Friday, February 22, 2013

Interview with Gina Holmes ... Win an Autographed Copy ofWings of Glass!


Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Rocket and a PR professional. Her bestselling novels Crossing Oceans and Dry as Rain were both Christy finalists and won various literary awards. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass, released February 2013 and has earned a starred review from Library Journal, a Romantic Times Top Pick and a Southern Indie Bookseller's Okra Pick. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose. To learn more about her, visit www.ginaholmes.com.




Your 3rd novel, Wings of Glass, has just released. Tell us a little about it.

I think this is my favorite book so far. Wings of Glass tells the story of Penny Taylor, a young wife who feels trapped and alone in a physically and emotionally abusive marriage. Besides her low self-esteem, she feels her Christian faith doesn’t allow for divorce. It’s not until she meets two women—one a southern socialite and the other a Sudanese cleaning woman—that her eyes are opened to the truth of her situation and she begins her journey to healing and redemption.


What made you take on the tough subject of domestic abuse?

As a little girl, I watched my mother being physically abused by her husband and then later, two of my sisters enter abusive relationship after abusive relationship and I thought that would never be me. . . until the day my boyfriend hit me for the first time and I began to make excuses for him. I know the mindset of someone who gets into and stays in an abusive relationship, because I’ve been there myself. It’s taken me years, and a lot of reading, praying, and talking to get to the heart of what brought me and kept me in toxic relationships and I want to pass on some of what I learned that helped me find boundaries and recovery from a codependent mindset and most of all healing.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

It’s my hope and prayer that those who are in abusive relationships will begin to see that the problem lies with them as much as with the abuser. That’s something I railed against when friends suggested it. I wasn’t the one with the problem! I was no doormat who enabled abuse or addiction… or was I?

I also hope that those who have never understood the mindset of victims would better comprehend the intricacies of codependency and be better able to minister to these women and men. And of course I’d love it if young women would read this before they ever enter their first romantic relationship to have their eyes open to how abuse almost always progresses and be able to see the red flags early.

Which of the characters in the novel is most like you and why?

Each of the characters has a little of me in them or vice versa. I think years ago I was more like Penny, though tougher in many regards, at least I thought so. I’d like to think now I’m a little more Callie Mae. Because I’ve lived through what I have and have found healing, I can see in others the path that will lead to healing and the one that will lead to destruction. The difficult part once you’ve found healing is remembering that you can’t do it for others. You can offer advice, but you can’t make anyone take it. Each person has to learn in their own time, in their own way.

Who is your favorite character?

I absolutely love Fatimah. She had such a great sense of humor and didn’t care what anyone thought except those who really mattered. She was really quite self-actualized. She was so much fun to write and I actually find myself missing her presence.

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer?

Favorite: making my own schedule. I love when I’m feeling bad one day knowing that I don’t have to punch a clock. I can just take the day off and then work harder the next. Of course, there’s a lot of other things I love about writing, like allowing others to consider another point of view that may be far different from their own.

Least favorite: There’s a joke that when you work for yourself you at least get to pick which eighteen hours of the day you want. That’s true. Working from home means I’m always at work. I work from about 7:30 am until about eight at night most days. Under deadline, it’s worse. Truly understanding how much the success of a book rides on the shoulders of the author is a blessing and a curse. Because I get that no one is more invested in the success of my books than me, I put in a LOT of time on the publicity/marketing end of things. It’s tiring but an investment that I think pays off in the long run.


You had written four novels before your debut, Crossing Oceans was published. Do you think those books will ever get dusted off and reworked?

Never say never, but I doubt it. I had considered reworking some but having gone back and re-read them, I realized they weren’t published for good reason. They just didn’t work. Now, there is one story I’m resurrecting characters from for a story I should be writing next, but the plotline is completely different. I started out writing suspensel but as my reading tastes changed, so did my writing tastes. I don’t see myself doing suspense again any time soon.

You’re known for your quirky characters, what inspires you to write these types into each book?

Honestly, I’m a pretty quirky person. The older I get, the more I embrace those quirks. I think everyone is quirky really. As a student of human nature, I pick up on those and like to exaggerate them in my fiction. I also like to surround myself with quirky people. My husband is quirky, my kids are quirky and so are my friends. Often in life, especially when we’re young, we hate about ourselves what makes us different, when really those are the things we should be embracing. Different is interesting. Different is beautiful.

If you could write anything and genre, marketing and reader expectations didn’t matter, what would you write?

