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NORA INTERVIEWS GINGER GARRETT


GINGER GARRETT BIO

Ginger Garrett is an expert on biblical women and the role beauty has played in women’s lives throughout time and culture. She is the author of several critically acclaimed books. Ginger’s first novel, Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther, was a finalist for the Christian Book Award, recognizing it as one of the top five inspirational novels for 2006.

Ginger is a popular speaker at women’s events, and a frequent radio and television guest. Ginger has been interviewed by media across the country including Fox News, The New York Times, FamilyNet Television, National Public Radio, Billy Graham’s Hour of Decision, Harvest Television, and more.

How did you get the idea for your this novel “The Shadow of Lions”? Did you come up with this title? If not what was your working title?

I tell this story in the back of the novel, but I was in a hotel room in Denver and had just been told I needed a new novel idea, asap. I was panicked, but as I prayed, I began to “see” an angel in my imagination. He described himself as The Scribe, and I knew I would write a series about him. Later, when I researched the idea, I realized the Bible does describe such an angel, and most ancient cultures believed he existed, too.

My original working title was “that novel.” I came up with the actual title about halfway through the writing.


What was your favorite scene from “The Shadow of Lions”? What was the most fun to write?

I loved the opening! I really wrestled with it to get it just right, though. The most fun to write was the last scene with the bad nurse, Mariskka. She’s going to lead the opening for book two in the series. She won’t be having a good day.

I know that you have written a few non-fiction books before you have written fiction, how is the preparation different? What is the same?


Nonfiction books need a lot more legal disclaimers, release forms signed, footnotes documented and double-checked, etc. They are a real pain and you have to be very organized or you’ll want to slap yourself silly.

Fiction needs a much longer “brewing” time. You collect all the facts, character ideas, story plot points, and let them rumble around in your imagination until something begins to take shape.


What was your favorite book to write so far? Why?

I loved writing Chosen because I had no idea what I was doing! Now, I am always aware of sales, marketing, editors, readers, store clerks, fiction teachers, critics, etc. It’s hard to keep all the fears at bay long enough to give myself freedom to work.


Is being an author everything you thought it would be? If not, what has been surprising to you?

Well, I don’t get to wear a beret and sip espresso at coffee bars while adoring fans snap my picture. I wear sweats, and buy coffee in bulk at the mini mart while my screaming children announce they have to go potty RIGHT NOW!

I am surprised at how very ordinary authors are. Most authors don’t see themselves as being any different from their neighbors and friends. It’s just a job.


I have heard that you host a TV program? Could you tell us how you started doing this for TV? what exactly is your show about? How do you prepare for your TV Show?

I did host a program last year that has gone off the air. Now, I am preparing a new TV series. We should know on August 15 if it will be funded or not. I have other opportunities opening up, so we’ll just have to see. TV work is tricky. Some people become very different if they know a camera is on. You have to focus on helping them give a great interview, so they’ll feel good later. I always want my guests to shine. TV work also means a lot of wardrobe changes, and heavy makeup, and being aware of what looks good on camera and what doesn’t. I don’t like that. In fact, I don’t like to see myself on camera at all, ever!


I know that you have small children how do you balance work and family life and find time to write?

I have to get up earlier, stay up later, and be militant about time management. When my kids are home, I don’t like to work. I like to play and bake cookies. (Chocolate chip cookies are always at our house! I eat them for breakfast.) For me, running has become more important this past year than ever. I have to run to release all this stress, so I can handle more work.


What was the scariest moment you have had as a writer? Please explain.

When Chosen was about to release, I panicked. I quit eating. I had to force water down my throat, just one little sip at a time. I was terrified, which later I learned was a pretty typical phase for a first-time author. But I lost weight very quickly over two weeks, which gave me a gallstone attack, which hurt my liver, which landed me in the hospital. I have scar marks from surgery. Now I roll my eyes when I think about that time. How silly was I?


Did you have a say in picking out the cover for either of your books? Was that a fun experience for you, why? If not, explain.

I do have a lot of input. The designer, John Hamilton, is amazing. We share images and ideas and then he comes up with something extraordinary. For the cover of In The Shadow of Lions, my assistant and babysitter, Sarah, picked out the dress. That was fun for her and me. The dress on the cover of the book is a recreation of the period, down to the handsewn pearls. It costs about $20,000.


Can you describe for me a moment in your life that you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt God was real? Not just a story you read in a book?

When I was in the first grade, I was in and out of the hospital several times. One night I came home and a fever hit me. It was too late to call the doctor, so my mom’s only option was to drive me back to the hospital, which was about an hour away. Mom thought if only I could get a good night’s sleep, the fever would break and I could turn the corner. So as I lie in bed, she prayed over me. I felt a surge of warm light hitting and entering my toes at the foot of the bed, and it slowly melted all the way through my body until it got to my head, and I fell asleep. It was such an indescribable feeling of peace and love. I knew it was God. And I was healed.


TOP THINGS YOU WANTED TO ASK GINGER BUT WERE AFRAID TO, SO I DID!!

Tea or Coffee? Cream or Sugar? What brand is your favorite?

Coffee!! Skim milk, no sugar. I like ANY brand of coffee, especially when it’s brought to me in bed. (big grin)

Did you have a favorite board game you liked to play as a kid? If so, why? Do you play it now with your kids?


