GINA HOLMES BIO: Gina founded the influential literary blog, Novel Journey. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her husband and children in Southern Virginia. Her debut novel, Crossing Oceans, is set to release summer 2010 with Tyndale House Publishers. To learn more about her, visit: or


1. Did you have a say so in the cover of this book? I just loved it!
Thanks, me too! Yes, I actually did. That's not always the case that an author gets input, but Tyndale works hard to make their author's happy. I had said early on that I would have been unhappy with great big faces of characters on the cover. It's not what appeals to me when I'm looking for a book to read and I think of myself as my typical reader. I was a little surprised the first time I saw it because I'd really expected a lot of shades of blue, but once I got over my initial preconception, the pinks reminded me of the inside of a seashell and the mood was just perfect. The cover was just perfect. The only input I gave after Jennifer designed it was to ask for the little girl's hair to be different. It just didn't look like I pictured Isabella's crazy curls. They were happy to make the change and I couldn't be more pleased with my cover!

2. How much of you is in this story? Please explain. Did it make it harder or easier to write if you were in the story?


A lot of this story is me but in bits and pieces. I am, in some part, every one of those characters, but more than anyone, I'm a combination of Isabella and Jenny. My parents divorced when I was a baby and they did not maintain a good relationship so there was a lot of bickering and discension that hung thick in the air. I think when people get divorced, people should forget whose fault it is and be kind to each other for the children's sake. A few years back my husband asked me for a divorce. It was shattering in so many ways but more than anything I dealt with, was the guilt of feeling I'd failed somehow. If only I'd done this or that differently. Maybe if I dyed my hair blond or wasn't so introspective... than my children wouldn't have to suffer. I never wanted them to come from a broken home like I did. I know the consequences. Oh the guilt! During that dark time, I was writing Crossing Oceans and trying to work out my overwhelming desire to put my children's needs above my own.

4. What was your favorite scene to write in Crossing the Oceans? Why?

It would have to be a tie. I love the scene where Jenny shows up in David's garden and sees him for the first time after all those years. There's a lot of symbollism in that scene that maybe nobody but me will see, but I love that sort of thing! I also love the scene at the beach where Jenny tells Bella that she's getting ready to cross the ocean. It makes me cry every time I think of it.

5. You are the creator of a very successful blog called Novel Journey? Can you tell us why you started that blog and what it’s all about? Please answer the question of the sister site you created as well called Novel Reviews.

Novel Journey started as "First Novel Journey" and was supposed to tell the story of my fabulously entertaining journey to earning my first contract. The problem was the road to publication is loooong and boring. Nobody was reading it except me and two friends. I was getting ready to delete it when I decided that I could use it to get the word out about other novelists while I was waiting for my big break and Novel Journey was born.

Novel Journey's team is a wonderful mix of Christian writers. We love to rock the boat, encouraging folks in the industry to consider a new perspective, and encouraging writers to give their very best. More than anything though, it's our desire to introduce readers to the vast and wonderful range of choices there are to choose from in today's CBA.

Novel Reviews is really Kelly Klepfer's baby. I think more than anything, that site is our way of giving back to readers and novelists. It's a lot of work reading books and posting reviews but we know readers from all over the world come there to get suggestions and writers can pull quotes to help promote their books.

6. I know that your profession is a nurse. Can you tell us what you like most about nursing? What do you like least? I can see how your experience in this area helped you write parts book.

Nursing is a very tough profession. I've heard people say that being a writer is the world's toughest job but I'd beg to differ. Imagine working your tail end off for 12 or 16 hours, without so much as a pee break some days, doing a very technical job that if you mess up it could kill the patient, all the while a family member fussing at you because the patient spit up on his gown fifteen minutes ago and you haven't changed it yet and when you try to, the patient, quite confused, tries to claw your eyes out and someone called a cold blue in your other patient's room. It's not always like that, but enough of the days are to wear you down.

What do you like most about nursing?

What I love about it is that while writing is introspective, nursing doesn't allow you to be. You HAVE to think about other people and that's a very healthy thing. Writing let's me heal the spirit, but nursing sometimes allow me to heal the body and the soul. It's very rewarding. Plus it puts food on the table.

