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Interview with Gina Holmes

Behind Gina Holmes’ shy smile lays a heart stirred by compassion, along with wisdom and a rare depth of understanding. As a nurse turned author, Holmes masterfully tells stories that demonstrate vulnerability, strength, brokenness and redemption. Her relatable characters experience real-life circumstances and linger with us long after we close the page. Wings of Glass may be her best, yet. Let’s find out more about her newest release.

How did you decide to write about the tough subject of spousal abuse?
Growing up, I watched my mother being abused, and then as I got older, two of my sisters entered abusive relationships. I didn’t understand why they would put up with the abuse until one day, I found myself in an abusive relationship. It’s hard for those who haven’t been there, done that, to understand. One reason for writing this book was to help others get inside the mind of the victim, but also see the humanness of the abuser.

I also hope women who are in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship recognize themselves in the main character, Penny. And begin to see that there is hope for change.

Were Penny’s experiences modeled from anyone you knew or have known?
Although I suffered both physical and emotional abuse in my life, I didn’t go through exactly what Penny went through, but the feelings she experienced, I have. I know what it feels like to see your abuser as bigger than life when really there is no stronger or bigger than yourself.

I know the feelings of being worn down, thinking you’re the one who has a problem, or thinking you’re unlovable. I think I get it right in this book because I’ve lived it. At least I hope readers will think I get it right, particularly those who have gone through or are going through these experiences.

Of your three books, which was the most difficult to write and why?
Most definitely Dry as Rain. Crossing Oceans was absolutely my story to tell, as is Wings of Glass. Dry as Rain wasn’t something I’ve felt a burning desire to share, and telling the story from the cheating husband’s POV was trying. When you write a book, you have to spend a lot of time in these characters’ skin. Infidelity is something I just despise, and to be the cheater in the story and have to tell his story, stretched me. I had compassion for him, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to slap him around a bit.

Have you found plotting and writing any easier with subsequent books?
Yes, I’m getting much quicker at it. My publisher, Tyndale, has me write out the skeleton of the plot before the contract is issued. For a seat of the pants writer, my natural tendency is to sit down and just let ideas pop in. This is a very slow way of writing, so I’m glad to be pushed to have to outline; although, honestly, my outlines are very far cries from the finished story.

I’ve heard you mention that you sometimes procrastinate? If this is true, how does it affect your work?
I’m a procrastinator by nature, so I overcompensate usually by doing things the second I get them. This helps a lot because I’m visual—if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. I do tend to be lackadaisical with books because I’ve got an entire year to write them; so, I tend to be very slow and distracted until I’m down to a few months. To battle this tendency, I’m trying to take on a few more projects so I’m forced to stay focused.

I was privileged to meet you at a writers’ conference in which you critiqued my work and led a workshop I attended. I was grateful for both experiences and appreciated your warmth and generosity. What was the most valuable thing you ever learned at a writers’ conference?
Thank you so much for saying that. I never know how I come across. Some people think I’m warm and down to earth, and others might find me abrasive depending on the moment I’m in or subject we’re discussing. I’m glad you found me warm. I strive to be that way.

The most important thing I learned at a writers’ conference was to get in a critique group. It changed my life. Not only are my critique partners my best friends, we taught each other to write well. They were and are invaluable to me.

Recently, you appeared as a guest on the Dr. Oz show. Would you share a bit about how that felt? Were you nervous?
Oh, it was surreal! I was indeed very nervous, but I think I’m pretty good at hiding it.

I was surprised at how efficient and streamlined the process is. They meet you in the lobby, escort you up to the Oz floor (which was shared with Jimmy Kimmel Live) and take you to a dressing room. Then someone brings you to have hair and makeup done, and you go back to the dressing room.

The producer comes in and goes over your answers to make sure you don’t change what you had originally told them, and then they bring you out. The doors open, the lights are bright, the audience is seated and you’re mic’d and the cameras roll. Right afterward, you’re whisked right back to the dressing room.

Very interesting! I wasn’t able to talk about my books but I got valuable experience. I’ve been on local TV and am comfortable with that venue, but being on the #1 daytime talk show was a whole new experience. I’m glad I did it.

You have an entrepreneurial spirit. You founded Inspire A Fire, Novel Rocket and now serve as a publicist. How do you find the time to sustain your endeavors, continue your writing and attend to your family?
Novel Rocket doesn’t take a lot of time anymore since I have a team of writers. Inspire a Fire was bought by a friend and I only post there once a month. Silver Seas PR is owned by a friend and he takes on most of the campaigns, I only take one on at a time and only if I’m passionate about the author or subject matter, so none of that takes up much time. God and my family come first, then the writing, then everything else.

When my children are home, I try to give them all of me. I throw myself completely into whatever I’m working on at the time.

You often speak on women’s issues. What kinds of questions are you asked most?
Actually, I’d like to speak more on women’s issues, but most of my speaking to date has dealt with writing or publicity. I’m very passionate about women healing from their pasts and discovering their God-given purpose. I’d love to speak more and have a speaker tab so anyone who’s interested in can learn

Thanks for sharing with us, Gina!
Thanks for having me. Great questions, and I love how welcome you made me feel!

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