Recently I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in St. Louis and among the published writers I felt a sense of defeat and weariness. I felt it from within more than anything. It wasn’t just me though. Many writers are tired. Tired of working a day job and then coming home and writing all night, only to wake up at the crack of dawn to do it again. Writing isn’t the most wearisome part of the job either, the promotion is. We get tired of spamming our friends, posting promotions and contests, writing blog posts that may take hours to write but pay nothing as a way to get our name out there to more readers. Many authors are losing contracts all together, which makes those of us who have them feel guilty for feeling weary. We’re the lucky ones. We should be walking around kicking our heels together.
Publishing is a tough business and writers fall left and right, leaving either by choice to just live their lives without all the pressures, rejections and constant work that being published
entails, or else they’re forced out because their sales numbers just weren’t enough to entice a publishing house into signing them to another contract.
I attended ACFW in the hopes of lifting some of the weariness from my shoulders (much of this had more to do with my own battle with illness than anything else), and get a reminder of why I’m in this business to begin with.
Allen Arnold (former publisher at Thomas Nelson) showed a youtube clip of Derek Richmond, a young Olympian who injured himself during a big race. He fell to the ground . . . but he didn’t stay down.
This clip was exactly what I needed… a reminder that just because we fall, doesn’t mean we have to stay down.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful
And now the prize awaits me–the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
We’re not promised that the work we are called to will be easy, quite the opposite. The Olympian’s father said afterward that he couldn’t be more proud of his son. I can understand that and I know you can too if you’ve watched the clip. A gold medal couldn’t have made a parent more proud than watching your child limp over the finish line.
Whatever health, family, financial or other problems you’re dealing with lately, remember that God will never leave you. Continue the work God has called you to. Limp if you must, but finish the race.
Today I’m on Novel Rocket talking about my writing journey. Join me for a chance to win an autographed copy of Driftwood Tides! http://www.novelrocket.com/2014/10/interview-with-our-founder-gina-holmes.html
To help promote my latest novel, DRIFTWOOD TIDES, I’m giving away this completely amazing book table.
Here’s how to enter:
During the month of September, 2014
1. if you buy a new copy of Driftwood Tides, latest novel by Gina Holmes Ebook or paperback), simply friend her on facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/gina.waters.372 and message or comment that you purchased it. (Receipt with date will be required if you win and the date must be by Sept. 29th, 2014.
The winner will be randomly drawn on Sept 30th, 2014, and announced on my facebook personal and author page. You will also be notified via fb message if possible.
Winner will have 7 days to claim their prize, provide a valid shipping address (continental US only) and phone # for shipping purposes and receipt of purchase during the month of August or September, 2014.
2. No purchase neccesary: You will also be entered if you post a review on any of the major book buying sites before Sept. 29th, 2014 You will still need to friend Gina at above fb address and comment with a link to your review. If you win you may be asked to prove you are the author of the review.
Prize may be substitued for prize of equal value. (unlikely)
*You may enter more than once 1 entry for review (regardless of how many sites you post review) , 1 entry per new book purchased (kindle or paperback, receipt required dated prior to Sept. 29th). *If you do not wish to purchase a book but want to enter via review, you may borrow it from local library, bookswap or friend.
“Holmes weaves a superb story of discovering how to forgive.” Romantic Times
Hi team, NR found, Gina Holmes here. Every time I have a new book release, I ask my tribe (that’s you) if you can help spread the word. Here I am again, groveling at your feet. (Actually, I’m sitting at my desk in the dark drinking my coffee and trying to not wake up my husband, but INSIDE I’m groveling).
If you’re willing and able to help out, here are a few things to choose from. I will be giving away prizes, a gift basket, autographed novels, that sort of thing.
1. Post a ready-to-go interview on your blog or website. Email me here to request it.
2. If you’ve read and enjoyed it, post a review on Amazon, B&N, Lifeway, CBD, or favorite book buying site (or better yet, your blog or website). You can pick up a handy book cover jpeg and book description on my website HERE. Or just pull it off Amazon: HERE.
