Ginny McBlain

Ginny McBlain

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
June 7, 2004

Q.    Who is Ginny McBlain?

A.   Wife, mother, "other mother", grandmother, sister, author and friend. It depends on the day which hat is on top.

I'm the bossy sister of seven younger siblings. I was raised in Falls Church, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. I met my husband on an airplane--he was a passenger and I was one of the stewardesses. We will have been married 37 years this summer. We lived in Texas for ten years, Kansas for one and the last 26 we've been in Nebraska. We have one son, who is married to one of my critique partners. They've given us two precious granddaughters. I love being a hands-on grandma.

I was given a lot of responsibility as a child and that has carried over in my adult life. I've served many groups in Board positions, including being president of three separate organizations, the most recent being EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection. I've also been active in my church and am currently serving as an elder.

I love people, yet need quiet time. Writing fills both needs. It's a solitary profession, but requires an author to get out and meet and greet people.

Entertaining guests comes as naturally to me as breathing. My grandmother, famous for her parties, taught me well.

My husband and I travel frequently, which usually gives me an idea to put in a story. I warn people not to tell me something if they don't want to see it in a book someday.

I'm very proud of being a pioneer in the field of electronic publishing. My first ebook was published in the dark ages of 1996. It's been a joy to watch the industry change and grow. We've come a long way since I had to explain what an ebook is to everyone.

Q.    How did you come about the idea for the novel FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY?

A.  FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY is the sequel to my previous novel, SOLEMN VOWS. Kirsten is the sister of the heroine in SOLEMN VOWS. It was obvious to me Kirsten needed her own story. She had such a difficult childhood and her time as a runaway was worse. She seemed a character worthy of redemption. The book is not the story I started to write. It evolved as I faced a long series of personal crises during the four years it took to complete the manuscript.

Q.   How did you come about Kristenís character?

A.  Kirsten began as Kirsty, the troubled sibling who provided much the motivation for Meredith in SOLEMN VOWS. Kirsten needed a second chance. She had to grow up and become someone of worth. From the beginning I knew her hero had to be a minister.

Q.    How did you come about Michaelís character?

A.  I was told preachers didn't sell in New York. I thought about making him a teacher at Boys Town, but the idea of a preacher wouldn't go away. By that time I was publishing ebooks and wasn't constrained by New York marketing. I've worked with many ministers in three different Protestant denominations over my lifetime. One thing I learned is they are just like everyone else, human, with all our problems and frailties. I felt Michael had to have struggled with his own faith to help Kirsten find hers, and he needed to be a person who had his own problems. I wanted him down to earth and vulnerable, someone who needed his heroine as much as she needed him.

Q.    How did you come about the idea with nosy Hector and his wife?

A.  There are always Hectors and Hazels in churches. I may have exaggerated a little for effect, but if you know churches, you probably know people like them.

Q.   How did you come about the situation surrounding Tiffany?

A.  I needed a teen in deep trouble. My husband belongs to the Midwest Chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, to which spouses are welcome. Every year they hold a two-day seminar with speakers from various government agencies. One of the speakers is from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). The DEA agent had given a presentation on recreational drugs and raves. It was exactly what I needed for my story. Fortunately for me, I had taken good notes and he provided an even better handout.

Q.    Why did you choose to let Jasonís character get into trouble with the law?

A.  At one time I had to bail one of my son's friends out of jail. Remember I said don't tell me something you don't expect to see in a book some day? It wasn't an experience I ever want to repeat, but I knew at the time I was chasing around a strange town trying to come up with the required cash that I would put the incident in a story. Also Jason's trouble gave me an opportunity to show Kirsten's growth.

Q.   How many novels have you written?

A.  FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY is my fifth book.

Q.    Is Christian/romance fiction the only genre you write?

A.  Actually, it's the first book that I intentionally wrote as a Christian romance. The others are contemporary romances. However, my publisher, Awe-Struck E-Books, has HEART BROKEN, HEART WHOLE, WHERE THE HEART LEADS and SOLEMN VOWS listed as Inspirationals, as well as contemporaries. BEAR HUGS will be re-released in July as a contemporary, although I may be surprised again. My editor tells me people find inspiration in places I might not consider. I must add FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY is not a standard Inspirational romance. It's Kirsten's faith journey with a romance that I hope is as compelling as I intended.

Q.   What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

A.  Quiet. I'd love to work in a nice neat space, but even when I start out that way, I soon have papers and research notes stacked around me. Sometimes I play soft instrumental music, especially when I'm stuck on a scene, but never vocal. I write in short spurts, getting up frequently to keep from getting too stiff. I'm a night owl, so serious writing happens in the afternoon and evening.