Author Archives: Ginger King

About Ginger King

Ginger writes Contemporary Women's Fiction with a kick! Her debut novel Diamond Road released in December 2014 and the next installment in this series is set to be published in 2015. She also is the author of Carolina Wine Country Cooking, a series of books about cooking with wines from the Carolina vines.

Having a Thing and Then The Loss of it by Ginger King

I recently received this interesting advice from a just for fun tarot card q&a.

Embrace change because it is the only game in town. Without the letting go, as the Death card represents, you would never get a chance to start over in life. This is a card of transition, not end, and its telling you to get past the fear of the end of the old so you can meet the new beginning with a clear mind. Change is the very thing that will keep you alive.

It really started me thinking about some of the characters in my Lost & Found Series.  Specifically Hope and Alex whom you will meet in different books of the series, and both are pretty good and the “moving on” part of life.  The letting go if you will from this reading.  Very many of the other characters and most people find endings hard to deal with.  “It’s the having of a thing and then the loss of it.” to crudely quote Charles Frazier’s blind man in Cold Mountain.

Another scene relevant to loss from that book which sticks with most readers is the conversation between Inman and Ada upon his return from war:

“She fit her head under his chin, and he could feel her weight settle into him. He held her tight and words spilled out of him without prior composition. And this time he made no effort to clamp them off. He told her about the first time he had looked on the back of her neck as she sat in the church pew. Of the feeling that had never let go of him since. He talked to her of the great waste of years between then and now. A long time gone. And it was pointless, he said, to think how those years could have been put to better use, for he could hardly have put them to worse. There was no recovering them now. You could grieve endlessly for the loss of time and the damage done therein. For the dead, and for your own lost self. But what the wisdom of the ages says is that we do well not to grieve on and on. And those old ones knew a thing or two and had some truth to tell, Inman said, for you can grieve your heart out and in the end you are still where you are. All your grief hasn’t changed a thing. What you have lost will not be returned to you. It will always be lost. You’re left with only your scars to mark the void. All you can choose to do is go on or not. But if you go on, it’s knowing you carry your scars with you. Nevertheless, over all those wasted years, he had held in his mind the wish to kiss her on the back of her neck, and now he had done it. There was a redemption of some kind, he believed, in such complete fulfillment of a desire so long deferred.”
Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

These two quotes are of particular importance in thinking about my own characters and my own life and sense of loss over people places, and times.  It also makes me think of how to frame these two characters differently so that the reader can also easily see that Hope and Alex are wired much differently than most of us in how they process loss.  Even if we later learn the sense of loss was still with them, even perhaps felt quite deeply, it was only their approach, their attitude that was different.

“You could grieve endlessly for the loss of time and the damage done therein.” – True and then what you have lost is the time that exists in the now of your life.  It is loss for the sake of loss, a doubling and magnifying of it that creeps in until one day you look back on how much time you gave over to your feelings of loss.

“…for you can grieve your heart out and in the end you are still where you are. All your grief hasn’t changed a thing. What you have lost will not be returned to you. It will always be lost. You’re left with only your scars to mark the void. – True again, but the scars of grief will help mold you into the new person who values and cherishes things, time spent, and people much more deeply than they did before.  

Here is a little sneak peek into how Hope deals with the loss of her father and the loss of her promised promotion.

“You mean you are still going to North Carolina?  Hope are you crazy.  Thomas promised you that promotion for two years and you broke your back, too many dates, and risked your health to do everything he asked to land this merger.  Now that it’s just about here, he drops the bomb that the promotion is going to Jake!”  Sera shook her head and I just kept packing up files from my office.  “I wouldn’t do it.  Of all the rotten things to do and bad times to do it.  For goodness sake you just got back to work from burying your dad!”

That last comment Sera didn’t need to utter and remind me of.  I knew how much I’d given up to get Southern Foods to even talk with us about the merger.  My sense of loss was more selfish than I wanted to admit but giving in and quitting now would give in to mountains of regret my heart couldn’t bear.  The loss of my dad was hard, nearly impossible to move on from but I knew I had to.  He was the only family I had left. If I let him down one more time I couldn’t live with myself.