3. FB or Tweet something like: Gina Holmes’ new novel, DRIFTWOOD TIDES, is finally here! Check it out! http://www.amazon.com/Driftwood-Tides-Gina-Holmes-ebook/dp/B00J37IGGG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409581633&sr=8-1&keywords=driftwood+tides
4. Friend me on facebook and share a post. https://www.facebook.com/gina.waters.372
5. If you’re willing to travel to a bookstore and personally hand them a stack of my bookmarks to use as bag stuffers, email me HERE.
6. Request your local library to carry Driftwood Tides. Just ask, they’ll usually give you a form to fill out. Easy-peasy!
7. Other ideas welcome!
If you do any of the above, let me know so I can enter you into the contest for prizes (and most importantly, THANK YOU!)
He made himself an Island until
something unexpected washed ashore.
From Romantic Times:
“Holmes weaves a superb story of discovering how to forgive.”
“Holmes weaves a superb story of discovering how to forgive. The tale flows delicately when it needs to and is hard-hitting at other times. The balance allows the novel to unfold in a way that is most satisfying in the end. “
Saturday, Sept. 20th from 1-3pm.
Hope to see you there!
Wings of Glass is free beginning today (Sunday, June 13 2014) on CBD, Kindle, B&N and other ebook sites.
The INSPY Award is a blogger’s choice award for inspirational fiction. Today it was announced that Wings of Glass has won in the General Fiction category. This award is particularly close to my heart. This is what they said: “The field of nominees for the General Fiction category had some of the best books we have read this year, making this year’s selection process difficult indeed. After a lot of in depth discussion, we are awarding the Inspy to Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes. A moving account of a woman’s struggle with self in the face of spousal abuse, this novel will touch your heart and soul. Powerfully personal, beautifully written, with highly relatable characters, Gina Holmes’ novel presents a message of love and hope that Jesus always offered to everyone He met.” Read about the other finalists and winners: www.inspys.com.
When I began writing novels, description was not an area of strength for me, and setting was just a place to plop my characters. Fast forward ten years and my publisher compliments my upcoming release with a “You can smell the salt in this one.” Driftwood Tides (releasing this September) is set at the Outer banks in North Carolina. You can’t set a book a place like that without readers expecting a richly painted scene. They want to feel the cold ocean foam on their feet, feel the grit of sand between their toes, hear the seagulls circling above, see the cotton candy colors in the sunset . . . and yes, smell the salt.
1.The best way to learn to master setting is by reading other books that have done just that. One novel that sets the scene better than maybe any other book I’ve read is To Kill a Mockingbird. Here’s one example of the masterfulness of her scene-setting:
“Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop, grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square.” You don’t get better than that.
Another novel that nails setting is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. My first novel, Crossing Oceans was probably my best for setting and may give you a few ideas, and a recent release, Born of Persuasion, by Jessica Dotta does a masterful job of bringing another time and place to life.
2.Go and feel the roses
It might go without saying to go to the place you are setting your work, but I’m going to say it anyway. If you’re setting your scene in Maine, by all means go there and experience that setting. Close your eyes and listen, first to the up front sounds: sirens, traffic, subway, whatever. But don’t stop there. Listen for the underlying background noise: car doors slamming, a car alarm in the distance, children laughing, the flutter of pigeon wings. Now, listen beyond that to the softer noises until you’ve made note of all the sounds the setting has to offer. When your eyes are closed and you’re noting a particular sound, before you open your eyes, try to guess what you’re hearing.
While writing Driftwood Tides, I sat on the beach, closed my eyes and heard what I would have guessed to be a sprinkler system rapidly firing. I knew it couldn’t be, but that’s what it sounded like. It was actually the sound of chirping chicadas and the sprinkler system description was something I was able to use to describe that sound in the book.
You can do the same close your eyes technique for smell and touch too. Write down as many descriptions and comparisons as you can while they’re still fresh in your mind.
3.If you can’t go there, the next best thing is visiting vicariously. Watch movies set where your book is, take lots of notes. Read books, magazine articles, blog posts, etc set there. Keep pictures of the inside and outside of the home, courthouse, city streets, etc. that you can continue to reference as you write. Pictures of the furrniture, toy box, anything that you might need to describe. Study your pictures, then close your eyes and imagine what sounds, smells, touches you would experience in that setting.
4.Observe the details. One little trick that brings fiction to life lies in writing in the little things that we take for granted. Not just the sandy beach, but the broken bits of seaweed and shell left in the wake of a retreating wave. The water that fills a footprint left in the sand… watch how it is absorbed back into the ground and the tiny bubbles that pop up right before it does. These are the things that will firmly plant your reader into your story.