7. What is your passion about Christian Fiction? Why did you choose to write Christian Fiction?

Good question. I never would have thought I could write for the Christian market. I worried I didn't fit the ultra-conservative, dress down to your ankles, never touch a drop of wine, or miss a Sunday or Wednesday night service type. I was born to a single mother, have been abused, and divorced and was quite a wild woman in my young adult days. I didn't think I could ever be accepted.

That was until someone bought me a copy of Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love. It is, of course, the story of a prostitute who was molested as a child, is as far away from God as I could imagine anyone being and yet He pursued her relentlessly. I finished that book and literally hugged it. Now, THAT is what Christian fiction should be, I thought. That's the kind of thing I want to write! And so began my long journey to Crossing Oceans.

8. With all your interviews on Novel Journey and all the conferences you’ve attended what was the most helpful writing tip someone gave you?

Honestly, it was Bill Myers. He said, "Keep an open hand. Give freely and get freely," or something to that effect. Changed my life.


1. Someone has given you a ride in their time machine; you have the opportunity to visit any event in the history of the world. What two events would you want to visit and why?

The crucifiction because I want it burned on my soul what He did for me and sitting at Jesus' feet anytime He taught. Seeing His smile, His laugh, Hearing the voice that belongs to the words in the Bible. How cool would that be?!

2. What is a special quality, talent or event you’ve experienced that would surprise people? Please explain!

I have a very quick and dry wit. When people first meet me they assume I'm abrasive and mean but the opposite is really true when they get to know me. I just have an odd sense of humor and forget to smile when I'm kidding. I love to rib people and get ribbed in return. It's how we show love in New Jersey. Which is where I'm originally from.

3. If you could hang out or interview any TWO people in the history of the world (alive or dead—besides Jesus) who would you pick and what would you do?

I would love to hang out with Einstein. I just think he was so cool.

And let's see, C.S Lewis I think. I'd honestly just like to get a drink with them and talk about everything or nothing. Most of my pressing life questions have already been answered. Just being in the presence of greatness would be wonderful.

4. What was the last movie you saw in a theatre? Did you like it? What are your favorite movie treats? (if someone else is paying for them—Ha! Ha!)

I saw Where the Wild Things Are with my family. I didn't not like it. It was a weird movie and it made me feel icky but it was well done. We all kind of felt the same way about it. I guess it was true to the book though. Anarchy makes me nervous. My husband and I recently saw a great movie that we both loved. It was called "Departures", a foreign film with a great great message. He's not the subtitle type but he loved it.

5. Name four things you just wouldn’t want to live without?

Bible, Love, Family, Words

6. You find yourself in a life threatening situation and you need someone to save you—who would you pick and why? (besides Jesus) I can be anyone from a book, movie, real life—you are the author be creative?

My husband, Adam. He's my hero, so if I get to owe my life to anyone besides God or my parents, I want it to be him.

7. You have the opportunity to be a superhero for 48 hours? Who would you pick and why? What special powers would you pick?

I've always felt I got Spiderman. I mean, he's a goofball who's always screwing things up but his heart is in the right place and he never gives up.

If I were to make up my own superhero, I'd be some kind of nature girl. I'd get to wear a ring of flowers on my head and have ivy growing all over me and my special power would be to make harvests grow so people wouldn't be hungry. But I'd want to be young so people wouldn't call me "Mother" nature. Ha.


Thanks to everyone who read this far. If you're wondering if Crossing Oceans will appeal to you I think if you like Nicholas Sparks or Charles Martin or Karen Kingsbury, that maybe it'll be your kind of book. It has a subject matter that seems sad, and it is, but it's surprisingly hopeful and will make you laugh I hope as much as cry. I hope you'll check it out. Thanks so much for having me here Nora!

Gina it’s a delight to be featuring you and your book on my blog and in the store I work at. I think you are right in your explaination of your book. I did leave feeling hopeful. I’m so thrilled that you will be speaking “live” at my book club in Atlanta. It’s been exciting to go on this journey with you. I can’t wait for my ladies to meet you and read your new book.

Blessings on your writing journey. See you in Atlanta really soon!! I like the sound of that.


Nora :D




Thanks to everyone that stopped by to learn more about Gina, her new book. Many of you were so encouraging. Thanks so much.

Nora :D

****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open U.S. residents and Canadian residents only, odds of winning depend on number of entrants ***

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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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