“Sera, If I don’t continue this to the end, I have lost everything I missed time with my Dad for.  Don’t you see that in the end, that’s far worse than just accepting that Jake got the promotion and that I have to go do the fieldwork.  Besides, Jake’s deal is much sweeter than mine.  I guess Thomas made his mind up based on that, not what he thought I’d given up to get this tiny little company to turn over their pickles to us.”

I wanted to say more but doing so would let me fall into Sera’s thinking.  I had been promised the promotion but  I had also made promises that I hadn’t kept.  The promises to my father that went long overdue, and some ultimately not kept.  Letting this get the best of me would not be added to my list of regrets.

“Are you going to help me, or stand there feeling sorry for me Sera?  I need you to get a grip.  You will still be my assistant, and in the long run, you may even be promoted because of your work on this Southern Foods deal.  So shape up sister cause the work is just about to go full throttle.  Now take that box out to my car with a smile.”

So Hope’s attitude is much that of the elders Inman referred to in his talk with Ada.

“But what the wisdom of the ages says is that we do well not to grieve on and on. And those old ones knew a thing or two and had some truth to tell…”

“All you can choose to do is go on or not. But if you go on, it’s knowing you carry your scars with you.”

Hope made a decision not to add wasted time of worry and loss to impede her from taking the next step as upset as she was and will later be revealed in a much more intimate scene.  For her this was the only path she saw to walk on in her healing.

Ginger King is the author (and/or) contributor to more than four books.  The first publications are part of the Carolina Wine Country Cooking series which is all about cooking with wines from the Carolina Vines.  King began writing contemporary women’s fiction with her debut novel Diamond Road ~ December 2014.  Watch the book trailers here She likes her characters smart, funny and sweet with a kick!  Look for the second book in the Lost & Found series Hope in Carolina in 2015.

The books are available at Second Wind Publishing Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and many NC wineries and other retail and independent bookstore outlets.

Visit www.gingerkking.com for more information concerning upcoming speaking engagements, winery events, and news about the coming titles You may also find there information about the author’s upcoming release dates, contests, and previews by following her on social media and reading her blogs:

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Watch an interview with the author here

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Hope In Carolina by Ginger King

I’m looking forward to the release of my second novel, the second in a series called The Lost & Found Series.  I named it this because often times when we feel the most lost, we are about to be reclaimed.  Sometimes we reclaim ourselves, the core person we are deep within our soul, and sometimes it is that special someone, a lover, a friend, a family member who reclaims us, and brings us around to where we need to be.  Each of the stories in this series are set on loving in difficult situations.  Hope finds herself in the difficult situation of really horrible timing, and an enduring love affair with a man she cannot be with.  The reason?  Timing.  Horrible timing and poor decisions.  Who among us has not encountered this!

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Timing as they say is everything and even when it isn’t right, perfect or even flawed, love can still exist.  It lives in our minds and hearts as we go through the daily, weekly, and yearly journeys of our lives.  Those we love who cannot be with us are still with us and leave an indelible mark on our lives.  Ask anyone who has lost a spouse.  Ask someone about their first true love.  Yes, we change, and yes we move on, but sometimes we don’t.  Sometimes, the love is just as strong today as it was three, five or twenty-five years ago.  It’s not the basis of my story, but I love to read about elderly couples who reunite many many years after their lives separated.  Just makes my heart happy that all of those folks out there longing to be with their person, might eventually fall back into great timing.  Timing that epic love almost always has.

Senior+Couple

Here is a little snip-it from a chapter in Hope in Carolina where the memory of someone loved makes the characters feel connected, although that cannot be.

Hope remembers the cardinals

Hope walked away from the door frame after trying the light switch once more. There was still no power so she returned to the edge of the fireplace and stood as still as a mannequin staring into the flames. Her thoughts were centered on the storm, how much more snow would fall. Could she get out to the truck? How much gas was in the truck? Were the icy spots on the long descending drive way going to cause the truck to veer off the side of the hill? Too many questions, so she let her mind drift into the flames once more.