Speaking of quirky… I read a book a few years back that was so different that it made me want to try something like that. The book was a big-time bestseller, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. What turned me on about that book were the characters. They were quirky to an extreme. In contemporary women’s fiction, I can get away with a certain amount of quirk. but I’m always having to play it down because it’s so over the top. In a fantasy, you can be as over the top as you dare. I’d love to play around with something like that one day and just let my freak flag fly! Will I? Probably not unless I use a penname. I realize readers have certain expectations and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel mislead. We’ll see. There’s lots in life I want to do but since I only get a hundred or so years (if I’m lucky), time won’t allow for every rabbit hole.

What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?

My advice would be not to follow too closely in anyone’s footsteps. Yes, there is a certain path all writers find themselves on. There are certain things that we must all do like learning to write well, figuring out platform, going to writers conferences to meet the gatekeepers and figure out the way things have to be formatted and submitted and all that sort of thing. But it’s okay to veer off the path too and forge your own. There are those who have self-published who have found great success.

There are those who have written about subjects that they were told no one wanted to read about and found success. It’s smart to figure out what others have done before you to make them successful, but alter the formula to suit your needs and passions. It’s okay to be different, in fact, I think great success and maybe even happiness depends upon it. And by all means, read Novel Rocket.com and leave comments. It helps not only encourage those authors who have taken the time out of their day to teach us, but it also connects you to the writing community. Community is important. 


From the best-selling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heartrending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign town, Penny's happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn't the last, yet the bruises that can't be seen are the most painful of all.

When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own.



54 comments:

Marla said...

Sounds like a fantastic read!

Carolyn said...

I'd love to win Wings of Glass.
Thanks for the chance.
Carolyn
carolynj63@att.net

Annette said...

I loved "Crossing Oceans" SO much, and I can't wait to get my eyes on "Wings of Glass"! I would so love to win!

sewbynette at yahoo dot com

Nicole said...

I have a copy. Just wanted to say this novel is authentically written and hopefully a must-read for victims or potential victims of emotional and physical abuse. Another admirable story from Gina.

Shawna Young said...

Gina, I'm looking forward to spending some time engrossed in your book.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Shawna :)

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks for taking the time to say that, Nicole :)

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Annette. I think I like this one even better. I hope you do too.

Gina Holmes said...

You're entered, Carolyn. Thanks.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Maria.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Edie, Great interview!

Gina, loved the advice at the end "forge your own" path. Your new book sounds wonderful.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Marian :)

dianegates said...

Great interview. I can hardly wait to read "Wings of Glass." "Crossing Oceans" was a wonderful book, if this new one is better don't know if I can stand it. :) Would love to have you guest on my blog, Gina. You name the date. I publish on Wednesday evenings and feature a guest for the next week.

DiAne Gates

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Diane, I'd love to. Anytime is fine with me. Just let me know what you need!

Sharon Dean said...

Hi Gina, so excited and anxious for to read Wings of Glass. Crossing Oceans is one of my all time favorites. Wings of Glass sounds so powerful, emotional and inspirational. Would be an honor to win a copy. Thanks for all you do and may He continue to bless you always.

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Crossing Oceans stayed with me after I read it. I'd love to read Wings of Glass. dallenco[at]gmail[dot]com

~Debbie

Becky Doughty said...

Gina,
Loved reading your responses to these questions. Honestly, you could have taken the easy road with many of them and given us pat and formulaic answers, but yours were authentic and from your heart. I'm always so encouraged to read fiction that focuses on restoration and redemption, especially when it's told from someone who's walked that road. There's an raw reality to the written word when the pen has been dipped in the writer's blood. I read Crossing Oceans just this year and I sensed a new direction in inspirational fiction with your book. Thank you for being vulnerable and genuine.

Blessings,
Becky

jewels smith said...

Gina a friend recommended Crossing Oceans to me and it broke my heart... and of course it made me sob. It was a very moving story for me. I loved the interview.. I can really related to being abused , I really wish that I could be a help to young people and even people old who are still currently living in an abusive relationship and are unsure of how to get out. It is possible I did it.. It was hard being a single mom but my children I pray will never have to go through the same things that I did in life. Blessings to you .. I look forward to reading more of your stories.

Julie Lippo ( jb lippo on facebook) jblippo@gmail.com

Chris Coward said...

How many of your viewers planned to read Wings of Glass while cruising Antarctica? I thought so. I purchased the book before the cruise--or so I thought--but when finally amid the icebergs, I realized I'd hit the wrong selection and bought a bird book instead. Bummer. Home now, I'd love to win the book (autographed, no less) but will plunk down more $$$s if I don't. I'll let you know how the bird book ends if I ever read it. Don't think my black-and-white Nook will do justice to the photos. :D

allimae said...

