Monday, February 07, 2011
One of the things I enjoy most about writing fiction is creating characters. I try to make each character unique, but I’m sure some of my own thoughts, actions, and emotions are woven into each one. In the book I’m working on now, one of the characters is very sarcastic and I’ve had such fun with her. I wouldn’t dare say many of the things she says, but I’ve certainly thought some of the things she verbalizes. There’s probably more of me in her than I care to admit!
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
On a warm summer evening last year, I hopped in the car with my best friend and her fifteen year old daughter. We drove to the house of another friend, picked her up, and then went to another friend’s house. We toilet papered her yard, rang her doorbell, and sprayed her with silly string when she answered the door. She then joined us and we went to another friend’s house and did the same. Finally, we ended up at a movie theater where we knew a group of friends would be coming out of a movie soon. We waited and accosted them with toilet paper and silly string in the parking lot. We all ended the evening together over ice cream at a local restaurant where several from our group serenaded the patrons with songs from the movie Grease. We ranged in age from 15 to 65. It was a stretch for this introvert, but it was an evening I’ll never forget!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In my early twenties I worked as a human resources specialist. The job required a lot of correspondence and I found I enjoyed writing--forming sentences, taking thoughts and putting them in a framework that others found helpful. That was the first time I received encouragement as a writer. I worked for a tough boss who was well read and a stickler for excellence in writing. Where he often used a red marker to correct the work of others in our department, my work typically came back with a note telling me it was fine. Soon, he no longer checked my work, but let me send things out on my own. That was high praise coming from him and it planted a seed of desire in me to pursue the craft of writing.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m an eclectic reader. I enjoy fiction--especially literary fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, biographies, travel journals, and cookbooks. I read a wide range of books from both the CBA and ABA market. When I finish writing a book, I typically have a stack of books that I’ve collected to read. Reading is my treat once I’ve met my deadline.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I seek solitude with the Lover of my soul. I begin each morning with God and time spent in His Word. This isn’t as noble as it may sound--it’s simply survival for me. When my focus is on God rather than on myself, I’m less apt to get caught up in the stress of the day.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I have a couple of baby names books on my shelf and I refer to those. With my current novel, I held a contest on Facebook to find the name for a main character. I offered a brief description of the character and then gave the winner a Border’s gift certificate. That was great fun and I now have a long list of wonderful names that I’ll refer to for my next book.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m the mother of two incredible young-adult sons. Justin and Jared are fun, thoughtful, and wise. I can’t claim the credit for the way they are turning out--but I am very proud of them. They are a gift from God and they are His unique creations.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m tempted to say platypus, just for fun. But, I’ll have to choose the good ol’ house cat. I’d love nothing more than sleeping the day away in warm, sunny spot.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is whatever I’m eating at the moment. My housemates just took chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, so at the moment, warm chocolate chip cookies are my absolute favorite food. With the exception of peas, I’ll eat almost anything and enjoy it.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’m grateful God took me to that point of surrender before publication. It helped put having a book published in perspective for me. Publication isn’t something that defines me or adds worth to who I am. There was a point in my life when I would have viewed it that way. Now, I’m clear that my value is found in God alone.
Tell us about the featured book.
Set amongst the towering redwoods of the northern California coast, Words is the story of 10-year old Kaylee Wren who hasn’t spoken since her drug addicted mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin, in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.
Sierra Dawn is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter’s death, Sierra’s control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.
Brought together by Divine design, Kaylee and Sierra will discover together the healing mercy of the Word--Jesus Christ.
Words is an especially poignant story for me as it’s loosely based on my own history of childhood sexual abuse. My prayer is that all who read Words will be drawn to the Truth, Jesus Christ, and will experience the freedom found in Him.
I know there are many women who need to read this novel. Please give us the first page of the book.
I collect words.
I keep them in a box in my mind. I’d like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. I’d write my words on scraps of paper and then put them in the box. Whenever I wanted, I’d open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box.
But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can’t take them.
The dictionary is heavy on my lap. I’m on page 1,908. I’m reading through the Ss.
When I finish the Zs, I’ll start all over again.
I like that word. It means something extra, something special, something you don’t need. It’s super. But you don’t need super. You just need good enough.
How does it sound when someone says it?
I didn’t really think about how words sound until I stopped talking. I didn’t mean to stop talking, it just sort of happened.
My mom left.
I got scared.
And the words got stuck.
Wow! Powerful opening. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Ginny.
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