One more impossible situation she said out loud. She had met several impossible situations in her life, over half of them because of loving Drew. Tonight he was very present even though she had no idea where in the world he was. As the soft snow fell and the room turned cold from the lack of electricity, her only thoughts were about him.

She wondered if it was snowing in North Carolina and if he was still living and working with his grandparents at the vineyard. The snow is so beautiful there, she thought to herself. She loved the way the lines of the vines looked draped with the snow, and the way the birds would line up on the ends of the rows where there was just enough wire showing. This made her think of the cardinals at the vineyard guest house.

Her favorite bird had always been the cardinal, for many reasons, but mostly because she had been told they mate for life. It was the first animal that she had learned this about. Even if that was fact stretching, she still liked to believe it.  As a second grader her teacher put up a bird house just outside of the classroom window so the class could observe the birds.  Cardinals of every shape and size would work the schoolyard and tree line then late in the afternoon, a single pair would return to the bird house just before school let out of the day. Teacher had said that these were the mamma and daddy birds. The daddy was the bigger and brighter of the two, but Hope had always favored the nearly pink/grey females. They were good mothers, and they looked excited when the males would return, and stand on the edge of the bird house rail, on guard.

She felt warmer now sitting in front of the fire and she realized that she was getting sleepy, so she set her cup of Earl Gray tea down on the hearth, and pulled the blankets closer to her as she laid her head down on the fluffy pillow from the sofa.

When her eyes closed, she could see Drew standing in front of a fireplace, holding a log in one hand, his muscles bulging from the strain. This brought back memories of the first weekend they knew each other as more than just business partners.

She remembered how they had danced to the hand-held radio playing Lovely As You by Allison Kraus & Union Station. She fell in love with bluegrass music that night as well. Drew made her feel special for the first time in a really long time. She knew she was still special to him, wherever he was, and he to her even though they could never be together. To disrupt his life and his time with his children was not something she was willing to do. He was in the one place that she knew he would always be happy. In their lives, even if things surrounding them were troubled, he would be happier knowing them, watching them grow, and protecting them. Just like the male cardinal on the rail of the bird house.

She longed to be his pink/grey female, waiting for his return to their shared lifelong sanctuary, and loving their babies.  

Hands

Hope in Carolina a Lost & Found novel

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All These Years by Ginger King

It’s nice to look back over your life isn’t it? The places you’ve been, and the people you’ve known are all part of you, they all shape you in tiny or grand ways.   What if you lost the ability to understand your past choices because you had no memory?  There could still be consequences to face, the physical ramifications of our life choices don’t go away simply because we do not remember.

Accidents, temporary or permanent amnesia, or Alzheimer’s disease rob people of their memories more often than we could imagine, and yet their life goes on.  New choices forging a new daily existence.  Even in those who are very successfully moving forward with a new life have flashes of their old self.  Sometimes it’s  an image, but more times than not it is music that causes memory to come flooding back.  And it may be brief, and sometimes confusing, but the memory is still there, simply suppressed.

I loved my grandmother very much but for most of the time we knew one another, she didn’t recognize me.  Perhaps one day there will be a key to repairing lost connections in the minds of those whose memories seem to be lost forever.  Perhaps it will also be able to preserve the new memories made in the meantime.  Otherwise folks will still have memory loss.  Which is the true self?  Either way if it is regain old memories and dump new, wouldn’t you still then constantly wonder, “What have I been doing All these Years?”

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Without All the Love by Ginger King

My series The Lost and Found while not necessarily romance in genre, does contain some romance because the stories are all about loving in difficult situations.  Loving parents, running from a love we know is good for us.  Loving our friends who know us just about as well as we know ourselves.  Each book has a set of circumstances in the plot that are dramatic and thrilling (hopefully) on their own without romance or love.  So I ask myself why do even the best thrillers have some aspect of love and or romance? Is is because it is present even if what is experienced is the exact opposite of love?

