Today I am hosting Gina Holder on my blog today. I am excited for the chance to get to know her better. It’s fun to meet the author behind the books we love! -Becca
Hi Gina, I’d like to start off with some questions about you and what inspired your writing.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?
My name is Gina. I am 35 years old. I am a stay at home mom, and I homeschool my 11-year-old daughter. My husband and I married in 2007 and had our daughter that same year. We live in southern Colorado and love it here.
What hobbies and activities do you like to do?
I enjoy reading and collecting Christian fiction. I love to watch movies with my family or play on the Wii U together. I have recently discovered the joys of escape rooms. My husband and I have done five of them so far and I’m completely addicted. They are expensive though, so we don’t get to do them very often.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I do love the quiet peacefulness of the morning, but I’m more likely to stay up late than get up early. Our normal bedtime is around midnight. My husband and I enjoy the hours we have together after our daughter has gone to bed.
Growing up, what did you see yourself doing as a career?
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was around 10-12 years old. I also wanted to start a horse farm that doubled as an orphanage (for human children 😊).
Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
I’ve always had a vivid imagination and I’ve been an avid fan of Anne of Green Gables for as long as I can remember. I’m thinking that my love for storytelling came from those movies. I wanted to be just like Anne (especially since we share the same hair color.).
Thank you for these great answers! I love how reading and storytelling has been a big part of your life. Let’s talk about your writing and books.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I do 100% of my research on the internet, though I have checked out books from the library before, and for my debut novel I was able to do a location visit. I will do some research for a setting before I begin, or for a historical, I will research the time period. However, I prefer to do my research as I write. As soon as I come across something I don’t know or understand, I look it up. Once I get my answer, I continue writing.
Is anything in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I love incorporating real life experiences into my books. In No Greater Love, Patrol Officer Hamilton Bryant had a best friend named Will, who died in the line of duty. Will was a good friend of mine from my childhood years. He was a marine who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010. I dedicate that book in his memory. I also include more humorous elements to the story based on real life events, including the meeting between the main characters.
What weather inspires you the most, in terms of bringing out your literary best?
Sunshine! On dreary days, I’m more likely to curl up with a book or movie than do any productive writing.
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Before I begin a new book, I have a general idea of the plot. I know a little about my main characters, the setting, and the theme. I love following where the story takes me.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with again?
In my debut novel, the main character, Ellie, has five brothers. Someday, I would like to go back and develop a series based on each of those brothers. I gave each one a unique personality and I can envision some interesting stories based on these characters.
If you had the choice to rewrite any of your books, which one would it be and why?
I would rewrite my debut novel, Whither Shall I Go?. I’ve learned so much since its release, I feel I could make it even better with more depth and emotion, and better sentence structure.
Which book would you want adapted for the silver screen?
I’m pretty sure No Greater Love would make an amazing movie for a Hallmark Mystery.
Can you tell us a bit about your novel?
My latest release is No Greater Love, book one of my Shadows Over Whitman series. No Greater Love tells the story of Paige McDonald searching for her birthmother in a small town in Oregon, after she learns that she was abandoned as a baby on the steps of a fire department. She arrives in town at the same time as a string of robberies and threats against the mayor have the local police on edge. Patrol Officer Hamilton has sworn off romance, but still finds himself attracted to Paige. But will secrets from her past threaten to spoil any chance they have to fall in love?
What inspired you to write this story?
My initial inspiration was a news story my husband read to me about a young woman reuniting with her birthmother. Then I read another story about a firefighter who adopted an unwanted baby and I had my initial plot. From there, I asked, what if that birth mother hadn’t known that the baby was being abandoned, but when she finds out, her life is in a place that would be detrimental if the truth is revealed.
What is one thing that you learned while researching for this book that was surprising to you?
I didn’t realize that a minor’s juvenile record is not automatically expunged, someone must request that this action be taken. It was also interesting researching the safe haven laws and how they relate to adoptions.
What do you want readers to take away from your books?
The focus of No Greater Love is the great love of our amazing God. I want readers to know just how much God loves them and that He is willing to receive anyone who calls on His name.
What will you be writing next?
At the end of August this year, I signed a contract with Celebrate Lit Publishing for a five-novella series. I can’t give you any details, however I will introduce the main character. Her name is Addison Masters and she’s an artistic, junk-loving, redhead who runs a junk removal service called White Elephant Junk Removal. I am also working on Forgiven Again, book two of my Shadows Over Whitman series, the sequel to No Greater Love.
Do you hide any Easter Eggs in your books that only a few people will find? Would you be willing to share a clue with your readers?
I’m not sure if this is considered an Easter Egg, but near the end of the book there is a mention of London and Pittsburgh. This is a nod to actual unsolved book related robberies that have taken place in those locations in the past decade or so.
What a great interview! Looking forward to reading her upcoming books!
Purchase her books: No Greater Love * Whither Shall I Go?
Connect with Gina: Website * Facebook * Instagram * Twitter * Pinterest