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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Interview with author Ginger Simpson

Today, I am very happy to be interviewing Ginger Simpson on my blog. She tells alot about her upcoming Muse Publishing release, Shortcomings.

1. Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write the story.

Well, let me see…I have about five latest books, but I’m going to pick my YA, Shortcomings due out in Feb 2011. My inspiration came from my autistic grandson and my worry that he will be picked on by his peers. Young children are so much more accepting of differences than high schoolers. The message I want to deliver is that disabilities don’t define a person or their worth. If I can keep one youngster from bullying, then I will have achieved something great.

2. What was the most difficult or easy aspect of writing this piece?

Besides Spencer’s disability, I drew on my own experiences of fighting my weight, and how I felt in high school when making friends for me wasn’t as easy as some.

3. Who’s your favorite character in your upcoming release?

I’d have to say Cory Neil, my young football hero. He sees the beauty in Cindy despite her own blindness to it. He’s determined and I love that about him.

4. What similarities are there between you and any of your characters?

None really. My characters are young, with their whole lives ahead of them. I’m facing becoming a senior citizen this year, and the idea is overwhelming. Writing Shortcomings was a great glimpse into my younger years and why I’m stronger today than I was back then.

5. What kind of research did you have to do in order to write your new book?

Unlike my historical novels where research plays a huge role in the story, this one required very little. At one point in my heroine’s life, she needed to make a career decision which graduation looming. She wanted to work with children with disabilities, specifically blind students. I contacted a school for the blind in Nashville, and the administrator was kind enough to supply me with actual job descriptions and requirements for those positions.

6. Several of your books have an American Indian theme. I’ve been fascinated by Indian culture and lore since as early as I have memories. Your books White Heart, Lakota Spirit, Prairie Peace, and Sarah’s Journey involve western Indian settings and storylines. I know you chose the Sioux for Praire Peace and obviously the Lakota for White Heart, Lakota Spirit.

a. How did you select specific tribes as backdrops for those novels?

I’ve long had a fascination for the American Indian. I’ve read countless books about the various tribes and their cultures. For some strange reason, the Lakota Sioux are the ones I identify with most. Who knows…perhaps a past life?

b. What research did you do?

More reading. I have a wonderful book put out by Reader’s Digest on American Indians, rites and rituals, and I invested in two specifically about the Sioux. The knack of converting the research into your own words is tricky because if you copy anything verbatim, you are opening yourself up for plagiarism charges. It happened to one well-known historical author, and she lost some contracts because of it.

c. Any plans for writing from the perspective of another tribe? You live near present-day Cherokee, whose culture I find intriguing. Any future story involving that tribe?

Funny you should ask. The trail of tears passed near where I live, and the history of the Natchez Trace is well known here. I might just be motivated to start another historical soon.

7. Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to prod her/him along when she/he refuses to inspire you?

My muse is motivated by my characters and their willingness to chat. I’m not a plotter, so when someone pops into my head with a story to tell, I’m motivated to do the typing to see where I end up. I’ve been pleasantly surprised more than once. I find when I write out of my comfort zone, it takes me a lot longer.

8. What sort of character is hanging in the back of your mind, that your muse is playing with and trying to tempt you to write into a new work?

Right now, I have no one hanging in my mind with a new story, and that’s unusual. On any given day, I have about five WIPS, but the past few months, the silence has enabled me to complete, query and contract what I have finished. I do have one story, entitled Joy’s Revelation, but again, this is out of my element and I find myself being the procastinator, not my muse.

9. If you could meet one character from any literary work, who would it be and what one question would you ask them?

I think it would have to be Scarlett O’Hara, and my question, “What in the heck were you thinking?”

10. What project are you currently writing?

Well, since you’ve stirred my passion for American Indians, I just might have to start a story about the tribes native to TN. Joy can wait. Her’s is just a short story and I’ve stalled on the intimate scene. I’m just not good at sexual content. Don’t read it, and really don’t like writing it.

11. Where can I find information about your current novel and how to purchase?

The bookstore at Muse It Up Publishing (http://wwwmuseituppublishing/) will be open soon. Along with Shortcomings, several short stories have been contracted—all very different from one another. I expect with eight contracts I’m going to be spending a lot of time promoting and I thank you for giving me a jumpstart with your interview. I truly enjoyed your questions.


Karen McGrath said...

I love American Indian lore. Interesting point about research plaigerism, Ginger. Great interview!

Roseanne Dowell said...

great interview, Ginger and Marsha.

Charlie said...

Really nice blog. Was very interesting to see how Shortcomings came to be. It's an element I think a lot of people can relate to, whether it is a physical or emotional handicap. Great job.

Jannine said...

I think it's wonderful that you are so dedicated to your grandson. I had a disability when I was a child, and I know how cruel others can be. I hope Shortcomings shows young readers that there is a heart and soul to every person.

Love you, Ging.

Ginger Simpson said...

Thank you so much for coming to read my interview. Marsha did a great job with the questions...not the same old stuff people already know about me.

Ciara Gold said...

Excellent interview, Ginger. Even though I feel I know you, I learn a little more each time I read an interview on you. And more kudos to you for writing about the American Indian. They are so much an intriguing part of our history.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ginger,
Great post. You are such a prolific writer, with so many stories on the go but you never compromise the hight quality of your writing.



Morgan Mandel said...

I know I've mentioned it before, but I really do love that cover! I think the topic of the book is a great idea. Kids do respond to peer pressure too much and can be very cruel.
Morgan Mandel

Arlene said...

Hopping in late to add my congrats on a lovely post. It's wonderful to get to know you better, Ginger.
And eight stories to look forward to, it's sweet to learn more about the person behind them.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Ginger,

Oh, I'd love to see you write something about the tribes of your current region. You really brought the Tennessee landscape alive in Sparta Rose.

And I definitely second your comment to Scarlett O'Hara!


Ciara Knight said...

I realize I'm a little late for the party, but my family had been ill. I want to applaud you on your new book, and I can't wait to pick it up.
My son was diagnosed with autism when he was only 2. Defying the doctors, I began working with him and a year later they downgraded his diagnosis to Aspergers. Now at age 6 they want to release him from all special services at the school, and I find a different fight ahead of me.
Since I was born with a language disorder I knew I had to listen to my heart and not others. My son will always resemble Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory" but he is loveable and a great asset to his school.
Thanks again for writing this book and educating young people.
Ciara Knight