In this post, author Ginger Marcinkowski answers our questions on her writing process, developing voice, what it takes to be an indie author, and more! But first, a bit about her book:
Based on the true story of one family’s spiritual saga revealed through buttons that have been secreted away in an antique box, and that ultimately hold the key to each generation’s salvation.
Ginger Marcinkowski’s first novel, Run, River Currents featured Emily Evans, who as a girl shared a special understanding with her grandfather, John Polk. Despite the scars of her father’s abuse John taught her to look to the future in faith, promising Emily God’s grace can be seen even in the simplest thing—a button.
Years after her grandfather John’s death, the unexpected delivery of a decorated tin, still brimming with odd-colored buttons is delivered to Emily. The reappearance of the family buttons unlocks joyous memories and guides Emily to realize a secret her grandfather promised lay within the stories of that worn button box; the healing power of prayer. In The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance each button connects one generation to the next as their interrelated stories unfold across the timeless landscape of their spiritual journey.
Interview with Ginger
Can you offer a brief synopsis (can be the back cover blurb) of your current and/or previous books? If there are too many to list, then just give me an overview of what you’ve written so far.
Run, River Currents….
As the last of the mourners departed the ornate Catholic Church, Emily entered a side door unnoticed, walked to the coffin, and punched her dead father in the face. “You’ll never be dead enough,” she whispered. “Never.”
Determined to recover from the hands of a father who sexually abused her and an emotionally distant mother, twenty-seven-year-old Emily sets out to find the peace she’d lost in her youth. Can she overcome generations of abuse and open herself to see the power of unconditional love?
Set in the rich backwoods of New Brunswick, Canada, Run, River Currents is based on a true story of hurt, healing, love, and renewal of faith.
The Button Legacy-a Novella
From the back cover: The unexpected wedding gift of an old tin box and the button stories contained inside hold the secret of one family’s journey of faith.
These short stories are based on the true story of one family’s spiritual journey told through buttons that have been secreted away in an antique box, and that ultimately hold the key to each generation’s salvation.
The Button Legacy-Emily’s Inheritance:
“My Dearest Emily…
When you were a little girl, a change occurred in you. You lost a piece of yourself somewhere….But when you were here in Plaster Rock, you bloomed. The stories we told with these buttons made you smile. With your smile came hope.
Repeat the stories you’ve been told to your own children, never forgetting that God was there in every situation, in every story held inside this button box…”
Growing up, Emily Evans of Run, River Currents had always shared a special understanding with her grandfather, John Polk, even when she couldn’t fully see beyond the darkness of her father’s abuse. Yet John looked to the future in faith to what his God could do.
Years after her grandfather’s death, the unexpected delivery of the decorated tin, still brimming with odd-colored buttons, unlocks the joyous memories and lets Emily realize she has finally discovered the secret her grandfather promised lay within the stories of the worn button box.
Told through the eyes of a godly grandfather, The Button Box-Emily’s Inheritance laces together a godly heritage and the power of one man’s prayers, offering a lesson of how God’s grace can be seen even in the simplest thing—a button. This novel shares even more stories from The Button Legacy, a novella of Emily’s favorite stories.
Are you able/comfortable discussing your current WIP?
Yes. I am working on a new series of cozy mysteries related to travel. I spent many years as a travel agent and as a traveller, so I am loaded with material. The new works are based on a travel agency in Indiana. The main characters are all travel agents and each new mystery takes place when one of the characters is escorting a group to a tourist destination. They will be light-hearted with a strong sense of place, something I am known for.
Do you have any funny stories you’d like to tell about your experience as a writer?
