Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, this week I have fellow Kentuckian Gina Holder as my guest. Her new book sounds like so much fun! Wait until you read the blurb. Gina is giving away a copy of her debut novel. Read on to see how you can enter to win!
Tell us about yourself. My name is Gina Holder. I’m 35 years old. I’ve been married to my best friend for 12 years and we have one lovely 11-year-old daughter. I’m a stay at home mom and I homeschool. We currently live in Kentucky, but we are moving back to Colorado in May. I indie published my first novel in 2017 and now I’m preparing to release my next book at the end of April.
Tell us about your current release. My current release is titled, No Greater Love. It’s about a book-loving, coffee-drinking Portlander who discovers she is a “safe haven” baby after finding a Bible and a bookmark, leading her to the town of Whitman, Oregon to search for her birthmother. Unfortunately, her birthmother doesn’t want to be found and Paige’s past comes back to haunt her when she becomes the primary suspect in a series of local robberies. Paige was adopted by a firefighter and after his death, she vows never to fall in love with a first responder- a hero. She can’t understand someone willing to give their life for a stranger. Patrol Officer Hamilton Bryant is investigating the robberies. After the death of his best friend and fellow officer, he vows never to fall in love with anyone, except Paige has stolen his heart and he doesn’t know what to do about it.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, because how would I know exactly who that person was? I would want to get my story out there so that one person could know the love of Jesus Christ. If the good shepherd can leave the 99 sheep to go after the one lost one, I think I can write a book, even if it would only touch one soul.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Absolutely. I think every author does, if they’re being honest. We want to reach as many people as we can and with personal standards covering such a wide scope, it would be so easy to fudge on your own standards to build a bigger audience. I want to stay true to my heart and the things I believe are right or wrong. God holds me accountable for my actions—my beliefs, not the actions or beliefs of others.
At what age did you know you wanted to write? I’ve heard stories of people who were writing stories in childhood (which is what I’d expect). But I’ve heard of others who randomly started much later in life, and that is so interesting to me! When I was a young child, I struggled with both reading and writing, but then it was like a big switch happened. I still don’t know why or how, but I suddenly started trying to write stories. I was less than ten years old. The first short story (about a paragraph long) I wrote was about God’s promise of the rainbow. When God became a part of my life, I wanted to tell stories so others could know about Him. Still today, that is the inspiration behind everything I write. When I was about 12 years old, I wrote my first “novel,” it was less than 40,000 words in length, but it was mine. Funny thing, at the time, I thought it was good enough to get published, I didn’t know that I had so much still to learn!
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? It’s very difficult to get traditionally published when you are a nobody; you’re just too high of a risk. I chose to self-publish to build a platform and a name first. Once I can show that I have an audience, that I am worth the risk, I hope to be traditionally published.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I start with a couple of characters, a theme, and a general idea of how the story will go. That’s it. Everything else develops as I write the story. Some writers start with a plot, or a character, or a theme. I hear conversations in my head. No joke.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Don’t give up and never stop learning. Don’t stop growing. Don’t allow pride to keep you from advancing and challenging your craft.
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I loved the Anne of Green Gables series, Laura Ingalls Wilder series, Mandie Mysteries series, and Lauraine Snelling’s High Hurdles and Golden Filly series.
Here is where you can find Gina online:
My debut novel is titled, Whither Shall I Go? It’s a historical missionary romance. It tells the story of an orphaned girl who goes from rags to riches, then falls in love with a young preacher. When he goes MIA during WWI, she continues their dream of being missionaries to Brazil, where she faces jaguars, anacondas, and an antagonistic Shaman. Amidst it all, she learns that God had a better plan for her life than she ever thought possible. This story is based on the Scriptures found in Psalm 139.
Gina is giving away a signed copy of her debut novel, Whither Shall I Go? to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This story sounds amazing!
It was great to meet you, Gina!! Your book sounds really good!! Both of them, actually!! I’ll be putting them on my wish list!
The story sounds really interesting! On a personal note, thank you for sticking to your standards when writing books.