Gina Conroy used to think she knew where her life was headed. Now she waits on the Lord to show her the way, reminding herself often that His timing is perfect.
The mother of four children, Gina is the founder of Writer…Interrupted, a blog that encourages other writers who struggle with balancing family and a passion for writing. Gina’s novella, Buried Deception, is included in Cherry Blossom Capers, a four-story collection which will release from Barbour on January 1, 2012.
How early in life did you know you wanted to be a writer? When and how did you begin your writing journey?
I remember in second or third grade, when I got my first diary how freeing it was to be able to put down the thoughts I didn’t know how or was too afraid to express. In school I would always write more than the teacher required and received praise for my writing. I’m not sure the exact moment I knew when I wanted to write, but there was nothing else I saw myself doing. In high school I finally got the nerve to join the school paper, and in college I studied journalism. After I got married, I wrote for local magazines and eventually found that I had a passion for fiction. That’s when I devoted myself to studying the craft and seven long years later, I can finally say I’m a published fiction author.
At your website, Writer . . . Interrupted, you write about interruptions or “detours” in writing and in life. What’s your best solution for overcoming?
I don’t think you overcome the detours and interruptions in life. What you overcome is fighting them! Over the years I’ve learned it’s better to flow with the detour than fight the current. I’ve also learned that sometimes what we think are detours are actually God’s way of getting us back on track.
To answer your question more specifically, I learned by trial and error, and error always led to pain and prayer! Better to learn this lesson early!
How does your faith play into your writing?
I don’t know how those without faith travel this crazy, wild publishing road. I’ve wanted to quit so many times, but knew writing is my calling and I wouldn’t be complete without it. My faith in Jesus is what’s helped me get through the tough, painful times in my writing life. My characters experience different pains and trials in their lives, but ultimately they learn to surrender and lean on the Lord to help them through.
Let’s talk about Cherry Blossom Capers (Barbour, January 1, 2012). Please tell us about your story.
Cherry Blossom Capers is a collection of four stories featuring four women who encounter love, danger, and mystery beyond their neighborhood near Washington, D.C.
My novella, Buried Deception, was really fun to write and combines my love of mystery and suspense with my fascination with archaeology. It’s about a Mount Vernon archaeology Intern and widow Samantha Steele who wants to make a good impression at her orientation, but her babysitter gets sick and she’s forced to take her rambunctious children to work. There she has a run in with security guard and ex-cop Nick Porter who’s haunted by his past. Through several mishaps, a forgery is discovered, and it’s up to Samantha and Nick to set aside their stubbornness, and rely on each other to catch the thief . . . or the results could be deadly.
It’s a fun series of novellas where characters from previous stories have cameos in the others! So if you’re someone who hates to say goodbye to a “friend,” then you’ll enjoy the reunions in Cherry Blossom Capers.
Besides entertainment, what do you hope readers will take away from your story?
I hope they realize that the theme of my novella is “surrender.” The hero and heroine in the story have different reasons for fighting to stay in control of their lives, but when they try and do things on their own, it just gets worse. If they don’t surrender to God who has their best interest in mind, their lives will never be complete. Surrender is something God has been teaching me about over the last several years, and I know it’s not easy, but it’s necessary for growth.
Do you have any writing-related New Year’s resolutions?
Not so much resolutions, but goals. To finish my current WIP and work on some half finished ebooks.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
I try not to munch and write, but if I do, it’s usually when the words aren’t flowing. My comfort foods varies, but Peanut M & Ms are always a staple especially when I’m procrastinating! Plus, I can justify the indulgence with the redeeming value of the protein! ; )
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
Writer…Interrupted is devoted to helping busy writers pursue their dreams of publication. Defying Gravity is where I encourage ALL dreamers! My children just happen to be the musically gifted ones there! I can carry a tune and always had an inclination toward music, but never got the proper training so I encourage my children in their talents and support them any way I can. Like driving them to a Disney audition!
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Bohemian Rhapsody! Because it’s a jumble of different kinds of music and tunes that seem to flow into one continuous story. I see myself as a composition of different melodies, sometimes soft and contemplative, sometimes loud and passionate, other times fun and free. That song seems to incorporate many moods into one song.
Are you a major or a minor chord?
Confession time! Not having a music background, I had to ask my cellist son what the difference was to answer this question. He decided to make his own chord for me . . . an augmented minor seventh. He said, “Because you’re crazy with some melancholy and all together can sound tense.” Um, only when you don’t do your chores, son! Did I mention he’s a teenager? LOL!
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
All of the above! Just like we don’t have one “role” in life (writer, mother, wife, teacher . . .) I don’t think anyone has just one story to tell. Depending on the role I’m playing, I can be the strong female lead, strong and confident. Then in the next moment, possibly in the same exact role, I’m the little girl trying to walk in high heels, so determined, but at the same time unsure and afraid of falling. I strive to be the girl next door in my relationships, faithful, supportive forgiving, and the mysterious woman behind the dark glasses, hopefully she shines through in my writing and on the ballroom dance floor! : )
But if I had to choose ONE, it would be the little girl in the high heels holding out my hand for my Heavenly Father to steady me as I step out in faith to try and walk the path He’s set before me.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I’m really not an animal lover (don’t hold it against me) but knew the day would come when I’d have to get a dog for my kids. So I decided to do my research and plug in all the characteristics I wanted in a dog. Although such a dog didn’t exist, I did come close with our King Charles Cavalier. He’s a tri-colored. His name is Jedi, and he’s been a great dog!
Thanks Gina! Jedi is adorable. And it’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour. Happy New Year and congratulations on your new release!
Thanks so much, I really enjoyed my time here!
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For more information about Gina, visit her website at www.writerinterrupted.com or her blog at http://www.ginaconroy.com/ginablog/wordpress/.
To purchase Cherry Blossom Capers logon to:
Thanks for having my Kathy! What a FUN interview!
Great interview, ladies! Love the idea of the little girl in the high heeled shoes, Gina! 🙂 I always enjoyed getting to know you a little better.
It was fun, Gina! You’re an inspiration with all that you juggle, but still helping others!
Fun interview. Cherry Blossom Capers sounds like an interesting collection.
I agree. I love the idea of the stories having a common character.
Thanks, Carol!! It was sure fun to write!