On this journey as a blogger and writer, I take joy in admiring the work of other writers. I love reading, I get involved into the stories of the characters, and imagine their world as if I was there. That’s the beautiful thing of both writing and reading.
I also have been getting to know these writers, their work, and getting to know how they create these stories. I admire the process they have to work on as they deal with accomplishing that their stories get published, and work on being able to reach an audience that would enjoy those stories.
I have the great pleasure, and great personal honor, to present to you my next interview. I got in touch with author Ginny Baird, who has recently joined the group of authors with Hallmark Publishing.
Crown Media Holding, company owner of the Hallmark Channel network, have started publishing books under their own brand as Hallmark Publishing. They’ve been selecting some of the movies and converting the scripts to books. They also have started publishing original sweet romance stories, that we fans hope would be converted into movies.
Ginny Baird is the author of over 25 books, and she has been recognized as best selling author by the New York Times and the USA Today. Some of her titles include The Wedding Bells, Must Have Husband, The Christmas Catch, The House at Homecoming Cove and many more.
I found Ginny on social media, Twitter and Facebook, where she has actually been very supportive of my aspirations as a writer. When I started writing about the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, where I come from, she send me a very touching message:
“I love this post! Thank you for sharing such wonderful and informative details about the island and its history. I’m so glad you mentioned El Yunque! Not many people know about there being a rain forest in Puerto Rico. My mother’s family was from there and she grew up in San Juan. I spent many summers there as a child (until I was fourteen) and several other vacation times as well. My mom’s late sister was Carmen Aboy Valldejuli, writer of some famous cookbooks on Puerto Rican foods (her husband, Luis, provided the tropical drink sections). And, my mom’s late cousin was the actor Jose Ferrer, who was also from Puerto Rico and the first Hispanic to win an Oscar! He was honored on a US postage stamp some years later (after his death) and was father to actor Miguel Ferrer and several other children with his wife Rosemary Clooney. So, more famous Puerto Ricans some might have heard of! But you’d probably have to be of the older generation to recognize these names. LOL… Thanks again for the lovely blog! What an amazing tribute to Puerto Rico!”Ginny Baird on post “My beautiful Puerto Rico, this is where I come from”.
Ginny recently joined the family of Hallmark Publishing with her book An Unforgettable Christmas. I read the book, and I fell in love with the story! Without spoilers (I want everyone to read this one!), Ginny gave the lead character a Puerto Rican heritage, and incorporated parts of our traditions into the book. Living far from my family, from my country of origin, I personally try to keep this traditions alive. As a mom, I also do it to show and teach my kids parts of our Puerto Rican culture.
Here’s our conversation:
Ginny, welcome to Full of Coffee! Bienvenida! Before we continue, I already know you like coffee. Now tell me, how do you like it? (I love coffee, I had to ask!)
- For the record, I LOVE the name of your blog, and I do enjoy coffee, yes! In fact, I find it hard to get going in the mornings without it! At home we make it very strong, so I like to take mine with milk. When I go out though, I find the coffee tastes weak by comparison. So, at restaurants and many coffee shops I’ll usually drink it black.
I recently did a survey about coffee habits, and the results were (as I imagined) that majority of people who participated like coffee a great deal, started drinking coffee as a child, and were influenced by their family. Coming from a Puerto Rican family, did you drink coffee as a child?
- I occasionally had coffee as a child, but it was “con leche” or with steamed milk, and LOTS of sugar. Hahaha. I skip the sugar part now.
Where did you grow up? Do you have any siblings? I know you had mentioned before that you have Puerto Rican family, tell me about it.
- I was actually born in Delaware, but grew up mostly in a large town in North Carolina, as the youngest of five children. My late mom was from Puerto Rico, and I spent many childhood summers and other vacations traveling there with her to visit my grandmother, aunts and uncles, and cousins who lived in San Juan.
When did you decide to give professional writing a try? Did it affect your prior profession?