Sometimes it is in the form of deep respect, an appreciation for an elder or mentor as in Jeffery Deaver’s The Bone Collector between Lincoln and Amelia.  Perhaps it is friendship and the lifelong bond it sometimes creates such as in the film The Sandlot as shown in the ending scene between Benny and Smalls.  Also there is familial love.  The kind that creates a good kind of crazy that only exists in the family dynamic.  Then there is heart wrenching family love found in books like Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper.  So very many stories would be less without all the love.  Even the Love Story is about so much more than the romantic love between Ollie and Jenny but in that story their love is the reason for nearly everything that happens apart from the fatherly love of Phil.  In other books, the love is a result, a complication, a game changer to the plot.  Sometimes it is a large part, and sometimes small, but it is there none the less.

In the first book of the Lost and Found series, Diamond Road the action and plot move along because of what happens to one of the main characters.  Her set of circumstances are neither romantic or driven by romance.  They are driven by her need to survive, to come out of those circumstances whole and happy.  In the second novel of the series (coming later this year) Hope in Carolina there is way more romance than in any of the other books.  It’s strategic.  These new main characters needed to have a bond that they are not willing to lose despite the odds stacked against them.  As their story completes itself in the third book of the series the plot is predominantly a drama and criminal thriller with lots of action inside and outside of a hospital and a courtroom.  But what gravity would all of that have on these two characters without all the love?

If you stop and ask yourself these same questions about your own life, you realize that if we write about humans, the kind we know, the kind we are then you must admit that every story is a love story to some degree.  Here is a short excerpt from Hope in Carolina that is romantic in nature.  It’s about how some of the details of the world around us slip away when we are in the embrace of that certain person who holds our heart in such a way as to make us believe we are one with them.

Hope asked, “I mean have you ever kissed someone and you can’t even remember what you did with your hands? I never knew what my hands were doing, where they were.  All I know was how he made me feel.  One hundred percent his, and I was so totally in the moment with his lips on mine or his teeth gently nibbling at my neck or jawline.  For the brief seconds we weren’t’ joined we were nose to nose with a slight giggle coming from one or the other of us like we knew something, held some prizze no one else could ever possibly understand.  I still don’t recall where my hands were most of the time.  It was like they melted away and his lips were all I knew.”

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Top Five Things New Authors Learn by Ginger King

This is not an official list.  It wasn’t put out by a major publication after significant research.  It’s just my list of the things I’m learning and re-learning as I’m still quite new as a writer.
1.  No one else can or will promote your book like you can.

No one is as passionate about what you’ve written as you are.  No one knows the story the way that you know it.  So who better to talk about it, do interviews, and make or approve videos to be used in promotion.  Problem is you may not have the skills or the time.

2. Getting published is only the first hurdle.
Now you have to get noticed.  There are so many titles out there that your book becomes a tiny pebble.  At least at first, you may feel like it is lost in the vastness.  Unless you’ve learned that you should have a promotions plan that begins six or nine months before your book is ever released, you may be scrambling to find the proper outlets for promotions.  Hopefully these will get you off to a running start.

3.  Getting reviews isn’t as easy as you think.

So a cadre of family and friends, local book clubs and online readers have purchased your book.  Everyone promises to give you an honest review but weeks later, you’re not finding anything out there on sites like Amazon, Goodreads, etc.  You have to circle back, ask again, and possibly ask new readers as well.  Hopefully you are developing a list of contacts and trusted advanced readers, folks who are really interested in your work will likely want to help you succeed.

