From April 21st thru 27th, Wings of Glass will be on sale for only $3.99 on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook. Please let your friends and family know if they might be interested. Thanks!
Here’s an article reworked from some advice I gave into a nice format that makes sense of the process: http://mommamindy.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/how-to-get-your-novel-published/
Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.~ Goethe
Frank Peretti said in an interview that readers can tell the journey he’s been on by the books he’s written. It took me years and several books to understand that the same was true for me.
After I’d written Crossing Oceans, I was often asked where the idea for the novel came from. The easy answer was true enough, I was laying on the couch one evening when a what-if situation popped into my mind: what if a woman was dying and had never told her child’s father that he had a daughter?
That was the truth, but it wasn’t the entire truth.
When I began on the journey to write novels, I had no clue how much of my own personality, hopes, failures, and more than anything, struggles, would reveal themselves in my fiction.
When I read novels by other authors, what they are dealing with in their personal lives is sometimes painfully clear. We can all think of writers whose novels all seem to have a recurring theme.
Best-selling author and editor, Karen Ball, wrote The Breaking Point based in part on her own marital struggles. She wrote this in her acknowledgments of that book:
“A wise friend and gifted writer, Robin Jones Gunn, once said that when we write the books that stem from our truest passion, we find ourselves ‘floating on a sea of reluctant transparency.’ That’s certainly true of this book.”
It wasn’t until long after I’d written Crossing Oceans that it dawned on me that my subconscious had been working out the death of my marriage and the mommy-guilt that followed knowing my children would forever be effected by the failings of their parents.
Like the cancer that Jenny was suffering, divorce was not my choice, but the consequences for my children had to be dealt with regardless. I did a tremendous amount of soul-searching and healing during the writing of that book.
Many who read the novel thought that I must have lost someone I loved to the disease because, to them, I portrayed the struggle so convincingly. The reason I could portray dying with so much emotion, was of course, because divorce feels very much like death and that’s something I knew a lot about.
But Crossing Oceans wasn’t my only cathartic book. If you’ve read Dry as Rain, you might assume I have either been an unfaithful wife, or have had an unfaithful spouse. My marriage did not end due to infidelity, (in case you’re wondering), but I know what it’s like to get far from God and need forgiveness. I also know what it feels like to be betrayed on the deepest level and have to find it in me to forgive the unforgivable.
My most revealing novel however, isn’t Crossing Oceans or Dry as Rain, it’s my latest release from Tyndale House, Wings of Glass. This novel deals with the subject of domestic abuse within a Christian marriage.
Liz Curtis Higgs read it for endorsement and here’s what she said: “Gina Holmes pours her heart onto the page in Wings of Glass. . . . If you’ve ever suffered at the hands of someone whose idea of showing love is being abusive, you will find a kindred spirit in Penny Taylor. You’ll also find hope and a gentle but firm call to open your eyes to the truth. Wings of Glass is a powerful, can’t-put-down novel, so real that it reads like a memoir.”
Of course I love the quote, but what makes my stomach clench just a little is the last line . . . “so real that it reads like a memoir.”
And she wasn’t the only one who thought that. Rachel Hauck said, “I was swept away by Gina Holmes’s memoir-like story of beauty rising from the ashes.”
The thing with writing first-person, more so than third, is that people assume the author is the main character. I was, after all, writing “I” did this and “I” did that.
I suppose if I had never been the victim of domestic abuse, the word “memoir” associated with my novel wouldn’t make my stomach cramp, but I have and so it does. My past is something that defined me for much of my young adult life. As I matured and God healed me, I chose to leave that past behind me and focus on the future and good things. That is until I felt the need to slash open my veins onto the pages of Wings of Glass.
I’m not Penny, the main character. I’m all of the characters in the book to some degree. I am both the abuser and the abused. The sinner and the saint. All of my ugliness, and triumphs are right there on the pages for friends, foes, and strangers to read. And although all of those terrible things didn’t happen to me the way they unfolded for Penny, many of them did in one form or another over the course of my life. That makes me feel terribly exposed, but it also makes me feel incredibly liberated.