5.Have your setting serve more of a purpose than just eye or ear candy. Setting a scene is important to ground your readers, but it should also help us to get to know your characters better. Having your character experience the setting thrrough their unique outlook, mood and life experiences kills two birds with one stone. If your character is an Eyore type, or just feeling melancholy at the moment, then the boulder she is sitting on may feel hard and cold. If she was just proposed to by the man of her dreams, than maybe she doesn’t notice the boulder, but focuses instead on the meadow of wildflowers swaying in the soft breeze beside her. If she has just lost someone she loves, the moment may be bitter sweet. She notices the flowers, smiles, but then her smile fades when she sees how many of the daisys are losing their pedals or are drying up from the dry summer. You get the picture. And so will your readers.
Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Rocket, regularly named as one of Writers Digest’s best websites for writers. Her debut, Crossing Oceans, was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW bestseller. Her sophomore novel, Dry as Rain was a Christy Award finalist. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass has been named as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and was a SIBA Okra pick and a finalist for Romantic Times’ Reviewers Choice Award. 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.
Including the upcoming Driftwood Tides. Simply share on your facebook or social media page that Driftwood Tides is now available for Pre-Order and link it to my author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorginaholmes?ref=hl. Or simply send me an email or fb message letting me know!
I’ll choose winners at random and will send autographed copies of Crossing Oceans, Dry as Rain and Wings of Glass now and Driftwood Tides once it releases.
We have a cover for my upcoming release, (September 2014), Driftwood Tides.
He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.
When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.
Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.
“Author Gina Holmes does a masterful job pulling the reader into this character’s life without overloading the reader in a world which can be disconcerting to many. Rather than begin the story in a tedious development of abuse, or saturate us in the violence of the present, she starts us at a point where Trent is injured, leaving Penny to fend for their family, offering her both challenges and opportunities. As Penny writes to her young son, Manny, “I hate to wish bad things on you, son, but I hope you get the privilege someday of having no one to lean on but God. It changes a person. It sure changed me.” Penny is forced to connect with others, and as God often does, He provides someone who can see through the lies Penny uses to “protect” her husband, and can guide her in ways to protect herself.” Jesusfreakhideout.com Read the rest HERE.
Book Club Movable Feast
Bookmarks invites you to join us for a Book Club Movable Feast
Sunday, February 9
3:00 – 5:00 PM Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, Winston-Salem, NC
Back by popular demand, Bookmarks will present our 2nd Annual Book Club Movable Feast. It will be held at The Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, in Winston-Salem, NC.
The program will begin at 3:00 PM sharp. Attendees will be seated at tables where they will be joined by an author. Over the course of the Movable Feast, 25 published authors from all over the country will sit with attendees to talk with them about his or her recently published book. This year, each table will be visited by 8 authors for 10 minutes each. Opportunity for further discussion will proceed and follow the Movable Feast.
Doors open and book sales begin at 2:15 PM. Booksignings will follow the program.
Tickets include light refreshments which will be served throughout.
Just saw this on Instagram and it made my day. Thanks Robin Salvadore!
“..sometimes, love demands the impossible.” – Crossing Oceans <3 Getting halfway done though I just started reading it. It’s the second Gina Holmes’ book I have and I’ve already read the other one. Both books are astonishingly written. I just love this author so much :)) ugh. I have classes tomorrow but I can’t stop reading. ️ #crossingoceans #ginaholmes #greatbook #book #quotes #love #quotw #bookquote #reading
From Goodreads: (Thanks Audrey!)
Audrey Grant rated it 5 of 5 stars
“Amazing how REAL AND EXACT some of the thoughts and emotions are, even if the story isn’t exactly the same! The Author NAILED it! If you want to “understand” “WHAT IS/ WAS SHE THINKING?!?!”.. read this book. My copy is full of yellow highlights and I’m going to have my own “Manny” who is almost 19 read it to further explain some things to him better than I ever have.
We have lots of exciting news this month:
Gina’s latest novel, Wings of Glass, is again an ECPA and CBA bestseller for November 2013!
Wings of Glass was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal for 2013.
Wings of Glass is a finalist in Romantic Times’ Reviewer’s Choice Awards.