1. Have you always like to write?
That’s a complicated question. At times in my life I would write in a journal, but I didn’t start writing novels until a few years ago.
2. What inspired you to write your first book?
A dream. One night I had this dream about a girl who worked in a grocery store, and it was robbed. Her boyfriend saved her from getting shot. That’s it. The whole dream. It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I sat down and figured out how her story started, and where it went from there. I sent it out, received copious amounts of rejection letters, and decided that I needed to learn HOW to write. It was at that point that I joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and learned that I was doing so many things wrong. :) I’d like to think I’ve grown since that first novel.
3. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I struggle with story arc. Because I write seat-of-the-pants (or organically, which is the term I prefer) instead of plotting, I have to remember to keep the story flowing and not run off on some rabbit trail that my brain has created. I rarely have problems with the point of no return, but as I enter the middle part of the process I tend to allow the tension to drop. I have several books on the topic that I’ve been studying to alleviate the issue.
4. How did you decide upon the title of Mr. Christmas and Miss Scrooge?
I’m not sure. It sort of just popped into my head when I realized my hero loved Christmas and everything about it, but my heroine didn’t. Not that she doesn’t love Christmas. She just doesn’t love all the material and commercial aspects. She’d rather have a quiet dinner than sing carols on street corners. The novella set is about a fundraiser to save an animal shelter. They decide on a Christmas in July theme, and my heroine doesn’t want to do Christmas twice in one year, so she becomes Miss Scrooge.
5. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names of character in Mr. Christmas and Miss Scrooge based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
The names of my characters are very important to me. I can’t write the story until I find the right name, and put a face to him or her. I scour images for the right face, then in turn go to baby naming sites for names. Sometimes I have a specific trait in mind and look for a name to match. At other times, I have only an inkling of what kind of name I want, or what letter of the alphabet it should start with. My hero’s name is Grayson Mitchell Silverton, but he goes by Mitch because he thinks his name sounds pretentious and snooty. My heroine on the other hand is Margaret Priscilla Holberg. Her dad called her Meggy. When she takes control of the business, she tells everyone to call her Miss Holberg. It becomes a source of contention between them. ;)
6. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Mr. Christmas and Miss Scrooge is my first stab at a novella. Our goal was between 20,000-25,000 words. My word count came in at just under 30,000. My biggest issue was keeping it short. I’m used to aiming for the 70,000 word range, and then adding the extra 15,000 or so with edits. But with this novella, I had to make things happen fast, and it was very hard.
7. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’ve actually been fortunate to have a number of great writers come along side me and give me pointers. Vanetta Chapman mentored me for a time, and most recently it’s been Lee Carver and Gail Sattler, both of whom are fellow authors in the novella set, Love In Mistletoe Springs.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
This one is tough. I read a lot, and I like a lot of different sub genres of romance. I think at the moment my favorite writers are Jen Turano and Karen Witemeyer. Their writing is always witty, and their heroines always get in tons of trouble, having to be saved by the hero, of course. But the heroines never think they need help. I like them because they have a can-do attitude and don’t rely on others to get stuff done when it is within their power to do it themselves—even though most of the stories occur when women were expected to sit in the parlor, do needlework, and look pretty. :)
9. What are you working on now? What is your next project?
Another complicated question. I have another novella projected to release in November with several other authors. The working title of my story is Broken
Holiday. I am in the
editing process with this one, at the moment.
I also have two other novels in the works. One is a sequel to my debut novel, One Choice. It is tentatively titled Second Choice. For those who have read book one, Second Choice is Anaya’s story. The other is a stand-alone novel entitled Coming in First. I had intended for both of these novels to be completed by the end of the summer, but I hadn’t planned on a second novella, so my plans got pushed back a bit. I hope to have them both published sometime in the next year.
Thanks for hosting me, Laura, and letting me talk about my writing.
Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer — in that order (mostly). When not homeschooling her youngest four, doing laundry or fixing dinner, she writes or reads romance of any genre, some sci-fi/fantasy, and some suspense. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and writes regularly for two blogs. In addition to all that, she loves animals, likes to do needlework (knitting, crocheting, and sometimes cross-stitch), and is a fan of Once Upon a Time and Dr. Who.
Blurb for Love in Mistletoe Springs:
The Mistletoe Springs animal shelter loses their grant, endangering the lives of countless stray dogs, cats, even birds and turtles. The community attempts to save the shelter by running a Christmas in July fundraiser. Groups of volunteers scramble to get all the details together while managing their personal lives. For ten people, love gets in the way.
Blurb for Mr. Christmas and Miss Scrooge:
Mitch Silverton agreed to be in charge of decorating for the fundraiser. And he needs his boss, Margaret Holberg, to donate her family's vast array of decorations to make the day unforgettable. BUT...
She's not sharing. Christmas is not a holiday she wants to celebrate in July, and saving the animal shelter is not high on her list of important things to do.
He wants her to share more than the decorations. He wants her heart. Will he succeed in changing Miss Scrooge into Mrs. Christmas?