Welcome one and all to another heart to heart interview with an wonderfully talented author, Ginger Simpson. I hope you enjoy reading about the woman behind her work and getting a sneak peek into her latest release.
Business before Pleasure
1. What inspired you to write your first book?
I had been an avid reader, following Cassie Edwards and Madeline Baker’s releases. I’ll betcha I’ve read anything written with “savage” in the title. J One day, I brought home a laptop from work to finish up some office tasks, and when I had them completed, I decided to try my hand at creating my own story. That’s when I met Cecile Palmer from my debut novel, which is now released as Destiny’s Bride and discovered I’m a “pantser.” For those who don’t understand the term, I don’t plot. I listen to the voices in my head and Cecile had quite a tale to tell.
2. How much real life do you put into or influences your books?
I suppose we all find a little of ourselves in our books because the character tells the story, and as the author, it’s my job to “show” the emotions and turn the story into a novel. It’s just human to sometimes use your own personal reactions to describe what’s happening in the book. For example, in my Young Adult release, Shortcomings, I used childhood experiences to draw from.
3. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
As long as the voices in my head are clamoring to speak, writing isn’t an issue. Instead, my problems start when everyone turns mute.
4. What are your current projects?
I’m trying my best to finish two books I’ve promised to Books We Love by September. The heroine in Yellow Moon has turned into the problem I just mentioned—mute, but I moved on to a second novel I’d put on the back burner, and I’m making good progress on The Well.
5. How do you go about choosing the title for your book(s)?
Strangely enough, my books come titled. Until recently, I’ve never had to try to think up one as the hero/heroine does that for me, and they’ve always made great sense. When Books We Love gave me the opportunity to give new life to old releases, I got a feel for how hard it can be since the originals fit my work to a tee. I asked for help from my publisher.
6. What is your favorite genre to write?
Western Historical Romance because I grew up on a steady diet of TV westerns and the grand ol’ opry. Reader’s don’t realize how much more labor intensive writing historical novels are because if an author wants to be recognized as credible, then their facts must be accurate. I keep asking myself why I don’t just go with contemporary, but I’m starting to believe I had a former life with the Lakota.
7. Generally, how long does it take you to complete a book from idea to handing it over to your publisher?
If my characters cooperate, then about 4-6 months, but sometimes much longer. Since I don’t plot out the stories, I’m totally at the mercy of the voices in my head.
8. Do you ever use someone in your life as a sounding board for ideas or do you prefer to work alone?
My husband suffers from ADHD and Dyslexia. He doesn’t read well, but he listens great, and I love reading my work to him because he’s quick to pick up on anything that doesn’t make sense or that is repetitive.
9. Do your travel to research for your book(s)?
Funny you should ask. We just returned from traveling across country, pulling our RV, and my intention was to visit South Dakota because that’s where the Sioux dwelled in most of my stories. Sadly, we had bum luck with cell service and the cost of gas, so I didn’t get to actually see what I’d wanted, but I have tons of research books and the Internet, so I rely on those to sweep me into the past. My son had just traveled across South Dakota and told my husband and I the roads were horrendous, few fuel stops because of highway construction, and virtually no cell service for our carrier. We quickly changed our minds about venturing out, and I’m glad we did given the problems we encountered later. J
10. Did you learn anything while writing your book(s)?
Every book is a new opportunity for learning if you go through the process of regular publishing. I’ve learned from critique group partners, editors, and even readers who leave constructive reviews. I honestly believe that the newer versions of my works are much better than the amateur versions written when I first started. Reader’s might not notice the nuances, but I certainly do.
11. Have you ever had an idea for a book but never written it and what is it?
I have paragraphs of story ideas that have come to me, but I’ve had to prioritize them. I can only hope I live long enough to complete them all. When you have voices in your head, you always have ideas.
12. When writing, do you have a process?
Yes, I type while the character tells me the story. I love being a pantser because each book reminds me of having someone read me a bedtime story. I may start the actual process, but I don’t know where I’m going until I get there.
13. Do you have any advice for new authors looking to make their own literary statement?
There is so much to learn as an author, and I’m saddened by those who think they know it all without going through the process of editing, re-editing, and then reading your published work and saying to yourself, “I wish I knew then what I know now.” When I started, I had no idea about head-hopping, pov, cause before affect, word echoes, and so many other important rules that help an author grow. Self-publishing has encouraged so-called authors to jump in feet first and sadly, they have given a bad name to those of us who have earned our titles legitimately. There is a time for self-publishing, and a time to earn your stripes.
14. How many books have you written? Do you have a particular favorite?
Counting short stories, my published works number in the twenties and if you count my re-releases, more than that. Each book is a favorite for various reasons, but I do have to say I loved Sarah’s Journey which is now Sarah’s Heart and Sarah’s Passion. I redid the story because of reviews I received that told me some readers just didn’t GET the ending. The shorter sequel spells out the HEA for those I made cry with my first attempt Sarah’s story became a favorite because of her braveness, willingness to accept defeat when there was no other choice, and her inability to tolerate racial bias. She’s the heroine I strive to be.
