Today, I have the pleasure to have Gina Danna with me, talking about herself and her story, The Wicked North.
I read this book and if you want to do a smart thing and follow my example, be prepared to feel crazy mad with some of the people in it and, at times, hopeless. Jack and Emma have to face struggles that go above and beyond war, and more than once I was afraid they wouldn’t make it.
Now, let’s have a chat with Gina.
Hi Gina, and thank you for being here. Do you have a day job? If you do, what is it?
Sadly, yes. I work for Southwest Airlines. Love the job, hate the time-eater.
How do you keep from resenting your duties and every human’s sleeping requirement when you have to stop writing to take care of them?
I can’t. Especially the work part…
The biggest surprise you had after becoming a writer was…
Actually finishing and publishing a novel!
Do you have any hidden or uncommon talent that helps or makes it harder to write the story?
I’m a historian by education/career and a Civil War re-enactor, therefore I have a lot of research already done by years and years of college, my jobs as museum educator, curator and park guide, so I know too much and far not enough! And this has to be historically accurate. That to me is vital, because I do not want to betray this period wrong. I’m that way with all my eras, but this one in particular.
What you struggle the most with when you write the story? Research, plotting, keeping the people in it at bay?
Actually all of that. Plot maybe not as much but the research can be mindboggling!
Which kind of scenes are the hardest for you to write? Action, dialogue, sex?
For this book, the battle scenes. Its not easy to keep all the players on the deck, depicting what they’re doing and getting it right while making it make sense for the overall plot.
Do you always have the reins of the story or the people in it try to take over?
This one wasn’t too bad, but it’s a long saga so all get their say. Other books of mine? Not so…
What is your least favorite part of writing a story?
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing? Research or working out or going to see my horse. He’s the biggest help because I have to be totally into our time together and that frees my thoughts. It’s amazing how, whatever issues or dead ends I have in my story, my muse works the problems out when she’s free from distractions.
Your writing style in ten words or less.
I write by outline (mostly in my head) of the plot.
If you didn’t write, what would your job be?
Living history – either by teaching or working for the Park Service.
What do your friend and family think about your being a writer?
They think its cool but they don’t get it. They think I can sit down and spill hundreds of words in an hour, unaware sometimes, you’ll thrilled to finish a paragraph!
How long does it take to write a story?
Anywhere from 3 months to over a year. The Wicked North took close to a year on the first draft, due to all the research.
Pen or computer.
Music or silence.
Alone or in public.
Preferably alone (in public, like at work, I have to have earplugs to drown their voices out).
Routine or when inspiration struck
I’m hardly given that choice!
Outline or just write
Mentally outline (sometimes I’ve written it) and then write.
What is your work schedule like when you write a story?
My work schedule never changes and is very demanding. Frustrating! So got a laptop to take to work to be efficient and write on my breaks. J
You were stranded on a deserted island and can have only 2 people with you, which would they be? A) a person from your book B) a person from any other book
Person from my book J In WN, Jack most assuredly! <pant>
Do you drink or smoke?
I think sometimes a glass of wine is appropriate.
If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world, which would it be?
I’m torn here – I love British and South African (though, come on, it was colonized by the British) and Australian/New Zealand.
Do you have any scar? Where are they from?
I have a scar from gallbladder removal and a horseshoe shaped one (well hidden) from a life-threatening accident being thrown from a horse. Pretty scary, that one!
The Wicked North (Book I of Hearts Touched by Fire series)
Bound by duty and honor to wear the Union blue, a Southern-born West Point officer fights his own desires and the need to protect the woman he abandoned, he disobeys his orders to find her, as the Army of the Potomac marches toward her family’s home near Richmond.
She has the guts and willpower to protect her home from the hated Yankee aggressors, but when that traitor to the South appears at her door, she’s torn between wanting to shoot him and to be held in his arms again. Can she forgive him for their past indiscretion or does she turn him in to be executed, a traitor to both sides?
In the summer of 1862, her family’s plantation becomes the personal battle ground between them as deceit, betrayal and passion ignite the flames of love and hate that burn brighter than the roar of the guns and rivers of blood surrounding them.