Darkness hates light and by sharing our experiences even under the guise of fiction, we are able to minister to those who are travelling the path we’ve already come down. By exposing our own sins and secrets, we are able to understand and sympathize in a way those who haven’t gone through what we have can. More than that, we are allowing others to share their struggles and find healing and support.
I believe, really good fiction happens when we get emotionally naked—make ourselves known on a level our parents, spouses, children, best-friends…even ourselves… have not experienced. Sometimes when we delve into our souls, the blackness we find there can be disturbing. Sometimes our shovel clinks against the lid of an unopened treasure chest— but as novelists, it is our job to break that ground, come what may. It is only then that we can heal and help others heal, and say to the world, you are not alone. I’ve been there and I understand.
I‘ll be signing copies of Wings of Glass (Crossing Oceans & Dry as Rain) Saturday, March 23rd at Books a Million in Roanoke VA. 2-4 pm. This particular store is going out of business so I’m told all books will be discounted at least 20%!
Hope to see you there.
So, I’ve had this obsession lately, which I know is shared by millions of other Americans–get my financial house in order. The Dave Ramsey craze really opened my eyes to common financial sense, and well, there’s no going back now.
Even though I’m supposed to stay “on brand” with what I blog about, living frugally and simply is something I’m passionate about and I love to share things I’ve learned and learning, so I shall.
My tip today is about saving money on your home phone.
Yesterday, I received a call from the local cable company that went something like this:
Them: “Do you have TV service?”
Me: “Yes, I get hundreds of channels for less than fifty a month with satellite.”
Them: “Very good. What about home phone service?”
Them: “We can get you phone service for less than 30 a month.”
Me: “Um, I pay less than 30 a year.”
Them: “Very good. Have a nice day.”
Ha! I will have a nice day because I’m saving money.
Years ago, my bff had a service called Magic Jack. I hated that service because our calls were static-y and dropped about every 30 seconds. She bragged how little she was paying for it but whatever she was paying, it was too much for that cruddy service in my opinion.
When Magic Jack Plus came out for less than 30 a year and promises that it was much improved, I was skeptical but even the cheapest home service was 30 a month. I know I could just use my cell and drop the home but there were several reasons why I didn’t want to.
1. I have children, one who is too young (in my opinion) for a cell phone.
2. I lose my cell phone every day and like to be able to use the home phone to call it.
3. The cell phone sometimes goes dead.
4. I do not like to loan my cell phone to my youngest who loves to talk on the phone for hours.
I’ve been using Magic Jack Plus for over a year and couldn’t be happier. It plugs into my internet router, the calls are clear, the calls almost never get dropped and the price is definitely right. (No, I get no kickback from them for recommending the product.)
Wings of Glass is available in hardcover exclusively through Crossings Book Club! http://www.crossings.com/pages/browse/newArrivals.jsp?numOfItems=15&scopeMatch=&pageNum=1&resultView=LIST
We will be adding appearances as they are scheduled.
Drew Marshall (Canada’s most listened to spiritual talk show) March 2nd 3:25 pm EST
March 10th, 2013 2-4pm
Park Road Books
4139 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209
March 10th, 2013
Books a Million (Steel Rd.) 4:30-6 pm
Today on Novel Rocket, you can win an autographed copy of Gina’s latest novel, Wings of Glass: http://www.novelrocket.com/2013/02/interview-with-gina-holmes-win-wings-of.html
You can pick up a copy, today only, for $1.99.
SO EXCITED!!! Wings of Glass (my Feb/March release) was chosen as a Southern Independent Bookseller Association OKRA pick!
The Okra Picks are a dozen fresh titles chosen each season that SIBA Indie Bookstores want to handsell. These books should be southern in nature but can cover any genre, not just fiction. Southerners love their writers, and we want to be at the forefront of bringing them a strong selection of southern titles not to be missed each season.
Wings of Glass named as one of GoodReads most popular books to be published in February!
And be sure to add it to your TBR (to be read) list!
Every year I get requests for autographed copies of my books before Christmas.
