Guest Post With Gina HollandsMy first guest of 2022 is fellow Ruby Fiction author, Gina Hollands. Her latest novel, The Fall and Rise of Ronni Fairweather, will be published on January 31st and is described as '...an uplifting and inspirational story for the nerw year!
What do readers expect when they pick up a Gina Hollands book?
It depends which one they read! I’ve written in many different styles, and I don’t think any two are the same. I’ve got a little key on my website so readers can check out whether a book is steamy or sweet before they choose one. I aim to write for the enjoyment of readers, so always keep pace, accessibility and entertainment front of mind, and I hope this is obvious and consistent across my books.
What inspired you to write The Fall and Rise of Ronni Fairweather, your new novel?
I always approach a new novel with a theme. For The Fall and Rise of Ronni Fairweather, the theme was ‘starting over' and reaching a conclusion as to what’s most important in life. At the beginning of the book, the main character gets some terrible news, which is followed by a revelation that everything in her privileged life is not what it seemed. She finds herself having to start afresh, using her own brain and resourcefulness to get through. Despite her facing some challenging times, it’s an uplifting novel with some comedic moments.
Can you summarise your novel in just a few sentences?
I think the snippet on the front of the book sums it up nicely: when going back to your roots is the only way forward. The heroine has spent her whole life fighting against the kind of life she thought she was destined to live. She always desired something she perceived as better and strove to get it. When it all comes crashing down, it forces her to reconsider what’s important.
Can you say which came first, the characters or the story you wanted to tell?
Although I’m generally a thematic writer, The Fall and Rise of Ronni Fairweather actually started out life as a short story for a competition and the character was fully formed in my head. I didn’t win, sadly, but a friend of mine who’s also a writer suggested I work it into a novel. Two years and 95,000 words later, the novel was complete!
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Anyone who knows me would laugh at the thought that I could possibly be a pantser. I plan every last detail of life and that includes novel writing. I’m definitely not someone who leaves things to chance - too much could go wrong! Having said that, just because I have a plan doesn’t mean I always stick to it; I just feel more relaxed when I know I’m organised. I always allow my characters to write their own stories and if the plot isn’t working the way I planned, I’m flexible enough to take it in a different direction. Being too rigid with a plot when you know it’s wrong, just because you’ve planned it that way, is never going to work out well.
How would you like your readers to feel when they’ve finished reading The Fall and Rise of Ronni Fairweather?
Uplifted and inspired. Ronni has many flaws, which are evident. She goes on an incredible journey in spite of them and learns a lot about herself in the process. I hope readers think ‘if Ronni can do it, so can I’.
On a more general note, do you have a particular writing routine?
I wish I did - life would be a lot easier! I work in marketing four days a week and am currently doing an MA in crime writing, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for a routine. I grab weekends and the odd day off whenever I can to write. If I’m lucky enough to get away on holiday, then I spend hours writing. I get into the swing of planning my next chapter last thing at night, so it’s fresh in my head when I wake up the next morning. I have a quick breakfast, then get to work!
What are you currently working on?
My first crime novel, which is a serial killer thriller set in my hometown of Worthing. I’m hoping to have it finished by summer 2023.
A new novel, a new year. What are your wishes and goals for 2022?
Thank you, Gina. It's been great getting to know more about you and your writing. I hope your wishes come true this year.
BLURB FOR The Rise and Fall of Ronni Fairweather
Raegan Kent-walters is living the high life. Thanks to her husband's salary, she enjoys the elite Surrey housewife existence of luxury holidays, exclusive gym membershios and skinny lattes.
But then the high life comes crashing down, and, whilst reeling from the discovery that her husband wasn't the man she thought he was, Taegan is also confronted with the reality that she and her daughter, Sabrine, will have to make some like changes.
So, out goes the state-of-the-art Range Rover, and in comes the beat-up old Transit van to take them away, back to Taegan's roots in Yorkshire and the life she abandoned.
But perhaps by embracing who she used to be, Raegan can find the strength she never knew she had, building something unexpected - but truly special - to get her and Sabrine through to a brighter future.
BIO: Originally from Yorkshire, Gina now lives by the sea in West Sussex with her husband and son. When she’s not working in her job in marketing and PR, or writing her latest book, Gina can be found dancing everything from lindy hop to salsa, shopping (she loves clothes far too much for her own good), eating out (she hates washing up far too much for her own good), or relaxing, which generally involves reading a book someone else has written or indulging in her new hobby of learning to play the piano. She has a sneaky suspicion she may be a musical genius in the making, but isn’t about to give up the day job just yet.
Links on Amazon/other platforms:
Blog and website: www.ginahollands.co
FB Author page: www.facebook.com/ginahollands
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed finding out more about Gina. If you are a writer like her, after the two years we've had, what are your wishes and goals for 2022?
You can find out about me and my books on my Amazon Page. Her Mother's Secret is currently reduced to 99p.