Today’s Avalon Authors Blog is happy to welcome Gina Ardito and her latest contemporary romance, Nobody’s Business, the second book in three Raine sisters a trilogy. Gina uses her word-weaving magic to blend her laugh-at-life humor with the seriousness of those wounded in
to create a story that will have you believing in the healing powers of love. And a special bonus today, anyone who leaves a comment by November 16th will be entered to win either a copy of Nobody’s Business or Nobody’s Darling (the first book in the series.) So two chances to win with one comment! Iraq
Before we get on with the interview, let’s learn a little bit more about Nobody’s Business:
After the death of her husband, professional competitive skier
Brooklyn Raine has shunned the press. Living as Lyn Hill, bed & breakfast owner in a quaint Vermont mountain town, Brooklyn keeps a low profile and avoids any link to her former celebrity status. Now, her famous older sister has arrived with her children and fiancé in tow, and the spotlight threatens to burn bright on Brooklyn once again.
Sports reporter Douglas Sawyer sustained a devastating loss in Iraq and no longer cares about his career, much less his future. At the insistence of friends and family, he becomes the first civilian participant in Ski-Hab, a winter sports rehabilitation program for war veterans and amputees. After he discovers that pushy Lyn Hill is actually former ski star
Brooklyn Raine, his instincts sense the perfect storyline to thrust him back into the journalism world. Despite interference from other skiers, the local cab driver, and Brooklyn herself, Doug is determined to chronicle the life of the former ski champ.
But when their secrets are revealed, each will face a hard choice. Will
Brooklyn and Doug abandon the easy trail to take a chance on the more challenging slope to love?
Gina, you’ve created the persona of an author who mixes love and laughter. Is Nobody’s Business written in that same style?
Absolutely! I'm known for taking very little in life seriously. So even when my stories involve serious subjects (like my hero's missing limb in Nobody's Business), I can't turn off the funny. And I'm a card-carrying, eternal, hopeless romantic.
Hahaha! If there were a Klutz Olympics, I'd be on the podium in every event. My husband and children, on the other hand, are avid skiers. Nobody's Darling (Book I of this series) was actually inspired by an event from a prior ski trip so it was only natural I return to that source for Book II. Since I hung up my skis years ago thanks to physical limitations, I spend most of our ski trips in the lodge with my laptop. One particular trip, I was near the ski school and happened to observe a class for skiers with special needs. I was so moved by the courage and determination of the students, I knew theirs was a story that had to be told.
What’s your favorite scene in Nobody’s Business?
Probably when Doug and Lyn first meet. I'm a "stream of consciousness" writer, meaning I have little or no idea what my characters will do chapter by chapter. Their actions are based solely on the personalities I've created for them. When I completed that particular scene, I sat back, stunned by Lyn's actions. And yet...she was right. My characters usually are.
I feel honored to have been give a sneak peak at the scene and all I can say is WOW, I didn’t see that coming! It was very powerful on many levels. While Doug’s challenges are obvious from the beginning, it wasn’t until they met that I realized Lyn comes into this book with a lot of deep emotional scars. I have to say that all of your characters are very well developed. Do you do deep character sketches before you begin a book?
While I tell other authors they *should* have character sketches and details before they start writing, I...um...don't. I have a general idea of what holds them back, but their fears and flaws tend to unfold in greater detail as I write their stories. This means I constantly revise and edit as I go along. I honestly don't advise anyone else to follow me off that cliff because, using this method, most people will wind up losing track of the plot. Since I have very little plot to work with when I start, the story unfolds as just as much of a surprise to me as it does to the reader.
After reading Nobody’s Darling (Avalon Romance, April 2011) I had a craving for Beef Bourguignon (I’ll probably fix it this weekend.) Does food play a role in all of your stories? If so, can you give me a grocery list so I can have all the ingredients on hand when I get hungry for the spotlight food in Nobody’s Business?
Meals do play heavily in my stories because I'm such a foodie myself. I have one book, A Little Slice of Heaven (published with The Wild Rose Press), that takes place entirely in a pizzeria. For Nobody's Business, you're going to want some seafood bisque and a panini. And just so you're ahead of the game, there's a family barbecue in the upcoming Nobody's Perfect (Avalon Romance coming February, 2012) with marinated turkey
broil (as well as a big wedding with some yummy, yummy sweets!) Shop now. :-) London
I’m hungry already! Seafood bisque would be perfect for a chilly fall day here…but back to the interview. In addition to the Nobody series, you have two other Avalon romances and a Wild Rose Press romance on your list of publishing credits. What’s next for you?
I have another historical, Echoes of Love, set for a 2012 release with The Wild Rose Press under my Katherine Brandon pen name. Currently, I'm working on another "sisters" story, this one about twin sisters who live in a quaint seaside resort town on
Long Island (think Montauk, if you're familiar with my little part of the world). I hope to have the first draft finished by this coming January.
Since you mentioned that you also write historical romances under the nom de plume Katherine Brandon, can you tell us why the pen name? Are you hiding from the IRS?
Nothing quite so glamorous. I just always felt the name Gina Ardito is more of a contemporary name and didn't fit the historical genre. Katherine Brandon is derived from the middle names of my children.
You’re a wife, a mother of two, a caretaker for a menagerie of pets (who we’ll talk about in a minute), you work, and were a founder and president of your local chapter of Romance Writers of America. When do you find time to write?
I'm an expert juggler of many tasks. I honestly believe the more "stuff" I have to complete, the more time I actually schedule to get things done. If I only have one or two things to take care of, I tend to procrastinate. My writing is like Jell-O. There's always room for writing! I only work part-time, and my children are old enough to be fairly self-sufficient (ages 20 and 14), which gives me a lot more writing time than most other moms. A good thing because I'd rather write than just about anything else--except maybe speak about writing (which I also do on a regular basis!)
What advice do you give to aspiring writers?
Read, absorb, write, learn. Never give up your dream.
In your bio, you mention that in addition to having two cats, you also have a “bionic dog”…does that mean he can knock the refrigerator over to get at the leftover roast beef? Seriously, what makes him special?
Ah, my sweet Kismet! She's a Labrador retriever (13 years old now): active, eager to please, and always up for a game of fetch. Several years ago, she tore her ACL (a ligament in the knee, often torn by athletes...and apparently,
Labrador retrievers!) and required surgery. Her follow up care included canine physical therapy, several days a week for about six weeks. For some reason, while I watched Kismet working with her physical therapist in a treadmill filled with water, the old Six Million Dollar Man opening would always run through my head: "We can rebuild him. We can make him stronger, faster..." She's been my bionic pup ever since.
It’s going to take me all day to get that Bionic music out of my head!
One last question for today. After all of your writing successes and all the interviews you’ve done, is there one question you wish an interviewer had asked you but never has? If so, what is it and what would your answer be?
"How does it feel to be on the NY Times bestseller list?" I've probably never been asked this because it hasn't happened...yet! But I'm betting my answer will be, "It feels fantastic!"
Great question! And great answer! And when you get there I’ll get to say, “I knew her when!” Thanks for your time today. I’m on the waiting list at the library for Nobody’s Business and I can’t wait to read it.
If you’d like to know more about Gina and her books, you can read her previous Avalon Authors blog by clicking here. To find links to her blog and how to follow her on Twitter or contact her, visit her website at www.ginaardito.com.
And don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for your own copy of Nobody’s Business or Nobody’s Darling.