4. Editing is best left to professional editors.
It’s your job to get the story recorded as completely as possible using the best grammar you can as you go.  When you re-read and edit it yourself, you will see words that are not there and you will see words correctly that are missed spellings.  It’s just how our brains work when we are intimately familiar with the writing.  So it’s best to leave the editing to fresh eyes who look through your work critically from the editing perspective.
5.  There’s no cookie cutter pattern for churning out books.
We new writers, tend to look at successful novelist in awe and see the number of books they’ve written.   Wonder then ensues as to their method for getting so many novels published in such a short time.  Each author has their own strategy and their own best time of day/place to work.  Each author has to understand their own deadlines and their own desires for when the book should be completed as well as knowing when to consider it completely finished.  It is easy to continually develop and deepen characters but we have to learn when to stop, when it satisfies, or leaves the reader yearning for more.  Then it’s complete. Just don’t use the method of someone else unless you’ve tested it and know it definitely works for you too.
So I’m learning myself as a new author and I’m really trying to get through the second novel by reminding myself of each of these things as I go.  The one thing I know for sure is that continuing to write is what feeds my spirit and makes me want to write even more.  I can learn the rest as I need to.  These five are my focus right now.

Wish me the best will ya?

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Broken Open ~ by Ginger King

You’ve no doubt heard the saying that sometimes when things are falling apart, they may be falling into place.  This is so true for the protagonist of my novel DIAMOND ROAD.  Jamie has so many ways her life is broken, and yet there is a sense of purpose in each break, if only she could see it.  That’s true of everyone’s life.  If we could look back and appreciate many of the heartache and troubles we’ve encountered for the stepping stones they are in our life, we could see that indeed sometimes we are broken ~ OPEN. Teaser poster One of Jamie’s breaking points is expressed in the following excerpt: “Jamie, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you cry.” He put the guitar down and took hers away. Then he knelt beside her and put his arms around her. He whispered, “I’m sorry.” His shoulder was bare in the tank top he was wearing and it fell exactly where her lips were. Instinctively she kissed it and said, “It’s not your fault.” “I just hate that I didn’t go back to stay.” She sobbed out loud and made such a mournful noise the likes of which he had never heard come from a human. It was guttural like a wild animal when they growl. “Jamie”, he held her by the arms and leaned back. “What in the world, baby what are you holding back? I know this isn’t just because of Link.” She held her head low and tried to get her breath, but she cried the words out. “Thayer wouldn’t let me go.” Josh knew he hated Thayer, for laying hands on his one true love but to prevent someone from going to basically their father’s funeral. That took a whole new level of bastardom. “What do you mean Jamie? He told you that you couldn’t go?” She said, again through tears and a vocal pattern that seemed to be forced out the back of her throat mingling with the tears. “He caught me before I got to the Pennsylvania line… I am so sorry. Oh God.” She doubled over as if in physical pain now. Josh tried to pull her up but it was difficult. She had melted down the front of the chair into his arms, and trying to stand with her was like making a toddler stand when they don’t want to. “Baby please stop crying.” he pleaded. They just leaned over into somewhat seated positions on the floor. He looked into her eyes and promised her that Link understood. He knew that Kansas represented death to her despite all of the happy memories that were there too.

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Here We Go by Ginger King

Well nerves or not, my debut novel, the first in a series (Lost and Found) is being released in just a little while.  Yes, I’m nervous about how it will be received, especially by my peers, and I promise to do better the next go around.  I have stories roaming around in my head, put down in notes, blurbs and all sorts of ways to remind me of their essence when I return to them.
The craft of writing better and better novels is something I hope to continue working on.  Because I want them to be better and better.  As writers, don’t we all want that?  I suppose its ingrained in us.  There’s a lot to be said for having the right background for being a fiction writer like maybe a fine arts degree but I was told when I started this endeavor without one that as long as I had good stories, others could help me develop the techniques of my craft. So ready or not here we go.  I’m sure I will get all sorts of reviews and I hope to learn from each and every one.  Look for Diamond Road coming soon.
kansas Wheat bale DIAMOND ROAD
Speaking of diamonds, Neil Diamond said, “Love on the rocks, ain’t no big surprise” and that’s so true.  We shouldn’t be surprised by heartache, but inevitably that is what happens.  It’s how we deal with it that can make all the difference.   My husband is an RC pilot and we always say about the planes, “They go up.  They come down, and the descent isn’t always graceful”.  The next book in the Lost and Found series, Hope In Carolina will involve loving in difficult situations and sometimes that’s not so graceful.  This Friday I found out that two friends were getting divorced and Saturday found out another two are getting married.  It highlighted how versatile the heart has to be sometimes, sticking it out or giving up.
There’s just so many times your heart can be broken before you learn how to recover faster than you did the last time.  Sounds cold I know, but it’s realistic.  If you are fortunate you will love a lot in your life.  And please don’t mistake my intention here.  You should never shut yourself off from love, but learning how to land safely when the “falling” is over becomes an extreme value when you find the heart that once soared now leaves you in pain.
SADNESSYou have to teach yourself what to do, what to think and who to spend your time with.  Because you will have to go to bed and sleep instead of tossing so you can actually function at work the next day.  When you come home, even if it’s toast and peanut butter you’ve gotta eat.  And getting your mind focused on something else is  imperative because if you aren’t careful you’ll extend your misery by reliving all of the good and the bad.
And let me finish by saying, I intellectually know all of this.  Putting it into practice, well I’ve never been really great at it.  So I guess here we go again.  Maybe these things will help the character Hope in my next book even if for me not so much.
Stay tuned!

