Welcome Ginger, Thank you for agreeing to an interview.
EP: When did you seriously sit down, and say to yourself, I'm going to write a novel?
Ginger: In 2002, I brought a laptop home to work over the weekend. When I finished my project, my fingers started typing...sort of a 'once upon a time' scenario. As I typed, I found myself wondering where this woman, Cecile, was dragging me. The more I typed, the more intrigued I became, and that was the beginning of my debut novel, Prairie Peace. I can only describe it as telling myself a story, but having to wait to see how everything played out. It was exciting to watch the plot unfold before my eyes and to see which character would pop up next. It wasn't until my manuscript was accepted for publication that I discovered I'd told an awesome story. The work was just beginning to make it into a novel.
EP: What do you find the most difficult to write? Dialogue? Back story?
Ginger: Dialogue is easy. The secret is not so much in writing the back story but finding a way to pepper it throughout so you don't overwhelm the reader with too much telling.
EP: Have you ever found that you didn't like your Hero or your Heroine? If so, what did you do to change that?
Ginger: I haven't met a character I didn't like, at least in one of my books. I use traits and attributes I admire when honing their personalities, and I've never had to change a thing about them. I sort of feel God-like, creating a character from nothing and making them likeable and real. Or sometimes, even not so likeable.
EP: If you were to start again, with the knowledge you have now, what would be the first thing you do?
Ginger: Probably make a lot of editors happy. The great thing about being multi-published is going through a 'perfecting' process with each manuscript. I've learned a ton since I wrote my first book, and that's one of the reason's I'm thrilled to have Eternal Press accept Prairie Peace for re-release. It gave me the opportunity to go through and correct most of the amateur mistakes most new authors make. As much as I'd like to say I fixed them all, I'd be lying. I'm still learning.
EP: Do you have the support of friends and family? Meaning, do they understand when you are writing that you cannot be disturbed? Or do you have friends that think since you're home, you don't work?
Ginger: My family knows I write, but other than my wonderfully supportive husband, I don't think they take me seriously. Unfortunately, I come from 'paperback' lovers, and they don't view e-books as the real deal. As far as having my work available in trade paperback format, by their standards, if it can't be found on a shelf somewhere, it can't really be published. I guess I expect them to act like I think I would if I had a sibling, mother or daughter who had worked so hard to achieve a dream; I'd be thrilled and talk it up everywhere I went. Do I have their support? Probably. Are they >>
proud of my achievements? I doubt it. I've never been anywhere with any of them and heard them say, "She's an author."
EP: Hopefully Eternal Press will help change that. What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your career?
Ginger: So far, I haven't had any hurdles to overcome. I've been quite fortunate in submitting my work and having it accepted for publication. Right now, I'm looking at the biggest obstacle of all, and that's finding a suitable agent who can help me come full circle. Although I'm excited about my achievements, I won't be finished until I gain a contract with a publisher that isn't considered 'internet' connected. It's not about money; it's about seeing a goal through to completion.
EP: What genre do you write? Do you write more than one, if so, what?
Ginger: I've dabbled in most: romantic suspense, humorous, time-travel, contemporary, and historical. By far, my favorite is historical because I love learning new things.
EP: How do you research for your books?
Ginger: Since I generally write about the old west, I have several publications on hand to consult. What I haven't been able to find in my own reference books, I've found on the internet or an historical loop that has some very smart people as members. I've also learned a lot from my editors, who have keen eyes and help me maintain credibility as an historical author.
It's so very important to keep your facts straight if you want readers to continue to buy your books.
EP: How do you develop your characters?
Ginger: I'd like to say I develop my characters, but it rings truer if I say they spring from my mind, and I add the attributes I admire or hate in a person. I haven't had to do much with the people who show up to star in my books. They are usually quite perfect from the beginning. I just add dialogue that makes them protagonists or antagonists and watch them blossom.
EP: Are any of your characters a person you'd like to be? If so which one?
Ginger: Most of my heroines consist of the traits and attributes I wish I had. That's what I love the most about writing. I'm in control and I can make my characters look and act the way I want them to. My latest heroine, Sarah, is probably my favorite thus far. She's strong when she needs to be, tender when the occasion calls for it, and not too shy to voice her opinion when she witnesses unfairness. She's the woman I hope I am.
EP: Who inspired you to write?
Ginger: When I was in grammar school, I read every Laura Ingalls Wilder book I could get my hands on. She was my first inspiration. As I grew up, I continued reading novels written in that time period, and it only seems natural that when I started telling my own story, it would be an historical set in the old west.
Cassie Edwards and Madeline Baker inspired me by their prolific stories, intriguing characters and exciting storylines. I don't care what anyone says about Cassie Edwards...she will always be a favorite of mine. It doesn't matter if she used some lines from research books; that doesn’t diminish her talent as an author. You can't write as many books as she has and not achieve a level of stardom that can't be taken away.
EP: What is the most humorous writing experience you've ever had?
Ginger: Nothing humorous about writing, but there was a time when I was lost, deep in thought, working on my latest WIP. My grandson, was playing in the background, and came up and handed me something. I barely noticed and set it aside and kept working. Pretty soon, he came back and handed me something else. This time, I stopped and looked at. "What's this?" I said, staring at a perfectly round, brown ball. "Poo Poo," was his answer. All I can say is I'm glad I didn't mistake it for one of the Milk Dud Candies I bought earlier in the day. Sometimes, it pays to stop and look.
EP: Gotta love those kids! If a new writer came to you for advice what would you tell them?
Ginger: Rejections are more common place these days because of the number of new authors on the horizon. Just remember, it only takes one publisher to say 'yes.'
EP: Do you have a book coming out? If so what? Do you have a web site? Do you have a blog? My Space?
Ginger: Funny you should ask. Sarah's Journey is released by Eternal Press, as is Chastity's Charm's Book One in my Stages of Love Series and Forever Faith I also have two new releases coming from other publishers. You can find information about them on my website at http://www.gingersimpson.com
I also have a personal blog, and I was very honored to win a peer award for being one of the most interesting sites. You can find it at >>
http://mizging.blogspot.com I have almost 200 people subscribed to receive it by email so I have to keep it entertaining if I don't want to lose readers.
EP: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Ginger: I'd like to thank the former owner of Eternal Press, Julie D’Arcy for taking a change on a previously published book and allowing me to join the team here. I'd like to thank Fran Tann, the acquisitions manager for accepting my subsequent work, and our fearless leader, Ally Robertson, for seeing a reason to keep publishing what I write. EP is without a doubt, one of the warmest and most talented group of authors I've had the pleasure of joining.
EP: Amen to that. Thanks for giving us a few moments of your time and a glimpse into the life of an author. Check out Ginger’s books at http://www.eternalpress.ca/simpsonnew.html
Hi Ginger, I always enjoy reading your interviews, they are always quirky and fascinating - this one was up to your usual high standard. The very best of luck with the release of 'Sarah's Journey', it's a lovely story and a great read.