Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gina Conroy & Digging Up Death

Novel Rocket is about helping authors get their book off the ground. Gina Conroy has been a part of our team for a while, and we’re thrilled to celebrate the release of her second novel.

Gina, tell us about your novel, Digging Up Death 
Digging Up Death is about a single mom struggling from the emotional turmoil of a divorce she didn’t see coming as she tries to balance a career and raise her three children. It’s about a woman who wears masks to hide her pain and who she really is from the world and from God. On her journey to self discovery, forgiveness, and healing she stumbbles upon a murder, a stolen Egyptian artifact and must wrestle with the pull of an old lover and an ex-husband who’s wanted by the FBI. Mari Duggins seldom makes the right choices, but comes to learn she can’t keep fighting on her own and must surrender to God to find her self worth I know the subject matter seems heavy, but I hope it’s infused with enough humor, faith, mystery and quirky characters to balance that out.

Here’s the official back cover copy:

Archaeology Professor Mari Duggins is adjusting to life as a single mom and trying to balance a television career, but gets caught between the pull of her former flame, a field archaeologist, and her ex-husband who is wanted by the FBI on an antiquities crime. Then her colleague is murdered, and she gets in over her head as she searches for truth in a desert of lies. Mari Duggins’ life caves in as she tries to excavate the truth, but realizes only God can dig her out of the hole she’s created. Will Mari sort through her muddled feelings and put her trust in someone else before her world caves in? Or will the truth bury her alive?   

Where can readers purchase your book?

Right now it’s available on Amazon in ebook or softcover, but will be available soon at B & N, iTunes and other places where ebooks are sold.

One reviewer said, “Digging Up Death. It's got all the dirt you want--a tangled mystery, a quirky heroine, hints of romance, and page-turning action. Conroy keeps the story real and delves into the clean and the not so clean parts of life. Highly recommended." How do you weave all those elements into this story?

I’m not really sure, LOL! I wanted to write a fun, quirky mystery that held some women’s fiction themes, so without thinking about my story fitting into a specific genre, I sat down and wrote. I’ve been told it starts out a bit Chicklitish, then takes on mystery/suspense and women’s fiction tones. Maybe that’s why it didn’t sell in the CBA at first even though editors like the story and writing. I guess it just didn’t seem to fit. But I wanted to be true to my character and the story, and though it may never be a best seller, I think people have enjoyed the fresh change of pace that this story offers.

How much of yourself do you write into your characters?

In some ways my characters are a lot like me, in other ways, they’re nothing like me. Most often the lessons the characters learn are things God is trying to get through my thick head, but the circumstances my characters find themselves in are usually very different from my own. I’ve never been a single mom, or widowed, or divorced, or been an archaeologist, but I did grow up in a divorced family and felt like a failure as a mom. I know what it’s like to try and control things when life feels out of control. I know how helplessness and hopelessness feels, and I’ve been learning what it means to truly surrender and rely on God.

What are you working on now?

I have several half finished projects I’m excited about, but I’m working on the next book in the Mari Duggins Mysteries. So many readers have asked what happens to Mari and all her relationships, so I start the next book the morning after. It has a mystery thread, but it’s more about the relationship entanglements Mari found herself in at the end of book one. It’s tentatively entitled Mayhem Under the Mistletoe, so I’m hoping to get it out before the Christmas season!

You have a website called Writer…Interrupted. What is that about?

It’s a place where busy writers can come for encouragement in balancing life and writing and find information to help them improve their craft and continue on their writing journey.

Why did you start that Writer…Interrupted?

About nine years ago, after ten years off from writing to raise my kids, I started writing again. My youngest was two. This was about the same time I started homeschooling and let’s just say my priorities became so messed up that I felt impressed by God to quit writing for a season. So to deal with my “not writing” I started a blog to figure out how all the other successful writing, homeschooling moms did it. I started out interviewing a few writing moms, and then when my first writing dad, who just happened to be an editor at a publishing house, started visiting the blog, I thought maybe this thing was bigger. I opened up the group to anyone who felt their writing was interrupted by life, and now I have a place where busy writers come to learn the craft of writing from experts and find encouragement in balancing their personal and writing lives.

You’ve homeschooled your four children, you teach creative writing, and keep up your website and blogging, how do you balance it all?

You forgot, I also ballroom dance! I’m really not sure I balance it all, though I try. I’m still figuring it out and over the years I’ve interviewed over a hundred writing moms and dads and the one thing I’ve learned about balancing writing with family is that it looks different for everyone. For me, the amount of writing I do goes in seasons. There was a time in the beginning my priorities were skewed. I put writing before a lot of things, and I got out of balance to the point that I had to lay down my writing for a season. After years of struggling, I’ve finally found freedom in the seasons of life. I don’t sweat not writing when I can’t and I try to focus on what’s in front of me. Of course, it’s still a struggle, but I try to keep things in perspective. There will be a time when my kids will be gone and I will have the time to write. For now, I’m embracing this season of life and the time I have with my kids.

How can readers find you on the Internet? I LOVE to connect with people and you can find me at:

Facebook: Author Gina Conroy
Twitter: @GinaConroy
Pinterest: Author Gina Conroy

Thanks, Gina, and congratulations on the new book!