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A New Adventure By Ginger King

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When I think about the characters in my soon to be released debut novel, I wish I could hang out with them, talk to them and take road trips with them.

Jamie is such a complex character but then again, most women are. What sets Jamie apart? Her past has shaped her character in significant ways she isn’t even fully aware of. She has been running from the emotions that make her fearful of getting to close to anyone else she might hurt. Even her new life thousands of miles from home has not allowed her to escape the past. In fact she may be repeating it. You’ve no doubt heard “You can’t go home again”. Well sometimes it’s the one place you need to get a fresh start.

Josh and Tyler are brothers who grew up on a farm near Jamie. Their lives have been intertwined with her by aviation, geography and tragedy. One brother has always chased Jamie and tried to protect her, sometimes even from herself. The other is a charismatic prankster who seems aloof but has a much deeper side. She ran from them both, and it will take both of them to save her.

I guess in a way in have had conversations with these folks and been on road trips with them. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and hope you will as well.

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La La It’s Love by Ginger K. King

It’s undeniably unique.  You know what phrases like the honeymoon stage, the warm and fuzzies, and all gooey inside are referring to even if you’ve never been in love. Even the words “in love” let us know that it is a state of being.  We can be in the state of love or out of it but loving is an action.  So what’s the difference?

Being in love is a euphoric adventure.  It can be quite a strong bonding experience, and it can be a strong aphrodisiac. Sometimes it masks things that are normally warning signs that the person may not be right for us, or could even be dangerous.

Loving by contrast is a much deeper connection between two people where the best interest of the other is the highest need.  This is not a state but a choice.  For many loving starts with the state of being in love.  For some the affair ends when the magic slows and trouble creeps in.

In my upcoming debut novel The Diamond Road I begin a series of books centered around loving in difficult situations.  We know that even with faith, the difficult can be made possible.  However faith only promises possible, not always easy.

 

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Trusting Yourself: Hearing Your Voice by Ginger King

 

Someone told me once that most anyone could learn the craft of writing in proper structure etc. but that not everyone could tell a good story.   That stuck with me and so the story always comes first in my writing.  It’s not always great writing but it is always me.  I believe we are enough different to each express something uniquely us in our writing and others are enough alike to see something that resonates with them.  So I keep reminding myself, trust the story you have and listen to your voice.  It is a unique part of you and it will likely resonate with someone else, but the story you have is the one you should tell.  Sometimes just telling the story you have can lead you into another story and so on and so on.

I am still learning, and hope I’m always learning what it takes to tell a better and better story.   Lately that has been mostly about trusting my instincts, and realizing what I like about others writing, and my own.  In a sense I am trying to separate myself enough from the work before editing to be my own “first reader”.

When writing I’m learning to listen, even sometimes read aloud the words I’ve committed to the page.  I hope that these notions translate into more than my writing, and by listening to the still small voice I can not only become a better writer but a better human being.

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