Today we're welcoming author Ginger Hanson to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical romance, "Lady Runaway". Her publisher has discounted the price of this book during the tour, so grab your copy now, for 50% off! You can buy it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Ginger will be giving away a $10 Barnes and Noble GC and the choice of either a print copy of How I Wrote My First Book: The Story Behind the Story which includes “Ten Lessons I Learned from Writing Quest for Vengeance" by Ginger Hanson -or- a new paperback copy of Ransom’s Bride by Ginger Hanson to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC and book!
Ginger was kind enough to answer my questions. Take it away, Ginger!
First of all, I’d like to thank you for inviting me to visit with the readers of It’s Raining Books!
Why historical? What draws you to this genre?
I write historical romance because I love history. Not only am I a history buff (I was reading historical fiction and nonfiction in high school), but I have a degree in history and taught history at our local junior college for seven years.
History offers so many opportunities to explore “what if” and I love to ask “what if.” It was a natural match! I’m also drawn to past injustices and I like righting what I see as a past wrong in my stories.
How do you research your time period(s)?
When I begin researching a time period, I prefer to go from the general to the specific. By this I mean, first I get a general feel for the time period before zooming in on the small things. To obtain an overview, I like to read a general history that spans at least twenty years. College textbooks are an excellent source because I can’t think of any period in history that some college professor hasn’t written about. Often libraries have these textbooks in their collections, or you can buy them used through college textbook outlets, or download them. At the back of every textbook and nonfiction history book will be your most valuable resource, a bibliography.
The bibliography opens the door to the specific. In order to write a general overview of the period, the author pulls together information from many sources and lists them in the bibliography. Scan the bibliography of every resource you use, because nuggets of historical gold will be found there.
Other sources for getting a general feel for the time period are the popular “everyday in the life of” type books. I used the Writer’s Digest Books, Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England by Kristine Hughes as well as Everyday Life in the 1800s by Mark McCutcheon while writing Lady Runaway.
I also love the Internet, but I advise writers to use it with caution. History buffs turned web site managers don’t always equal historical accuracy. On the plus side, with so much historical information going digital, a world of primary resources are now at a writer’s fingertips.
Once I have a grasp of the time period, I begin work on the novel, but I continue the research. By this point in writing the story, I usually have an outline or detailed synopsis that focuses my research. Rather than going off on unnecessary historical tangents, I can concentrate my research on what I need to flesh out the novel.
Any interesting writing quirks?
I’m not sure if this qualifies as a writing quirk, but I like to design covers for my works in progress. These are by no means professional looking covers since I’m not a graphic artist, but I’ve been using basic graphics to design flyers, bookmarks, newsletters, etc. for years. One day I thought, why not design book covers for the stories I’m writing?
I use Print Shop for Mac software to make cute titles and then paste in clipart graphics or photographs. These never leave my office, but they do give me ideas to pass on to the real cover artist when it is time to design a cover.
What's a typical day for you?
A typical day starts with an early morning walk of our dogs. Currently, we have two rescued hounds, a cute Beagle named Sierra and our latest addition, a lovely Louisiana Catahoula Leopard hound mix named Sadie. I’m a breakfast person and will fix a hot breakfast several days a week, but I try to be at the computer in my office no later than 9 a.m. (or earlier) on a writing day.
I’m a morning person and do most of my story writing before 1 p.m. I tend to make appointments (hair, dental, etc.), clean the house, and run errands in the afternoon. Or I may answer email, update websites, do promo or research, etc. Depending on what remains to be done, I stop for dinner and might return to the computer to wrap up the day.
Who is your favorite character in literature? Why?
I guess I could go all hoity-toity and name a character from some highfalutin college lit class, but that would require me to do some research on highfalutin college lit novels!
And frankly, I don’t remember that many characters from those books. And yes, I did all the required reading for various literature classes, as well as reading recommended books on my own.
And while I’ve run into countless memorable characters over the years, my favorite
character has to be Nancy Drew. Her books may not be the stuff of academia, but few can dispute the impact Nancy Drew has had on the lives of countless young girls. And I was one of them.
Nancy Drew’s character as we know it today is the work of Mildred Wirt Benson and females everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to her for giving us a heroine who was resourceful, smart, athletic, daring, plucky, and independent. Plus, she possessed the courage to succeed against all obstacles. By firmly establishing Nancy Drew’s character in the first three books, Ms. Benson gave American literature a strong female character.
I love to read and write about female characters who share Nancy Drew’s characteristics which is why she’s my favorite character in literature.
Anything new coming up that you'd like to share?
I recently received the reversion of rights for my first two historical romances and plan to take the plunge into e-book self-publication. I’m looking forward to the chance to chose the titles and cover art. I’m not too excited about the mechanics of getting these into e-book format, but both these books did well in prestigious RWA chapter contests (one was a Maggie finalist and one was a Holt Medallion finalist!) and I think they need a second chance. Under the traditional publishing model, they weren’t promoted much by the publisher and available at stores for only a few months. I like knowing the e-books will have a longer “shelf life” at online book stores.
I also have a more traditional Regency romance on the back burner I’d like to finish writing this year. And I’d love to write some stories about pioneer female aviators! So many stories to write, so little time…
Do you have any questions for our readers?
Yes, I’d love to know whether your readers enjoy traditional Regency romances (ex. those used to be published by Signet) or the less traditional ones (ex. those being published by companies like Avon).
Thanks for stopping by, Ginger!
Fleeing arrest by a spurned suitor, Lady Riana Travistock heads for London where she is knifed in a street brawl when she helps a man attacked by footpads. Luckily for Lady Riana, the victim of the attack is army surgeon Captain Devlin Carrington who takes her home to tend her injury.
When Dev cuts off her blood-soaked chemise to stitch the knife wound, a fortune in jewels spill out. Has he saved a lovely jewel thief only to watch her hang?
About the author: Ginger Hanson is a former college history teacher who found writing historical romance a natural outlet for her love of history. While Lady Runaway is her first foray into the Regency period, her two award-winning Civil War era historical romantic adventures were published in 2004. Ransom's Bride scored success as the winner of the 2005 Gayle Wilson Award Of Excellence and was a finalist in the 2005 Holt Medallion Contest. Tennessee Waltz was a finalist in the 2005 Maggie as well as the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in the Historical category.
Ginger also has two published contemporary romance novels set in the fictional small town of Tassanoxie, Alabama. The series slid into ebook only format with a 2011 Christmas short story, A Christmas Diamond for Merry.