This year, I will again be selling copies of either novel. The cost is $15.00 and includes shipping (within the continental US), and an inscription to the recipient from myself.
To order, email me through the contact page. I accept paypal to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tonight (Oct 16, 2012) at 4pm (est), the Dr. Oz Show airs and I was invited to be a guest. I do publicity part-time so I’m well versed in answering pitch ideas. Rather than field a bunch of questions about HOW I got invited on, I figured I’d tell you up front: 1. Hire a good publicist OR go to show websites and answer their pitches. Most talk shows will have a “be on the show” tab that you can click through to see if you’re a good fit for any upcoming shows.
I answered a pitch and had a back and forth via email with a producer. She asked me questions. I answered truthfully and on point. She called and we spoke. She called again and we spoke again and before I knew it I was on my way to NYC.
TV happens VERY quickly. Like answer a show pitch and within a week you may be flying across the country fast. That’s normal.
I asked if my two boys could be in the audience but they were underage and weren’t allowed, but the producer did allow them to come with me. I figured they might never get the chance to be in the green room of a big time talk show again.
Because I have family in the area, I decided to drive. I used to drive to and through NYC a lot. Never though, had I driven through Time Square before. Oy vey! I am lucky to be alive. Pedestricians walk in front of your car left and right. Cars cut you off without warning and horns are a honkin’. It was the most nervewracking part of the entire trip.
We made it to the garage we were told to park at and tried to ask several people where the NBC studio was. We were ignored until I gently grabbed the arm of a young woman and she was kind enough to direct me. We were supposed to be there by 1pm. At 1:10 I was still trying to figure out what block I was on. The producer called my cell to find out where I was and gave me further directions. We sped-walked to the studio and security checked us in. Lots of security at NBC studios!
One of the producers came down to the lobby to walk us up. On one side of this hall was the Dr. Oz show. The other side was Jimmy Kimbell Live. Across from my dressing room was one marked with Salma Hayak’s name. I didn’t see her however. They were pretty strict about picture taking. Lots of copyrite issues apparently. We were allowed to take pictures within the dressing room and in front of a big Dr. Oz sign only.
A producer came in to go over the answers I gave to make sure I hadn’t changed them and then I was led away to hair and makeup and then led back again to my dressing room, which I shared with 2 other women also on the same show. There were snacks, healthy of course–afterall it’s a health show!, and bottles of water at our disposal.
Several different producers came in to check to see if what I was wearing would do (they asked me to bring two backup outfits), and to go over my answers that I gave again until I was comfortable.
We sat there for quite awhile until finally I was led to the mic room to get fitted for a mic, and then hair and make up checked on me one last time to see if I needed a touch up. At last I was led to another room, the doors opened and there was the studio. The audience was in their seats, Dr. Oz was on stage sitting next to Elizabeth Hasslebeck from The View. I was brought to the stage to sit beside her. Told to not fidget, tuck my dress around my thighs and make sure to keep my legs crossed.
Cameras rolled and Dr. Oz asked me the questions I’d answered for the producers. I was able to make chitchat with Elisabeth whose book on Gluten allergies is on the NYT bestsellers list. I told her I was an author too and she mentioned how different that kind of writing was than non. The producer came back, led me back to the dressing room and I and my sons were set free. Someone had to walk us back down to the lobby and that was it.
My two boys had never been to NYC before and wanted to see the Statue of Liberty. Sadly, we got out of the studio too late to but luckily Lady Liberty was standing on the corner! My kids ate some street food and managed not to get sick and then we walked to the parking garage. The price to park in NYC for a couple hours? $45.00! I was so shocked that I laughed and took a picture.
And that was Gee-Wee’s big adventure!
Some more pics!
I see this life as a war between light and darkness, in which each of us must participate. Some believe they are the good guys but do not take the time to learn the true nature of him who leads them. Some choose not to fight at all, but to cower in their homes with the TV blaring to drown out the cries from the battlefield. Others continue to fight the good fight no matter how many times and ways they are wounded. They want to give everything for the one who gave everything for them. None of us gets out of this world alive. May we die with swords raised, on the side of righteousness, truth and love.
