Monday, June 17, 2013

Interview: Gina Conkle

I'm excited to welcome Entangled author Gina Conkle to Pens and Peonies! Gina's giving away a fabulous $25 Starbucks gift card, because a good beverage goes with a good book. But first, check out her awesome answers to some probing questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing career.

I’ve been writing for about ten years, but within the last ten months everything exploded ---in a good way!  I signed with an agent (Sarah E. Younger of Nancy Yost Literary), and we sold five books to two publishers: two books to Entangled, my Viking stories, and a three book series to Sourcebooks.

The Sourcebooks series is set mid-1700s. The first book, “Meet the Earl at Midnight” is a “beauty-and-the-beast-meets-my-fair-lady.”  That series revolves around “midnight meetings” as a theme. But they won’t be out until 2014.
I’m also working on another Viking series, but that’s in very early stages.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Fifth grade. I wrote “The Girl Who Stopped World War III” and everything flowed. I remember sitting at my school desk and thinking how easy it’d be to be an author along with other jobs, plus being married and a mom.  Now picture me smiling hugely at that ten year old wisdom!

Why are you a writer?
I write for women. I believe in the power of love and the incredible power each woman has within her.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time before you were published?

Be disciplined.  A pivotal moment came a few years ago in the form of a question: Is writing a hobby or a profession? 
Answer that honestly, and then look at what I’m doing each day, since actions speak louder than words. 
What do you think makes a good book?
Great moments, memorable characters, and a little escapism make a great book.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was having to condense a bigger story.  Norse Jewel was originally 95,000 words, but I had to cut down to 70,000. The good news: I’m taking that other part and using some of it for a second “Norse” book tentatively titled “Norse Fire.”
Do you buy books based on the cover or the blurb?
The blurb!! Well, and then I open the first page.  You have to grab me on the first line, first paragraph, first page.
What were the last three books you read?
Women in Old Norse Society by Jenny Jochens
The Cowboy Takes a Bride by Lori Wilde
Write It Forward by Bob Mayer (still in this one)
What's one thing you can't live without?
Lately, diet coke! 

As I close, you’re invited to check out an excerpt of Norse Jewel’s chapter one here

And thank you, Marisa, for the opportunity to be a guest on “Pens & Peonies.”  You are so gracious to open up your blog.

Fast Facts:
Coffee or tea?  Coffee
Morning or night?  Neither
Rivers or oceans?  Rivers
White wine or red?  Red
Champagne or liquor?  Champagne
Cupcakes or ice cream? Ice cream
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Casual or couture?  Casual
Ponytail or headband? Ponytail
Shower or bath? Shower
Summer or winter? Winter
Motorcycle or bicycle? Bicycle

Connect with Gina here:
 ***** GIVEAWAY *****

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Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo ~Marisa

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