In 1998, Gina Holmes began her career penning articles and short stories. In 2005 she 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
Gina, I’ve heard great buzz about your debut novel Crossing Oceans, which will be in stores May 2010. Tell us about the story.
Thanks so much, Sharon. I’ve been really blessed to have gotten all the attention for Crossing Oceans that I have. The story is a powerful one and seems to be resonating with a lot of folks whose opinions matter greatly to me. I’ve been very blessed.
Here’s a short summary:
Jenny Lucas swore she’d never go home again. But life has a way of upending even the best-laid plans. Now, years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank-toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella’s dad . . . who doesn’t yet know he has a daughter.
As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love to change everything—to heal old hurts, to bring new beginnings . . . even to overcome the impossible.
You can read the first chapter HERE.
Here are some of the early endorsements:
“Beautiful and heartfelt.”
Charles Martin, NYT bestselling author of Where the River Ends
“Poignant and unforgettable, CROSSING OCEANS will break your heart — and then put the pieces back together again. This is an uplifting and inspiring tale that reminds us to live every day as if it’s our last.” Tess Gerritsen, NYT Best-selling author.
“Moving, heart-rending and poignant, a stunning debut. Holmes returns us to what matters in a too-short life—what it really is to come home.” Tosca Lee, Author of Havah & Demon: A Memoir
“Gina Holmes explores the beauty, tenderness and tenacity of mother-love in Crossing Oceans with marvelous skill and insight. An outstanding debut from a gifted storyteller. Bravo!
Susan Meissner, Author of The Shape of Mercy
I’ve been a fan of Novel Journey for awhile now. What made you start the blog? Did you ever imagine NJ would become so influential?
Thanks, Sharon. I’m a fan as well. 🙂 I started the blog on the advice of a friend as part of building of the ever elusive platform. It started as First Novel Journey and was meant to chronicle my loooong and oh so exciting journey to publication. Well, it turned out it wasn’t the least bit interesting to anyone but me. I was ready to close up shop when I had the idea to use it to promote other authors while I awaited my big break. Once I took the focus off myself, God richly blessed it. Isn’t that just like Him?
What books are on your nightstand right now, and what made you choose them?
Let’s see: Charles Martin, Where the River Ends. I always keep a copy of his work nearby while I’m working. If I get blocked, I simply open a page and read and voila … inspiration. The guy’s a genius.
The Bible is always part of my repertoire for reasons I surely don’t need to explain to you as is My Utmost For His Highest. Great devotional. A classic.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn– also a classic. I’m painfully behind on those and try to slide them into my TBR (to be read) pile here and there to catch up. This is a wonderful book. Excellently written with so much detail and setting.
My husband and I have been reading A Prayer for Owen Meany. John Irving writes so differently than I do but he’s wonderful.
Anne Tyler’s Breathing Lessons. It’s the first book I’ve read by her but not the last. I picked it up at a Library sale for a quarter because I liked the cover and heard she was good. Man, good is an understatement. Some of the best characterization I’ve ever read. I turned my critique partner Ane Mulligan on to her and she’s a fan now too.
If Crossing Oceans was adapted into a movie, who could see playing the role of your main character, Jenny Lucas?
I honestly don’t know. I don’t sit around thinking about the movie version. Though I think it would make a fabulous movie of course. Let’s see, Naomi Watts? I’ll leave the casting up to the professionals.
What was the most frustrating challenge of learning to write well?
I had the hardest time learning to incorporate details, description and setting. Luckily for me, my critique partner Jessica Dotta is an incredibly awesome writer who excels in this area. She’ll be on the NYT list one of these days. She’s the most talented writer I’ve ever met.
Describe your ideal reading location—set the mood by telling us about the environment and ambiance.
This is a unique question I haven’t been asked before. Um… leaning against a big boulder on a secluded mountain off a hiking trail. The air is crisp and clean, I can hear the trickling of water gliding down stone in the distance, along with birds chirping, squirrels foraging and a woodpecker tapping against bark for his dinner.
Given a choice between fresh-cut flowers that are beautiful and melt-in-your-mouth chocolates that are sweet, which would you choose?
Finally an easy question! Wink. Definitely the flowers. Few things make me happier than surrounding myself with flowers. Plus they don’t make me fat. Don’t get me wrong though, I appreciate chocolate too but, yeah, definitely the flowers.