2 Timothy 4
1I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: 2Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
3For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
5But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.
6As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8And 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.
I‘m not being shy about saying that my upcoming release, Wings of Glass, is my favorite of my novels. Win an advanced reader copy.
He always said if I left he would kill me, but there are far worse fates than death. Guess I hadn’t really known that until I met and married Trent Taylor. I didn’t mind the cuts and bruises half as much as the insults and accusations. Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” has never been on the other end of a tongue that really knows how to cut.
I hope you never know that kind of pain, Son. More than that, I hope you never cause it. How could you? You have such a soft heart. My sweet Emmanuel.
Surely by now I’ve told you your name means “God with us.” Because he was, Manny. He is. Even if you haven’t realized it yet, you’re lucky to have such a wonderful name. I used to hate mine—Penny—because that’s exactly how much I felt I was worth for most of my life. But God used you to change all that.
It’s important to tell you before I begin this story that it’s not my intention to make you hate your father. He’s a man—fallen, like the rest of us. But I know you’ll ask about him, and I decided when you were old enough, I would share with you all I know. That day hasn’t come yet—you’re just beginning to talk!—but I’d best write it down while it’s fresh in my mind. Although some of it, I know, will never fade.
Reading this won’t be easy, and please don’t feel you have to if it’s too much. I’m not one to believe all truths need to be spoken, but just in case you want to know, need to know, I’d rather you hear it from me as a whole story than get bits and pieces of the puzzle from others and not be able to make them fit together quite right.
Besides, your grandmother told me long ago the best way not to repeat history is to know it. I think that’s probably right.
Trent Taylor sauntered into my life wearing faded blue jeans, dusty work boots, and an attitude I couldn’t take my eyes off.
We had a bumper crop that summer of ’99, so Daddy was able to hire a farmhand to help for a change. We were all so happy to have a little money in our pockets and another set of harvesting hands, we didn’t look a gift horse in his mouth. It was just like that story from the Trojan War. We all let him right in without looking first to see what was inside him.
It’s surreal to think that if the rains hadn’t fallen just right and the price of tobacco hadn’t been up due to a blight that seemed to be hitting every farm but ours, we wouldn’t have been able to afford to hire Trent. How much pain I could have been spared . . . but then I wouldn’t have you, Manny. I’d go through it all a million times just to have you.
Being late August, the air outside was steam and the smell of the roast Daddy insisted Mama cook every Thursday carried past me on what little breeze there was. As usual, our cat, Seymour, kept busy chasing the chickens around the yard. He loved to terrorize those poor birds. I yelled at him like I always did, but he never paid me—or anyone besides Daddy—any mind.
Until that afternoon, I’d never seen those chickens do anything but run from mean old Seymour, but that day the smallest one turned around and pecked him right between the eyes. I still laugh when I think of that cat howling in surprise and jumping back ten feet in the air, tail first, as if God himself had snatched him, only to drop him.
After Seymour tore off and the chickens returned to scratching dirt, I bent over my laundry basket and got back to work, humming something or other through the splintered clothespins tucked between my lips.
Even though we owned a dryer, your grandpappy hardly ever let Mama or me use it. He couldn’t see the sense in wasting money on electricity when the sun and wind would do the job for free. I would have offered to pay the measly expense myself, but in my father’s household, women were meant to be seen working, not heard complaining.
I bent down to pin up my daddy’s undershorts, doing my best not to touch anything but the outermost corner of the waistband, when I felt hot breath on the back of my ear and a rough hand cover my own. Paralyzed, I just stood there staring straight ahead at the dirt road leading from our driveway. I could feel my pulse pounding my temples as I held my breath.
Trent must have taken my lack of protest as encouragement because his other hand wrapped tight around my waist and he yanked me back against him. He whispered in my ear with a voice somehow both rough as sandpaper and smooth as whipped cream, “This better be the last time I ever see my woman touching another man’s underwear.”
I could barely breathe. At seventeen, I’d never been touched by a man except to have my tail whipped for disobeying. I’d never even held a boy’s hand, and here was a man, a grown man, staking claim to me. Just then, the screen door squealed open and your grandpappy’s heavy footsteps pounded across the porch.