I liked to roller skate and play with my dog. Every day! Each of my kids has Heelys, skates, skateboards, and we have two big dogs. My kids like to put on their skates, and hold the dog’s leash while he races down the street. It’s urban skiing.


Beach or Mountains?
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I love either. I always want to see a bear in the mountains and a shark at the beach, but have never seen either. We go to the beach every summer. My son and I are early risers, so we sneak out of the hotel room at dawn and I drink my coffee on the beach while he looks for sharks teeth.

What is the neatest place you have ever visited and why? What made it so neat, special, memorable for you?


I love visiting America! Boston is a magical city to me: all that history, and snow!, and orchards, and snow!, and museums. There is such a different feel in every American city. It’s also nice to avoid Customs, which takes forever.

If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money) to do anything you wanted to do; what would you do?

I would keep my life the same, but would take more trips. I want my kids to see many different cultures and cities. I think that’s a key to prevent bigotry and open our hearts and spirits.


What is your favorite type of music? Why?

Elvis. And after that, I love rock bands, old and new. I especially like rock bands that don’t take themselves seriously.


If you could interview or hang out with someone for a day who would you pick? Why?


I wish I could have my Grandad Phillips back. He was a machine gunner in WWII, and fought in Italy. He would never tell anyone what he had seen overseas in the war, and it haunted him all his life. We loved each other a great deal, but I knew he carried painful secrets. I would want to know about the war. I would want my children to understand the price of freedom, that even those who didn’t die, suffered, often for the rest of their lives.


What is your favorite Genre to read when you just want to escape into a book? Why?




I love to read anything! I grew up reading Barbara Cartland, TS Eliot, CS Lewis, and Edgar Allen Poe. What a strange mix. I tried to read Moby Dick, but I got so irritated by the first line that I threw the book away. Good grief, I thought. Choose a name that doesn’t sound like you’re talking with a mouth full of oatmeal.


If you had 24 hours to hang out with anyone dead or alive in the history of the world, what two people would you pick and why?

I wish I could spend time with Anne Boleyn, because so many writers have painted her as a hussy, when indeed she was a Christian. I would like to introduce her to a few people who have smeared her name, and let her set them straight.

I’d also like to meet the writer Flannery O’Connor, since she lived and died a few miles from my home here in Georgia. I don’t think she would be very talkative, but we could fry some green tomatoes and watch the sun set together.

Have you ever been on or would you like to go on a mission trip? If you have been where did you go? If you haven’t where would you like to go and what would you like to do?

I haven’t been on one. I’d like to go to Africa. My heart breaks for the children there. I send money, but that doesn’t feel like enough to me. I feel so helpless when I hear of the suffering. I would like to hold a child and pray for them in person.


Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? Why did you pick that one?

Hmmm…tough question! My son loves Star Wars, so I have Star Wars stuff everywhere. My coffee table is officially a space station right now for all the spacecraft from the movies. It’s not unusual to have a drone at dinner.

But I loved Lord of the Rings. Reading Tolkien’s work is so much fun, too.

Thanks Ginger for stopping by and letting us get to know you a little better. Are there any last comments you have for my readers and book club ladies.

"First, I want to say thanks for reading the interview! Hope it was fun for you. Second, I want to say thanks to Nora St. Laurent for making this site possible, and bringing together writers and readers. May we find fellowship with each other, encouragement in every book, and continued grace from our generous God!"

Thanks you for taking the time to share your heart with us. We are definately encouraged. We are also excited that you will be speaking to our book next year, it will be a real treat.

Until then. Blessings on your writing Ginger!! I look forward to seeing you real soon!

Nora :)

11 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed meeting Ginger at a club meeting at Borders. She is genuine and the Lord shines through. I look forward to this new series!

    Ginger Aster
    Suwanee, GA

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  2. What a interesting interview that was. Would love to be entered to win a copy of the book.It sounds excellent!

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  3. Thanks for the interesting interview. The book sounds great. Love the time period. Please enter me.

    Gail
    bookwurm70 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  4. Enjoyed the interview and the especially the video. Can't wait until our Medieval Meal!!!!

    Gail Mundy

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  5. Once again you have put together a great interview Nora. Thank you Ginger for taking the time to let others know more about you. You are a gifted writer and I'm glad to call you my friend. Can't wait to see you again at our book club.

    Sheryl Barnes

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  6. This was such an interesting interview with Ginger Garrett. I just began reading "In The Shadow of Lions" today. By the time I finished the 2nd chapter, I was hooked!

    Marlene Rauch

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  7. Thanks Nora and Ginger for a great interview! I'm looking forward to meeting Ginger at our March book club meeting. Just started the book, and I'm looking forward to it!

    Ann Kinamon

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  8. She sounds so interesting and I am loving the book we are reading. I can't wait to meet her and I hope she elaborates on some trade beauty secrets. I heard her interview with Kevin and Taylor on 104.7 and I've heard several women since call back asking for her name so that they can get that book. I;m so Excited see you Monday.

    Jill Puckett

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  9. I enjoyed reading this interview with Ginger Garrett.I'm looking forward to meeting Ginger at our book club Monday night.

    I found the information about the Bible and Anne Boleyn very enlightening.

    Can't wait for the book discussion.

    Carol

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