computer system we were implementing would change their lives. Apparently I was pretty good, because I got a standing ovation – at a corporate meeting! When I got into my car after the event, I told the Lord, “I would love to be able to do this for You, so I could talk about something that would really change people’s lives.” Well, He honored that request, and began opening doors for me to speak at churches, ladies’ retreats, conferences, even prisons. Let me tell you, it’s so much more rewarding to tell someone about Jesus than some old computer system.
One thing I’ve learned, though. I never sing and speak at the same event. I am absolutely at ease in front of a crowd doing either one, but if I have to do both, I develop a horrible case of nerves!
I used to sing and do a dramatic monologue at the same time. Wasn't easy. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
When my husband and I were dating, he took me to an extremely elegant restaurant. I was all dressed up in a backless dress, heels, the whole nine yards. The floors were highly polished, and as the maitre d’ led us to our table, I slipped. I landed flat on my rear end, right in the middle of the dining room. Of course you always hope nobody notices, but in this case, everybody did. A loud Gasp! went up from every table. My face burned as Ted and the maitre d’ helped me up.
I handled it by doing my best to brush it off. I went to our table and acted as though nothing had happened. I mean, what else can you do in a situation like that? If I could have thought of a joke, I would have cracked it. But I’ve never been good at joking on demand.
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I’d say, “What are you waiting for? Get busy!” Many people have an idea burning in their souls, something the Lord has given them a passion to talk about. Even if that book is never published, at least that passion will have an outlet. And some people will read it – a spouse, children, grandchildren, friends. Their passion will be communicated to others through their writing. Besides, they might discover they like the act of writing, and decide they want to pursue it further.
Tell us about the featured book.
Scent of Murder is the third and final book in my Classical Trio romantic suspense series. The first two were A Taste of Murder and Murder at Eagle Summit. This time the trio is scheduled to play their music at an artist colony in the Blue Hills of Indiana. Caitlin, who is reeling from being dumped by her long-time boyfriend, has sworn off men for a full year to give herself time to heal. But that’s before she meets Chase Hollister, the handsome owner of a scented candle factory. Before she knows it, she and Chase are caught up in a haunting crime from his past – and pursued by a deadly killer in the present.
Romantic Times gave Scent of Murder a four and a half stars, making it my highest rating yet! The reviewer said, “Plenty of action and suspense, a fine mystery and the knowledge that the love of God is for everyone, no matter what they've done.”
Here’s an interesting tidbit about Scent of Murder. It was the toughest revision I’ve ever had. When I turned in the manuscript, my editor called to give me the bad news that she wanted me to rewrite over half of the book! Because the heroine and hero are separated for a huge part of the time, which apparently isn’t done in romantic suspense (I didn’t know that!), I had to really crank up the romantic tension in the other parts. There were some other elements that needed to be rewritten, too. I was pretty devastated, actually. In my eight previous books, my revisions have never been this significant. But when I’d finished, I saw that the finished product was much stronger than the initial version. And readers have agreed. I’ve had multiple emails from people saying, “This is your best mystery yet.” So even though it was painful, I learned a lot about the genre.
The first chapter is available online here: http://www.virginiasmith.org/cmsdocuments/Murder_at_Eagle_Summit_Excerpt.pdf
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.virginiasmith.org/. I’d love to have visitors drop by and read my Journal (which is really a blog, but since I’m a notoriously bad blogger, it masquerades as a Journal.) And while you’re there, check out the Reader Fun page, where I’m always giving away books – mine another people’s, too.
People can stay up to date on what I’m reading on GoodReads at www.goodreads.com/GinnyS.
And I’m on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/people/Ginny-Smith/1557400143. I’d love to be your Friend. Just be warned that I use Facebook as a personal place, so if you become my Friend, you’ll hear about my family, my travels, and random thoughts that occupy my mind!
Lena, thanks so much for the opportunity to appear on your awesome blog. It’s always a pleasure to chat with you!
Thank you, Ginny, for spending this time with us. I always enjoy it.
Readers, here's a link where you can order the book:
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