15. Why did you choose to use a publisher instead of self-publishing?
When I started writing a decade ago, self-publishing wasn’t an option, and I’m so glad because like so many today, I had TOLD a great story and thought I was ready for prime time. What I neglected to do was SHOW the reader a novel and take the time to learn the myriad of rules that determine your worth as an author.
16. Where do your ideas come from?
Care to guess? If you said the voices in my head, then you’re right.
17. How many books do you currently have published?
I think I’ve answered this above. Everything I’ve written has been published, including blog articles, a short story in a romance magazine, and even a joke in Reader’s Digest.
18. Are you working on anything right now?
I always heard, especially in interviews, that if you answered questions before they were asked, you were a sharp cookie. Well, I answered this one already, too, so I must be on the verge of becoming a “tack”. Yellow Moon and The Well, are my current projects.
19. Do you have a favorite Hero or Heroine from any of your books and why?
This proves, I’m as sharp as a tack. I’ve already told you about Sarah, but I’ll take this opportunity to introduce you to Tyler Bishop, the ranch foreman and hero in Ellie’s Legacy. The man deserves a metal for dealing with Ellie Fountain. She confuses him so badly, he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. Oh…and Ellie’s Legacy used to be Sparta Rose but given a new life, title and cover by Books We Love.
20. Do you have anything you would like to say to your current readers or to those that haven’t yet read your work(s)?
I’m not dumb enough to think I can compete with Nora Roberts, but I think my stories are entertaining, and I strive to make them realistic. In most of my works, you’ll find a touch of humor, because that’s how I deal best with life’s stresses. When I can no longer find anything to laugh about, I’ll be done.
More About You ~ The Fun and the Naughty
1. Share one thing about yourself that would surprise people who know you.
I ventured into the Erotic arena one time. I call Beaches my debut/swan song and writing in that genre was the most difficult of all the genres I’ve tried.
2. Doggy style, cow girl or missionary?
Missionary because at my age I can no longer assume positions I once could. As I said in one of my humorous books, bedroom moaning no longer means ecstasy, it’s usually caused by Charlie Horses or back pain.
3. What secret sinful pleasure do you keep hidden in your cupboards?
I’m a closet chocoholic.
4. Are you a wine or beer kinda gal?
I used to enjoy a glass of white Zinfindel from time-to-time, but now all those little orange stickers on my medications have made me a tea-totaler.
5. If you could go anywhere at all on your next vacation where would you go?
Having just traveled to California on I-40 and back on I-80, I wouldn’t go anywhere. I’ll let the books I read sweep me away to new destinations or create ones in my own novels. Frankly, I’m too old for road trips and I have no desire to fly. I’m going to stay home and keep an eye out for government drones. lol
6. If you could choose any hot famous guy to take with you who would it be and why?
Honey, there is no hot guy who is going to go anywhere with this grandma. As much as I like to pretend, looking in the mirror jerks me back to reality. In my heyday…whenever that was, I would have chosen Sam Elliott. Even with a blanket over his head, that voice…. Whew!
7. Thong, Bikinis, Granny Panties, or Boy shorts?
Another age teller. I can’t even stand a wedgie so a thong and boy shorts are out. I guess I’ll go with Granny Panties as I have a drawer full of them and some are probably older than you are.
8. Are you a dress up in heels or a jeans and flats woman?
I fall off my sandals, so I prefer jeans and flats. I retired in 2003, so I’ve been through the dresses and heels. I retired those as well.
9. Homebody or Party all the time girl?
I tried the party all the time girl and discovered you can get into trouble that way. 🙂
10. Tall, Dark and Deadly or Smart and Sexy or Athletic and Funny?
Tall, Dark and Deadly, of course.
11. Significant other or Tearing up the town free and clear?
Love having a significant other. My husband treats me like a queen and is the best man in the world for me.
12. Favorite social network and why?
I suppose it would be FB since I use it to share my blog posts and waste hours upon hours when I should be writing.
13. What was your “dream” job as a child?
I didn’t really have anyone to guide me in a certain direction. I recall being obsessed with death and just wanting to live to be 21. Guess what…I made it three times over.
14. What was the worst job you ever had while working towards being a published author?
Working as a secretary for a man who had the worst attitude in the world. I recall quitting in the first week after being scolded for kicking off a shoe because I had a sprained ankle and having my integrity called into question for a very stupid reason.
15. What would be your next best choice if not writing as a career?
There will be no new career. Tomorrows are not promised, and I’ll just do my best each and every day to continue this path I love.
About Your Latest Release: Betrayed
Introduce us to the main characters: Meet Cassie Fremont and Evan Dennis from Betrayed.
How do these two meet? On an Internet dating site.
How would you characterize their relationship in one word answers, start, middle and end?
Beginning – Infatuated
Middle – Infatuated
End – Devastation
What three words would you use to describe this story?
