Ginny Aiken is a former newspaper reporter who was born in Cuba and raised in Valencia and Caracas, Venezuela. She discovered books at an early age and wrote her first novel when she was fifteen, while training with the Venezuelan Classical Ballet Company.
She holds certification in French literature and culture from the University of Nancy, France, as well as a B.A. from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, and is the author of award-winning and best-selling titles in the secular and Christian markets.
The mother of four sons, and a grandmother to two grandsons, Ginny resides in South Central Pennsylvania with her husband and their three dogs.
Was news writing a detour or a natural evolution of your love for writing fiction?
I’ve always viewed it as God’s hand leading me to where He wanted me all along. After years of a painful, tough relationship with my mom and the difficulties of ADD, I had no self-confidence. Let’s face it. To write, you have to be willing to strip naked in the wind, so to speak. You have to let the world see a deep, personal part of you portrayed by your words.
If you hadn’t made a career of writing, what would you be doing?
Probably what I’m also doing. I’m the assistant to the Director of Women’s Ministries at my church. It’s a joy to serve my sisters in Christ.
How does your faith play into your work?
My ideas come directly from my relationship with the Lord. In my daily devotions, He always guides me to concepts and themes that open my eyes to something important to daily life. From there, I usually have a character come knocking on the door to my imagination, pretty well fleshed-out. Then, on a daily basis, I start work every morning by putting on the armor (Eph 6:14-18).
Let’s talk about your new book, For Such a Time as This (FaithWords, August 2012). Please tell us about it.
For Such a Time as This is a retelling of the story of Queen Esther, but moved forward a number of centuries . . . lots of them. It’s set in the 1800s Oregon, and follows a marriage of convenience where the heroine must balance her loyalty to her family of birth with her duty to her husband.
What do you hope readers will take away from it?
My goal is for my readers to see how little people have changed since Bible times. People face many of the same dilemmas biblical figures did, only in different settings and circumstances. It’s my attempt to depict the eternal truth and value of God’s Word.
Detours in life can be frustrating—kind of like lot twists in the stories we write—but the outcome is often more intriguing than our original plan. Can you tell us about a recent “detour” in your life—or in one of your character’s lives—that taught you something?
While it’s not recent, many years ago I had to surrender a promising career in classical ballet because of a number of serious injuries. For a long time, I felt furious with God and stomped away from Him for a while. I also couldn’t stand to watch a ballet, because the emotions were too raw. However, had I been able to pursue that original path, I doubt I’d be the mother of four wonderful men, and the mother-in-law of two lovely women, and the grandmother of two brilliant, beautiful, and rascally boys. I also wouldn’t have a long backlist of titles I’ve been blessed to have published. As painful as it was to surrender to the end of one dream, it’s a joyous gain to be where I am.
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Milky Way bars! Love, love, love them. And years ago, when he was still a teen, my third son, Geoffrey, would bring me one when I was in the darkness of a tight deadline. These days, they’re also tied in with the fabulous memories of my son.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
Not only did I dance for years and years, but I also took voice lessons for eight of those years. I spent a ton of time performing in musical theater, and miss it these days. There are, however, only twenty-four hours in my day, and I’ve had to set that fun, fun activity to a side.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Definitely upbeat. I love to laugh. And I’m a true devotee to that verse that speaks of “The joy of Lord . . . ”
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?
I’ve always been the little girl trying to walk in high heels. I’ve never felt fully equipped to face the challenges life has placed before me. That’s not a totally bad thing, since it’s taught me to turn to the Lord when I feel least capable.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
Anyone who’s read even a couple of my books knows I’m an animal lover. I’m also a complete dog fanatic. I’ve had dogs all my life, and right now I have three furry co-authors. They’re very supportive and helpful, since they never, ever let me write without their assistance. The team is made up of Goldie, naturally a Golden Retriever, Gidget, a red-wheaten Cairn Terrorist—ahem!—Terrier, and Gizmo, a black/red brindle Cairn Terrier (think Toto in The Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland). Also, in April we lost our most unusual pet. We had a stunningly beautiful Sun Conure named Rio, bequeathed to us by our oldest son and his wife when they decided human babies were in their future. Claws and beaks don’t work well around babies.
Thanks, Ginny! It’s great to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Ginny, visit http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780892968480.htm.
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