When Trent stepped back, I finally got the courage to turn around and look him in the eye. He’d been around for a couple of weeks by then and I’d seen him dozens of times, but until that moment, I hadn’t noticed the crinkles around his eyes that made him look like he was always squinting against the sun, or the small scar cutting into the fullness of his bottom lip. His longish hair was a shade darker than my dirty blonde, and there was something about the way his nose flared just so that brought to mind a fighter plane. People might have said a lot of things about your father back then, but no one could suggest he wasn’t beautiful.
“What are you doing over there?” My father stood on the porch, leaning his hip against the column and holding a glass of water that was sweating as much as he was.
I yanked up my laundry basket, still half full, intending to bound inside, but didn’t make it a step before I felt that rough hand of Trent’s wrap tight around my wrist again.
“Just taking a break,” he said to my father, though he never took his eyes off me. He stared right through me, wearing a smirk. I would get to know that Cheshire grin real well in the years that followed. It was the look he wore when he knew he had won, or was about to. I wonder just what it was he had seen that gave me away.
“You best get on back to work.” Daddy’s voice was loud as thunder, and it shook me.
Trent’s grin only widened. “Now, don’t be that way to your future son-in-law.” His eyes wandered over the front of me like he was eyeing a ham steak he was getting ready to cut into.
Those roving eyes of his sent unfamiliar jolts through me.
Daddy slammed down his glass on the porch ledge. “Are you listening, boy? I ain’t going to tell you again.”
Trent put his hands up like he was under arrest. “Take it easy, man. I’m just talking to her.”
My heart felt like a butterfly caught in a mason jar. No one spoke to my father that way.
What an idiot I was to think Trent’s bravado was because he was so taken with me. In my mind I was the princess, Daddy was the dragon, and Trent, of course, was the knight who’d come to rescue me from the tower.
With my father’s eyes on us, Trent whispered I was the prettiest thing he ever laid eyes on. I twisted my mouth like he was crazy, but inside, I was done for. I’d never had a man tell me I was pretty.
I took the bait. With one pathetic cast of his line, I was snagged, swallowing his words happily as that hook dug deep into my flesh.
When Daddy’s face took on a shade of sunburn and he started down the stairs, Trent pretended to tip the hat he wasn’t wearing and leaned over to whisper that he would be waiting for
me at the well at midnight and his woman had best be there. Woman, I repeated in my mind, liking the sound of it. He reeled me in that night, and before week’s end I’d agreed to elope.
At Trent’s direction, I left a note for my parents telling them they shouldn’t come looking for me.
Despite my fears, though—and eventually, my hopes—my parents never did come knocking to reclaim me. No one did.
What you may not know about me is that I actually enjoy PR. In fact, I do some freelance PR work. I also teach at conferences on doing your own book publicity. If you want to sell lots of books, there really is no better way than to write an exceptional book. (Check out my literary agent Don Maass’ new book Writing 21st Century Fiction (which could have just as easily have been named, The Secrets of Bestsellers With Longevity).
If you know, in your heart of hearts, that the book your promoting isn’t that good, or is just okay, then hiring a publicist or promoting the heck out of it yourself is only digging your grave faster. You get one chance to make a first impression. Save that first impression for something that will make a good one.
I’ve written stuff that I am really proud of, and other stuff that I felt was mediocre. You won’t hear me pushing the mediocre project much because I think it might turn potential readers off to my good stuff. (And please don’t ask what I wrote I’m not crazy about. I don’t want to tick off those who are actually trying to make money selling it.
My upcoming Feb/March release, Wings of Glass, I feel is my most powerful book yet. I’m really, really proud of this one so I’ll be hitting the promotion hard, because I feel it’s justified.
I guess what I’m trying to say is if the book you’re trying to sell isn’t that good, is it worth selling a few hundred or thousand copies today and losing readers on future titles that are great? It’s been said (my lazy way of not finding out WHO said it) that the difference between the classes is the ability to delay gratification. What class writer do you want your career to fall into?