The advertisement claimed: “Find your true love; we’ll match you with the person of your dreams.” Their irritating spam clogged her computer inbox. “Free tonight? Let’s chat.” Cassie Fremont thought of hitting the ‘trash’ button, but the promises were alluring. Divorced and so lonely, Cassie signs up for the on-line dating service. What she doesn’t know is the cost of the ticket for her ride on the romantic roller coaster from hell. You aren’t the first woman he’s lied to. When Cassie’s siblings present her with evidence, insisting this proves her new beau is a con-man, her world is shattered. Her happiness wanes. How can she possibly believe that this wonderful man who gave up a thriving business in Texas and moved to California to be with her isn’t all he professes to be? The love she sees shining in Evan’s eyes can’t be false. Surely, her siblings are mistaken. Still, the warnings of her sister’s haunt Cassie’s thoughts: There have been others who have lost everything because of him. Faced with an ultimatum, Cassie must choose between her family and Evan.
“‘Blue Eyes’, hmm.” She rested her chin in her palm to read on, but the screen froze again. Cass pounded the desk. “That’s it! I’m getting a new computer.”
She doodled on a tablet while the computer rebooted for the second time. Blue Eyes. The screen name summoned thoughts of the day she met her ex-husband, Gregory Fremont. His eyes were so blue they hypnotized her. Greg, a smooth talking debonair, could sell a drowning man a glass of water. He had certainly sold her a bill of goods.
They had met when Cass started working at Orion Insurance. The attraction between them had been immediate and mutual, and the resulting courtship sparked a whirlwind of romantic dinners and weekend trips. Too bad he didn’t turn out to be as wonderful as he had first seemed, but then, she reminded herself, life was all about lessons. Because of Greg she learned to be independent.
She absentmindedly rubbed the vacant spot where her wedding set had been and recalled how she had almost died of delight when Greg slipped that huge diamond engagement ring on her finger and proposed. How she had wanted to be Mrs. Gregory Fremont. Now, she wondered what the attraction had been. Other than his good looks, he had nothing redeeming about him. The true Gregory surfaced not long after they married.
He was selfish and cared only for his own needs. In the first year alone, she lost count of the number of times he came home late, not even having the courtesy to call. If she made an issue of it, he became angry. He didn’t think she had a right to know where he had been or what he’d been doing. Au Contraire! Why Gregory had wanted a wife was beyond her.
He found hobbies in which she had no interest whatsoever. One rare evening, when they shared a dinner together, Greg asked her feelings about motorcycles. She told him how much she feared and disliked them. The next day, he brought home a brand new Harley Davidson. From then on, his weekends were centered on road trips with people she barely knew. Even sexy lingerie and candlelight didn’t entice him to stay home.
She chuckled to stifle the sadness. At least they didn’t argue much – they never saw one another.
Despite their lack of companionship, the union lasted almost fifteen years. Financially they were well off, but they certainly hadn’t been a couple for years; he went his way and she went hers. The marriage was on life support when Orion’s executive exchange program humanely pulled the plug. The company sent Gregory to Japan to train agents abroad.
Cassie faced the difficult decision of staying or going abroad with her husband. Fearing her marriage was doomed to fail, she elected to stay in the states and concentrate on her own career. How many times had she chastised herself for her choice?
She stopped doodling and leaned back in her chair. Maybe if she had gone, Greg wouldn’t have met his little Geisha girl. On the other hand, staying at her job proved a good thing. At least she had proven she could successfully support herself. Who knew she’d need to?
Greg returned from Japan, asked for a divorce, then married his Asian woman; Cass had a difficult time determining if she was more hurt or pissed. She always heard that being the person left behind wore hard on the ego; it was true. It would have been much easier if she had been the one leaving him. In retrospect, she should have long ago. Perhaps she would have more self-esteem and not feel as needy as she did at this very moment.
Cassie rolled her eyes at the old memories. She hadn’t thought about Greg in years. It was almost as if he was a character in a book she read once – one with a crummy ending.
Turning her attention back to her computer, she logged in again. Most of the other messages were spam. She hated that. There should be a way to stop people from littering your inbox with crap!
The scroll key took her back to the message from Blue Eyes. Everyone chose a corny screen name for themselves; she had selected Dream Weaver. She nervously clicked on the message.
I saw your profile on Perfectmatch.com and thought I’d jot a quick note to you. It sounds like we may have some things in common and I’d like to have the opportunity to get to know you a little better. I noticed you didn’t post a picture of yourself; I didn’t either. I don’t have any current ones, but check out my info on the site and if you like what you read, would you be willing to share you phone number? By the way, my eyes are blue and my name is Evan.
What had gotten into her? She eyed the delete key and pondered using it. Her shoulders sagged.
When had she become so desperate that shopping for men on the internet had become an option? Besides, he was probably butt ugly.
She pushed away from the desk and started to stand, but her gaze returned to the message still displayed on the screen. God, was she the loser she felt she was – pitiful and unable to meet a man face-to-face? But, what if this was her knight in shining armor?
Okay, so if you enjoyed reading Ginger’s interview as much as I did, drop her a comment and GO COP HER BOOK!