I returned to the small town of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, Canada, where my first novel, Run, River Currents was set. I was to be speaking at a special event the town had set up for me. I was thrilled to “go home,” but at the same time a little hesitant, as the novel, Run, River Currents, was a family saga and everyone knew my grandparents, aunts, uncle, cousins, mom and dad. I arrived to a packed house. All the chairs were taken and people were standing against the wall. Folded arms and snippy smiles telegraphed that they were there for gossip. I prepared myself for a long night of explanations and attacks. My oldest sister, Sue, whose traits were used to form the character Stephanie, (my oldest sister, Peg, was the other,) sat in the audience. Her warm smile let me know I’d do just fine. I began the evening telling the group how important my family was to me and that although some might believe I hated my mother and father after reading the book that was the farthest thing from the truth. I loved my mother and had long ago forgiven my father. I went on to speak of the impact their small town had made on me and that those precious weekends, holidays and summers I had spent there had changed me. I spoke of the silent witness of my grandparents, aunt and uncle. At the end of the program, I waited hesitantly as each and every person stopped by to greet me. Every person apologized for judging me on the book, thinking I had come to slam the little town and the people who lived there. They shared story after story about my family with me.
Many of the stories they told me that night are included in the new release. I left feeling overwhelmed with love. I had been able to return to the only place of safety I had ever know and been accepted the way I was as a child. It was fantastic!
Do you have any hobbies or interests you’d like to discuss?
At the ripe old age of 60, I have begun running again. I am running 3 miles a day, 5 days a week. Actually, you might call it plodding, but I am on the road to running again. I had been a runner for over 28 years and have run 8 marathons, and done 11 triathlons, as well as bicycled, canoed, in the Boundary Waters, hiked the Grand Canyon and a part of the Appalachian Trail. Work got in the way and sucked the very life out of me for about 10 years. Now the feet are back beating the pavement once more. It feels so good! My other interest, as has been my whole life, is travel. I do it every chance I get! In the past six months I have been to Provence, France, Barcelona, Spain and jumped a 16-day Transatlantic cruise back home. In February, I was in Melbourne, Australia. I spend every dime I have on travel.
What is one thing you want your readers to know about you?
I guess because my works so far tend to be either very dark or heartwarming, people may think I am overly straight-laced. I’m not. Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and my private faith is very strong, but I am a fun-loving, sometimes overly opinionated, let the anger go kind of woman. I don’t have a high-minded opinion of myself, but I like flashy things. I’ve been to a lot of places and I’ve had the joy of staying at some pretty swanky places, but I grew up very poor and I know I am no better than anyone else. People also might like to know that I love to serve others more than I like being served. I have a tender heart, though at times others might not think so. I let cutting remarks roll off my back, but inside it breaks me. Laughter is a good cover for me. P.S. I drink too.
An Excerpt from The Button Legacy
The buttons buckled against the tin, sounding like marbles in a jar. Maureen’s hand stirred them for what seemed like an hour before she grasped a multicolored globe that reminded John of a fishing lure. Ellen tilted her head and stared at the button, a question knitted on her brow.
“I don’t recognize this one, John,” she said as Maureen dropped it into her mother’s hand. The button rolled in Ellen’s palm, the light from the fireplace piercing the glossy circle and sending flashes of color across the room.
“Well,” John slowly responded, allowing the anticipation of the coming story to rise, “this is a fishing story, girls.” John held out his hand, and Ellen dropped the button into his palm. “You do know that fishing stories might contain an untruth or two, don’t you?”
The girls giggled. Ellen rolled her eyes.
“My brother Frank and I were just about your age when Dad allowed us to fish the Tobique on our own for the first time.” The girls cuddled up near their mother, Maureen pulling a crocheted blanket over her feet before leaning into Ellen. “Yup, that was the summer I got my first fishing pole.”
The memory stuck in his mind like honey, sweet and savory. John had been standing near the front porch whittling a piece of birch bark into the shape of a canoe. He and his brother often raced the makeshift boats on the Tobique when they joined their father’s fly-fishing excursions for the trout that would become the evening meal. Frank was coming out of the barn, two handmade poles and a bucket in his right hand.
About the Author
Ginger Marcinkowski was born as one of eight siblings in northern Maine along the Canadian border, a setting that plays a prominent role in her novels, Run, River Currents and The Button Legacy-Emily’s Inheritance.
Her debut novel, Run, River Currents, was published in August 2012, was a 2012 semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Awards and a 2013 Kindle Book Award Finalist. The Button Legacy-Emily’s Inheritance, will be released in July 2014. An interesting fact about Ginger is that she is a million-mile flier with United Airlines and had been a multi-million dollar travel agent in the past. Her travel experience will be the catalyst for a new series of mysteries whose main characters are travel agents.