Thursday, February 10, 2011

Author Interview: Ginger Simpson, Author of Shortcomings

Joining us today is Ginger Simpson, author of Tender Return, Sarah's Journey, Odessa, and the upcoming YA novel, Shortcomings. We'll talk to Ginger today about her childhood, her writing, and what the future holds.

Welcome to our little home in the blogosphere, Ginger. It's great to have you with us. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I retired from the University of California in 2003 in order to devote more time to my writing. I'm multi-published with several small houses and have decided to bloom where I'm planted rather than seeking a contract with a bigger house. My grandson, Spencer, is autistic, and has been the biggest inspiration in my life. Watching him develop and improve has shown me that with perseverance, most hurdles aren’t all that tall.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a small town in California called Sunnymead. When my family moved there it was just a little hole in the wall that the main hwy ran through on the way to Arizona. Now it’s a booming metropolis known as Moreno Valley, and I went back for a visit recently and nothing looked familiar…even the old homes where I used to live.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

All of my fondest memories center on Christmas and my father. He was Jewish, and although he didn’t believe in the “reason for the season,” he was a bigger kid than the four he had. Every year we vowed to open our presents on Christmas morning, and every Christmas Eve he would suggest we open just ONE. It wasn’t long before we were sitting in a mass of paper and bows, having failed once again to be patient. *smile*

When did you begin writing?

I have always like writing, even if only business letters at work or Christmas letters to family. I loved working in Graduate Studies at the university because it gave me an opportunity to develop forms, publications, presentations, and show off my strengths.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I do my best writing at night, mainly because I’m a night person. I can only write when my character is yakking, so I’m sort of at the mercy of those voices in my head.

What is this book about?

Shortcomings is my first attempt at the YA genre. The story is about a young HS girl who is born with a deformity that rules her life and outlook.

What inspired you to write it?

I’m inspired by the characters in my head. Cindy showed up one day with a story to tell, and I wanted to hear it.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My husband, Kelly.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

Yes, I totally believe in “the more eyes, the better.” My friends in the historical fiction critique group on yahoo have been most helpful and instrumental in helping me strengthen my stories. Even when my WIP is not historical, I have a few friends from the group with whom I exchange chapters via email.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

If I was thirty or so, I would probably seek an agent, but I started writing for the love of it, and I’m sixty-five, so everything I accomplish on my own is a big reason for celebration. I don’t mean to be maudlin, but one never knows how long they have in this world. The competition is too keen for this old bird, and I know I can write. I’ve only received a few rejections, so that’s a good indicator.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Bumpy, but only because I was a novice and didn’t do my homework. I recently held a workshop at the Muse Online Conference entitled, The Pitfalls of Publishing. I’ve had three really rotten experiences, working on the forth but keeping low. If you learn something from the experience though, it wasn’t a total loss. I just urge everyone to at least Google your proposed target house.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Shortcomings will be released by MuseItUpPublishing in March. You can keep an eye on my author's page for news of this release and the other books I have under contract with them.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

You can find me all my videos, book covers, and blurbs on my newly-designed website at I also blog at

What is up next for you?

I have several books under contract with MuseItUp Publishing that will be coming out this year. Also coming in 2011 is my novel, The Locket, which will be published by Eternal Press.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you, Cheryl, for allowing me time and space on your blog.

Thanks for spending time with us today, Ginger. We wish you continued success.


1 comment:

Lorrie said...

Nice couple of posts, Ginger. I always enjoy learning more about you.

All of your short stories and novels are great reads. Seems whatever genre you try, you master quickly. I have to say though, your native American ones are my favorites.
Thanks for sharing with us.