- I decided to give professional writing a try during different times in my life, and have held a variety of “day jobs” in between. I most recently worked as an English as a Second Language teacher in the county schools (grades K-12). That was before I began writing as “Ginny Baird”, and once those books started taking off, I left teaching to become a full-time writer, which was like a dream come true!
How has writing professionally affected your personal life?
- I’ve done a lot of independent publishing and that honestly is like a full-time job (and then some), because, in addition to writing the books, you have to contract editors and cover artists, and do all your own book formatting and marketing. When I was at the height of producing my self-published books, I easily worked 60-70+ hour weeks, and that was a bit crazy for the family. Now that I also have contracts with traditional publishers, I’m hoping to establish a more reasonable balance between my home life and work, and that was actually a huge incentive for me in going hybrid.
How was the experience of getting your first book published?
- I released a few spy-thrillers early on that were sold online through an Australian press. My first published book that I actually saw on a shelf was a romance through Kensington Publishing in year 2000. “Getting the call” from that editor was a really big moment for me. So incredibly validating and exciting!
You have over 25 novels/romances published! Then you joined the family of Hallmark Publishing writers! And your romance book An Unforgettable Christmas was published recently. Tell me about the process of writing this story, the idea, the end result. How was your story selected by Hallmark Publishing?
- An Unforgettable Christmas is based on a screenplay I wrote many years ago. I loved dusting off that old idea and breathing fresh life into it as a novel, because these characters are so special, and their journey too. It’s a very personal story for me, since the heroine and her family are Puerto Rican, and that is also my background.
- Regarding how it came to Hallmark, I’d initially submitted a different book to them under their open submissions. While it wasn’t quite the story for them, it did capture their attention and I was asked to submit something new. That new story was An Unforgettable Christmas, and I was so happy to have them publish it this year.
How has this experience been for you, now that the book is out?
- Oh, the experience has been so much fun! At times, even surreal in a way. I was invited to Los Angeles to appear on the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family TV show, and that entire trip was amazing. Everyone at Hallmark was so kind and welcoming, and I recorded a Facebook Live interview out there as well. To check Ginny’s Facebook live video, visit here https://www.facebook.com/HallmarkPublishing/videos/2557389951043767/
- It’s been very exciting finding An Unforgettable Christmas at book stores. It’s available widely: at Barnes & Noble, Target and Hallmark Gold Crown stores, and also at venues online like on Amazon. It’s in paperback, e-book, and audiobook too. So, lots of choices for readers or listeners, which I really love.
Could we expect any other story or book of yours to be published from Hallmark? (we sure hope so!)
- Regarding the future, I’ve got a couple of fun ideas I’m working on now, so fingers crossed that they’ll like those too, because I’d really love to publish with them again.
Thank you, Ginny!
- Thanks tons for your wonderful questions, Nydia. It was an honor chatting with you and getting to appear as a guest on your blog!
I have to say this has been an amazing experience for me. Being able to chat with Ginny and get an insight of how she manages to write and work with her ideas. has been a privilege. And I’m glad to bring this author to the attention of the readers of my blog. To check more about Ginny, please visit her website https://www.ginnybairdromance.com/, her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GinnyBairdRomance, and follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/ginnybaird.
I hope all my friends and followers get to read this book. The story is dear to my heart, as I am a Puerto Rican living in Florida. In the story, the lead character, Angie, lives with her child, her mom, and her grandmother. Any of you, living far or outside of their home country or hometown, who wants to keep the traditions they grew up with in the family, please read An Unforgettable Christmas. I’m sure you’re going to love it too.
And I hope you all enjoy this interview as much as I have enjoyed writing it. It’s a great deal for me to get to know all of these amazing writers.
I’ll keep reading, I’ll keep writing, I’ll keep dreaming! I have a few more projects pending to work on. Thanks for reading! It’s time for mi tacita de café. Salud!
Para versión en español, vea https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/11/28/una-tacita-de-cafe-con-la-autora-ginny-baird/