Gina Hollands writes novels and novellas which cross the romance spectrum, from super sweet to sexy and saucy. Ahead of the release of her latest uplifting book, The Fall and Rise of Ronni Fairweather, published by Ruby Fiction she tells us what inspires her to write.
I often ask myself why I write, especially during the times when it seems like a foolish thing to do, such as when rejections come in or a less than generous review appears. Writing is not a hobby or a past-time; it’s hours and hours of commitment –– a way of life. Even when things go well – in the heady days of acceptances and five star reviews -– and don’t get me wrong, those are wonderful days -– can it justify the portion of life poured into it? You do only get one life, after all.
I’ve been writing fiction for around a decade now. In that time I could have built a successful business, made some good money, learned an instrument or a language, emigrated or achieved a PhD. Even though I’d like to do all those things, I haven’t, because I’ve invested that time and energy into writing. And I still don’t really know why. It’s not for the money (haha! guffaws every writer on the planet), or even the prospect of making any, as most authors don’t make nearly enough to constitute even a moderate living wage. So, then why?
Is it a love of writing? I do love writing, but I also love other things, such as dancing, reading books other people have written, shopping, cooking, and spending time with friends and family, but all these things have had to take a step back at times when I’ve been writing.
There must be a reason I still do it, unless I’ve completely lost the plot (no pun intended).
Needing an answer, I thought about this long and hard and finally realised why I write:
- A journey through imagination
Isn’t the human brain amazing? Think of what, as a species, we can do and that everyone has their individual talents. Some are gifted musicians, while others are high achievers in sport, academia, art, engineering, and so on. For me, I like to discover the extent of my imagination. I like to create worlds and characters which are born in my head and, with luck and persistence, get to live forever on the page for more people to get to know.
If reading is escapism, then writing is checking in at the 5* Escape Resort, doing whatever you please while you’re there, meeting whomever you want to meet, and staying there until you shut your laptop lid. Whenever you fancy a repeat visit, just open that lid again –– you don’t even need to do a covid test to get in! Going there means you have to sacrifice the other things you love for a while, but if you’ve ever been, you’ll know that it’s even better than Club Tropicana, and the drinks are free there.
- A hope I can bring joy to readers
There aren’t many things I love more than reading a good book. Family and friends, yes, but if it’s a really good book, then…it’s a close one. I feel sorry for people who haven’t discovered or get no joy from reading. What they miss out on!
The first book I remember falling in love with was a 1980s’ Nancy Drew novel. What joy, what magic, what excitement was this? I might still look like a gawky English schoolgirl stuck in a northern town on the outside, but on the inside, I was a crime-fighting, mystery-solving, titian-haired beauty who had a really hot boyfriend. I’d never been to America, never skied, never cornered a killer, but now I’d discovered Nancy, I could do it all.
If I can bring a glimmer of the joy that book –– and many others since –– brought me, to my readers, then it is worth every minute of word-grappling, bad-review-anxiety and sacrifice of other loves that it took to make it happen.
- An intellectual challenge
There is nothing quite so intricate as weaving together a plot, subplots, and character arcs, ensuring you have a satisfying inciting incident, grey moment, black moment, climax and denouement, all while maintaining structure, producing sufficient and believable dialogue and remaining within approximately 80,000 words. Phew! If I can achieve all that, I reckon I’m doing what I was born to do, even if it means those Spanish lessons have to wait till mañana.
Thank you for joining me on my blog, Gina, I’m sure many authors will agree with everything you have said, me included. Good luck with the new book. Mx
About Gina Hollands
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.
Get in touch with Gina and learn more about her books here:
What it says on the back of the book:
When going back to your roots is the only way forward …
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 memberships 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, Raegan is also confronted with the reality that she and her daughter, Sabrine, will have to make some major life 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 Raegan’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.
Buying link: Here