Hi friends! It’s time for another monthly interview and this time I get to introduce to you, new-to-me author, Gina Holder.
Gina served alongside her parents on the mission field and now lives in Franklin, Kentucky with her husband of 11 years, Daniel.
She is a stay-at-home mother and homeschools their daughter, Lydia. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching movies, singing, and playing the piano.
She dreamed of being a writer from her early teen years and graduated from the Long Ridge Writer’s Group “Breaking into Print” program in 2004. She graduated from Faith Bible Institue in 2005.
So let’s jump right in!
Sweet or Unsweet Tea?
Gina: Neither. I don’t like cold tea at all, but I’ll drink hot tea in limited flavors with lots of sugar.
Crystal: That’s a first for the Write Call. 🙂 But sugar makes everything taste better.
Beach Vacation or Mountain Getaway?
Gina: Mountain getaway! While I love the beach, I don’t like the hot sun or the sand that gets into everything.
Crystal: I completely agree!
Homebody or Love to Travel?
Gina: I love to travel. I’ve been to 43 states and 14 countries on four continents.
Crystal: Wow! That is amazing. I’m only 2 states away from all 50.
Morning Person or Night Owl?
Gina: I’m more of a night owl than a morning person, but I do love the early morning hours when the world is still. I don’t take time to enjoy it as much as I’d like, mostly because I stay up too late at night. See, night owl!
Crystal: My problem, too!
Bookmark or Dog-ear Pages?
Gina: I’ll hang my head as I admit that I dog-ear pages of books. I’ve been trying to be better about using bookmarks, since I’ve acquired so many of them.
Crystal: At least you are trying. 🙂 We can call it the Dog-Eared Anonymous Group
The Life of a Published Missionary Kid
You were a missionary kid. Where did you serve and what did you do?
Gina: My family first moved to the Czech Republic in July of 2002, when I was 18 years old. I served there with my parents for 3 and ½ years, before I returned for a term of bible college and then marriage to my (now) husband. I spent my days continuing my education with video and online programs. I babysat a little Czech girl several times a week, and I also helped my mom and dad in whatever they needed done: cooking meals, caring for my brothers, and assisting with ministry-related activities involving Gospel tracts or mailing prayer letters.
Crystal: That sounds like an amazing experience but a difficult one at the same time.
What was the hardest thing about being a missionary kid?
Gina: The hardest thing about being a missionary kid was the feeling of isolation. I missed the spiritual fellowship of other believers and I couldn’t speak the language, so I couldn’t even hold a conversation with anyone around me. It takes years to acclimate yourself into another culture and people don’t realize all that entails unless they’ve spent time with another nationality on foreign turf.
Crystal: That really must be hard. Only considering language, I studied French for 7 years and I am still pretty clueless. I can’t imagine learning a whole culture when you don’t speak the language.
What has God taught you along your publication journey?
- That His timing is not my timing and to trust Him. It took 2 ½ years for me to make Whither Shall I Go into the story it was supposed to be.
- To keep my eyes on why I write and not focus so much on sales and to remember that if my book touches one heart, then I’ve done what He’s asked of me.
Crystal: Those are fantastic lessons every writer should remember. I know for me it can be overwhelming and sometimes I lose focus. I needed that reminder today.
In 1911, Ellie Williams struggles to see God’s hand in her life when she loses both parents and is sent to live with her wealthy, estranged aunt, who transforms her from awkward country bumpkin to socialite heiress. Six years later, she meets a young preacher and finds hope as they serve the Lord together.
Robert Hampton is deeply devoted to God and desires to take the gospel to the unreached natives of Brazil. He didn’t expect to fall in love. When he is drafted, Robert is torn between his duty as a soldier and his budding affections for Ellie. Will Robert survive the trenches? Will he lose the only woman he’s ever loved?
Ellie’s journey takes her from her home in Cades Cove, Tennessee, to the concrete jungle of New York City, and finally to the harsh unforgiving world of the Amazon River Basin, where she meets Paul, a doctor who’s lost his way, and Jack, a soldier with amnesia. Encountering anacondas, jaguars, and an antagonistic shaman, will Ellie give in to the fears that threaten to overwhelm her?
Or can she depend upon God’s grace to bring about His will for her life?
Behind the Story
Do any of your characters reflect your experiences as a missionary?
Gina: Absolutely. Whither Shall I Go is (in part) a missionary story. Secondary characters, Marcus and Judith Smith are missionaries to the country of Brazil, where the main character, Ellie Williams eventually ends up. No matter what country you visit, you will encounter culture shock, so I was able to transmit those feelings to Ellie as she experiences life in a foreign country.
Crystal: I bet it makes the story really authentic to read.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Gina: I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t read Whither Shall I Go, but the hardest scene to write is near the end of the book and leads into the main character’s darkest moment. It involves the death of a child and I did not want to write it. I prayed and prayed, but God kept assuring me it was supposed to be in the story.
Crystal: Those are very rough scenes to write and hard for some to read. I am sure God has someone or many in mind when He had you write that scene.
Do you have any upcoming projects, releases, or sales?
Gina: I’m currently working on a contemporary romance titled, No Greater Love. I’m not sure about a release date, I’m still working on the first draft. I’m excited about this new book. I’m calling it a contemporary romance blended with a family drama and a twist of suspense. My goal is to see it to publication before the end of the year.
Crystal: That sounds wonderful and we will be watching for it.
Fun Question of the Day
If you had to live in any time period except the modern day, which time period would you choose?
Gina: I would choose the American Civil War. I love studying the history of that time. I love the clothes and hairstyles. However, I’m not sure I could handle the blood and gore, so maybe pre-Civil War?
Crystal: I love that era, but the more I research it, the more I am pleased I live today! That is for sure!
Thank you so much for visiting with us, Gina!
All right dear readers. Now it is your turn. Answer the fun question of the day and be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for an e-copy of Whither Shall I Go!
Just comment below AND use the Rafflecopter link below to enter. Entries are open Tuesday 12 AM (EST) 7/17/2018 and close on Monday, 7/23/2108, at 11:59 PM (EST). Winner will be announced on the Whither Shall I Go Review.
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