Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Authorsday - Ginger Simpson

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Ginger Simpson to my blog. She gets to be under the microscope today. Ginger and I go back as cyberfriends a few years. We've been at two publishers together and now we visit often at her yahoo group,
Her latest book is Sarah's Journey.
Blurb: When Sarah Collins sets her sights on California for a new beginning, she never dreams a war party will attack the wagon train she travels on. She and her friend Molly are the sole survivors, but when Molly succumbs to her injuries, Sarah is left alone to find her way back to civilization. Stampeding buffalo, the black prairie nights and eerie noises…just when she believes she’s facing the worst time of her life, a rattlesnake bite threatens to accomplish where the Indians failed. Is it her time to die or does Sarah have a purpose that is yet to be accomplished?

Please give a warm cyber welcome to Ginger Simpson.

How long have you been writing?
I started writing my first novel in 2002 and it was published in 2003. I’ve always written in some form, whether it be silly Christmas letters or making up my own greeting card rhymes, but I never guessed, I’d actually write a book some day.

How did you pick the genre you write in?
I’ve always been an avid reader, and my favorite genre has always been historical novels set in the old west. I credit my love for cowboys and Indians to being brought up in a household where those where the movies we always watched on TV. John Wayne has always been my hero, and I still think of him when I’m creating a sexy western character.

Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Pantser, here! I’ve tried plotting, but it just doesn’t work for me. My characters are the ones who drive my story, and quite frequently, I have no idea where I’m headed until I get there. If my characters stop talking to me, I’m at a dead standstill. The drawback is that it’s hard to write a synopsis or query a book until it’s completely finished.

What drew you to the subject of Sarah’s Journey?
The same thing that draws me to any book I write. A character pops into my head and shares an idea, and off we go. I was hard at work on First Degree Innocence when Sarah showed up and demanded I pay attention to her. I’m still trying to get FDI finished because now that Sarah’s story has been told and published, she’s been replaced with Odessa who is equally as demanding and bossy. *lol*

What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?
Oh my gosh! Let me count the things I’ve learned. Before I was contracted for Prairie Peace, my first historical romance, I thought I had just written a top selling novel. Imagine my surprise when, through my editor, I learned I was a brilliant story teller, but knew nothing about novel writing. There is a vast difference between showing and telling, and when you SHOW the story, people can actually smell the pies cooking, feel the wind in their face, and cry with the heroine when she’s rejected.

How many rejections have you received?
More than I can count because I’ve been trying to find an agent. That’s even harder than getting my first book published. Up until recently, I had only had one story rejected. My heroine had an affair and the publisher felt that would be offensive to my readers. Really? It happens every day. Somehow, I find having sex with an alien in an orifice not meant for relations to be far more offensive, but that’s just me. *lol* What I didn’t understand is that my heroine grew from the experience, stayed with her husband, and they both learned something in the process. Isn’t that what life is about? Oh, well. They didn’t think so, so I got over it and it was published elsewhere.

What was the best writing advice someone gave you?
Solicit opinions of a critique group, but take and apply on those which enhance your own strengths. Be prepared to learn, be open-minded and grow a thick skin.

Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know?
I’m such a blabber-mouth, there is very little that people don’t know already, but one thing I’m not certain I’ve shared, I’ll divulge here. It might explain why I border on insanity from time to time. *lol* I was diagnosed with objective tinnitus which is a sound heard in my head, not only by me, but by anyone who cares to listen. It’s very stressful to listen to a continual loud humming, especially at night while I try to sleep. I use a white-noise machine to try to filter the sound, but it doesn’t always work. My husband describes the noise as a pissed-off bumble bee in a jar. If he thinks it’s loud from his perspective, he should listen from my vantage point. *smile*

What’s your favorite quote?
Life is an attitude, have a good one. This one has stuck because it’s so true. Our outlook is determined by our attitude about life, and we’re the only ones who can control our feelings. I choose to be a glass half-full kinda gal and count my blessings everyday.

What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t?
Write that elusive query letter to capture the attention of an established and respected agent. I’ve already had two agents that didn’t work out, mainly because they were new and just starting out. One closed up shop because she was so overwhelmed by the demands of being an agent, and the other landed me a contract with an e-publisher—something I’d already done for myself many times. I’m still trying, but if anyone has any suggestions, tips or hints…send ‘em my way.

Thanks, Chris, for letting me share some time on your blog. Mi Casa is always Su Casa, too. I know we both shared an unpleasant experience with a previous publisher, but good things come from bad, and our friendship is certainly a testament to that saying. J

Thanks for joining me today Ginger! I'll be visiting Gingers blog May 24.

Here's Ginger's bio: In 2002, I sat down at the kitchen table, with my laptop open in front of me, and began telling myself a story. I have no idea where the inspiration came from other than the many historical romances I'd read through the years. But, I couldn't wait to finish each chapter. My characters told this amazing story as I typed, and the words took me new places and showed me grand things. In the end, my first novel was born. In 2003 I officially became an author. Now I'm hooked. Luckily, my husband is my biggest fan and supporter, and encourages me to continue what I love. I have another 'man' in my life who vies for my love and attention. Spencer, my six-year-old grandson usually has the winning edge and is the real reason I beg God to let me hang around as long as he can. I'm truly blessed to be able to pursue my dream of becoming a mainstream-published author and to feel so loved and needed in the meantime. Just one book in a real store--that's all I want.


Anne Brooke said...

Fabulous interview! And good to meet another "seat of the pants" writer - I though it was just me!!!



Unknown said...

Hi Ginger, I just wanted to stop by, say hi, great interview and I so agree with you that attitude is everything so you should have a good one. Congrats on your You Gotta Read rating you received for Sarah's Journey! Excellent work!

Anne Carrole said...

HI Ginger! Sounds like a great western romance! I really enjoyed your interview and hearing about a creative process that sounds just like mine!:)

Jannine said...

Hi Ginger:
Sarah's Journey sounds fabulous! I wish you every success with it.

I'm sorry to hear about your objective tinnitus. It's bad enough that our characters hammer our heads, but the constant humming would drive me nuts! But hey, it hasn't stopped you from writing great stories.

Love ya, sis.

Rhonda Parrish said...

Having a pissed off bumble bee in your head must be a pretty interesting experience. It's one I'm happy to skip, but it's very interesting nonetheless -- as was this interview. Interesting not skippable.

I need coffee.

Diane M. Wylie said...

Great interview, Ginger. You always have something interesting to say. I hope you get to see your dream come true, and your grandson is one lucky boy to have you around for him.


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hiya, Ginger,

Not exactly an empty room...! One thing that you didn't share in your interview is that you are often hilariously funny. Not everyone has the gift of making others laugh.