I've read Crossing Oceans and loved it, can't wait to read Wings of Glass! I just love reading Gina Holmes books!

Cindy W. said...

I have Wings of Glass on my wish list. I would really love to win a copy. Thank you so very much for the opportunity to win a copy.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Sharon!

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Debbie. Glad you liked Crossing Oceans.

Gina Holmes said...

Oh no, Chris. That's horrible but funny. I hope to do one of those cruises one day.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Alliemae. There's a Calliemae in the book, ha!

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Cindy. Be sure to check our facebook page tonight. That's where the winner will be announced and need to message us.

Marianne Barkman said...

Gina, i loved Crossing Oceans. Been there done that, Chris. i had bought Karen Kingsbury's Going Home on a trip, and on that trip Mom ended up in the ICU on a ventilator (she's doing awesome now). Couldn't read it, and actually lost it somewhere down the line. i would love to review Wings of Glass on my blog.

mitziUNDERSCOREwanhamATyahooDOTcom

Marti Pieper said...

You know I love your writing and your heart for the least of these. If that qualifies as quirky, sign me up.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Thanks for a great interview. Crossing Oceans was my favorite book in 2011. I ordered Dry as Rain this past week, it should arrive this week. I can't wait! Congratulations on your success Gina; it's well deserved.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Marianne. Glad you're mom's better!

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Marti :)

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Jill. That made my day.

rachelallord.com said...

I read "Crossing Oceans" in a closet at my mother-in-law's house over Thanksgiving weekend. I love my family, but your book provided a much needed escape. And a good cry. Thanks for sharing your stories and your words today.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Rachel. Glad your mother in law had a copy and you discovered it. :)

Christina (Berry) Tarabochia said...

Gina, great interview and I'm sure this book will show the commitment you have to excelling in your craft AND telling a fantastic story! So proud of you. :)

Ellen Andersen said...

It must've been hard writing it since it reflected your own experiences. I appreciate your advice to not follow too closely in someone else's shoes as a writer.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks for that, Becky.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Julie. I hate that you had to go through that but know God used it for good. Crossing Oceans made me sob too.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Christina. I'm proud of you too!

Gina Holmes said...

It wasn't hard to write. It's harder for me to write about what I don't (emotionally) know. It took me years before I was healed enough to offer hope and a healthier perspective. Thanks Ellen.

Janeen Ippolito said...

I admire your passion to take the experiences God has given you and use them to write powerful novels that help others. I'd definitely love a copy of this book.

Oh, and great titles/cover art on all your novels!

Steph said...

Please enter my name in the contest. Like the others, I'd love to win your book! ssp2and4u AT sbcglobal.net.

Margo Berendsen said...

I really hope you just let your freak flag fly (love that!!!), and write that fantasy book. A pen name is fine!

So, question, I think I'd like to read this book, because I love what you had to say about it, esp. understanding others in codependent relationships, but you did not mention God or Jesus in your post at all. I just like to know upfront about Christian novels (or at least novels by Christian publishers), since there are some these days that dance around the name of Jesus without ever landing firmly on it.

karenk said...

Gina,
I look forward to reading your latest masterpiece...Thanks for the chance :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Sarah said...

I would love to win,enter me!!!
Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!!
Sarah Richmond
sarahrichmond{dot}12{at}gmail{dot}com
NC.

Margo Berendsen said...

oops - so my question is: is Jesus named in this book and goes it give the Gospel? if so I'd love to read it (or win it!) berendsen70 at yahoo

Heather Marsten said...

Fantastic subject and much needed. I hope women in abusive relationships are encouraged by your story. I grew up in a home filled with abuse - my mom was abused, my sister, brother, and myself. I am fortunate that I was able to escape the abuse. Sadly some of the pain still clings to my sister and brother. Forgiveness is a key. I am adding your book to my list of books I definitely must read.
HM at HVC dot RR dot COM

Gina Holmes said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Heather. You're right, forgiveness is part of the key. I hope they're able to find it, mostly for their sake.

Gina Holmes said...

You're entered. Thanks Sarah.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Karen.

Gina Holmes said...

No, I don't spell out the gospel. Thanks for your comment.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Steph.

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Janeen. Tyndale does do great covers (so thankful for that!)

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Great interview! Can't wait to read this book (whether I win it or not.)