The Writer's Life
Gina Holmes is the CEO and founder of the popular literary site Novel Rocket and the bestselling and award-winning author of the novels Crossing Oceans, Dry as Rain, and Wings of Glass. She is a two-time Christy and ECPA Book of the Year finalist and winner of the INSPY, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Carol Award. Her work often examines big themes reflecting the challenges of life including death, grief, adoption, alcoholism and spousal abuse.
Holmes holds degrees in science and nursing and resides with her husband and children in southern Virginia. She "works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their pasts and discover their God-given purpose." To learn more about her, visit www.ginaholmes.com or follow her on facebook and twitter.
Gina, tell us about your newest release, Driftwood Tides.
Driftwood Tides tells the story of an aging, alcoholic driftwood artist turned beach bum, Holton Creary, and young woman named, Libby Slater. Libby grew up with an absent father and a loving but cold, socialite mother. Leading up to her wedding, Libby and her groom-to-be go through genetic testing, and she learns her blood-type doesn’t match either of her parents. She confronts her mother and is reluctantly told that she’s adopted. She goes searching for her mother, Adele, only to find her husband, Holton Creary passed out and lying face down on the carpet of his Nags Head, North Carolina beach shack.
Libby lies about her real identity until she is finally found out. Holton does not welcome the news. He never knew that the wife to whom he had given "saint" status had actually given up a daughter for adoption. Together, Libby and Holton search to learn the truth about Adele, Libby’s father and themselves.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
At its heart, Driftwood Tides is really about discovering who we are, whose we are, where we belong and the need to accept and bestow forgiveness.
Any special reason why you chose to set the novel in Nags Head, North Carolina ?
Oh, how I love that place! I’m not sure there’s a more peaceful setting in all the world. And the further out I get from civilization, the happier I am. I love the sand dunes, the untouched nature, the quaint towns. Just everything! (Well, except sand in my bathing suit maybe :)
You seem to have a recurring theme in your novels about absent fathers. If it’s not too personal, can you share the reason for this?
It is too personal, and I don’t mind answering (wink!) When I was 6 years-old, I was packed up by my stepfather and driven to my father’s house. Overnight I had a new Mom, new sisters and brother, house and life. It was as traumatic an experience as I can imagine. There were few explanations that made sense to me and I missed my other family desperately. I think ever since I’ve been trying to settle some pretty deep-seated questions. Writing books is wonderful for that.
Your novel Crossing Oceans is a fan-favorite. Do you think you will ever write a sequel?
I love that book too. Makes me cry just thinking about certain scenes. I would love to write asequel, prequel or off-shoot stories. I love those characters dearly. I’m under contract for three different novels, so I’m not sure when I’ll have the time, but I’d love to explore Craig’s story and of course, Bella’s. I miss Mama Peg very much!
You’ve said that, out of all the novels you've written, Wings of Glass is your favorite. Why?
Well, for storyline, I think Crossing Oceans is the strongest. But I think my writing in Wings of Glass was my best. Plus when I was very young, I watched my mother in one abusive relationship after another, and then two of my sisters. I had been there too, despite thinking I was better than that. I know the mindset that keeps a woman (or man) in a relationship like that, and I wanted to give insight to those who don’t understand. I’ve received enough letters to know I did what I set out to do.
You’re originally from New Jersey but you seem to write all your novels from Southern locales. Why is that?
Ha, you found me out! Yes, I was born and raised in NJ. As much as I love my friends and family, I am definitely more suited for the slower pace of the South. I’ve lived in Southern Virginia for half of my life, and I plan to spend the rest of my life here if I can. I try to write books from settings that make me happy. So I write where I want to be. (Although, I’ve got to say, NJ food is amazing and you’ve got to love a boisterous NJ laugh!)
What do you like most about being a writer? Least?
Most, I like being able to have a platform to share lessons I’ve learned in my life that I know others would benefit from. And more than that, I just love to tell a good story.
Least, would be the unpredictability of the business. Sometimes it seems so random and the lack of control makes me uncomfortable sometimes. (Which is probably right where God wants me!)
If you could go back to the pre-published writer you were, knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself?
Well, I wouldn’t have told myself how many novels I’d write that would never see the light of day, because I would have given up. I wouldn’t have told myself how little money there is actually to be made or how lonely writing can be sometimes. I wouldn’t have told myself that I’d still have a day job with 4 novels out in stores, including 3 bestselling novels… okay, but that wasn’t your question… I would tell myself to relax. Some of this, most of this is, is out of your hands, and that’s okay. It’s not going to be at all what you think it is, but it’s going to be so much more. You won’t get rich, but you will touch lives. At the end of the day, that’s going to be exactly what will fulfill you.
Where can readers find your books and learn more about you?
Thanks for asking! My books are available at B&N, BooksaMillion, Amazon and indie bookstores. You can learn more about me and my work at Ginaholmes.com.