About Gina Ardito:
I kill houseplants. There. Now you know one of my greatest shames. I’m not boasting. I just figure that if you’re reading this, you’re looking for more than how wonderful life is as a writer. So here are a few more of my flaws:
I sing all the time. I sing in the car. In the shower. While I’m grocery shopping. And I headbop while I sing. When I’m not singing, I talk to myself. Just ignore me and move on. You get used to it after a while.
I don’t eat my vegetables. Seriously. I’d rather have a cookie.
I’m extremely fair-skinned and could burn under a 60-watt light bulb.
I can’t sleep without background noise. If it’s too dark and too quiet, all I have are my thoughts. And even *I* don’t want to be alone with my thoughts.
Don’t ask me to Zumba, line dance, or march in the parade. I have absolutely no rhythm.
Regrets. I have more than a few.
My favorite activity is sleep. I don’t clock a lot of hours, but I powernap like a Persian cat and rejuvenate within ten minutes.
I consider shopping and dining out excellent therapy for anything wrong in my life.
My feet are always cold. Always. My husband claims it’s because I’m an alien sent to Earth to destroy him. (He might be right about that.)
Coming to my house for a visit? Unless you’ve given me plenty of advance notice, be prepared. My floor will not be vacuumed, there will be dishes in my sink, and I only make my bed when I change the sheets once a week (I’m climbing back into it ASAP. Why make it?) Housecleaning is not high on my priority list. Okay, to be totally honest, it’s not on the list at all.
I can resist anything…except ice cream.
Since this is our first date, I figure I’ve revealed enough secrets for now. But if you’ve read this bio and think I might be the author for you, pick up one of my books or stalk my website.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve been writing stories since I was six years old so I honestly can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a cast of characters in my head. I find my inspiration in the most mundane things: traffic jams, supermarket lines, a random comment I overhear between strangers, dreams. For me, writing is like breathing. I can’t *not* do it.
Tell us about your writing process.
I call myself a crack-addict writer. I write constantly. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. Even my kids know that, a lot of times when they’re talking to me, if I have a blank look on my face and just reply with, “Uh-huh,” I’m actually not with them; I’m with my characters in some make-believe place. I don’t plot. If I know how the story will end, I won’t finish it or I’ll rush the story. I need to be as surprised as my my readers by how the story unfolds. I work a day job so my writing time is limited. I make the most of what I have. I get up in the morning, print out the last chapter of my current WIP and take it with me to work. On breaks, downtime and lunch hours, I edit that chapter and add the next scene (in longhand). When I come home from work, I transfer my day’s notes into the document on my laptop and continue on until it’s time to cook dinner. After dinner, I’m right back to work on the manuscript until bedtime. The next day I begin the process all over again. I do edit as I go along so that when I finish my first draft, I actually only need to do minimal changes for continuity and loose ends before it’s sent off to my editor.
With twenty stories under my belt, I’d say the process works well. For me. Do I recommend anyone else write this way? Gawd, no!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I not only listen to my characters, I become my characters. I literally act out my scenes–in the shower, while stuck in traffic. I can’t tell you how many times a co-worker has come across me in the office lunchroom, talking to myself. They’re all used to it now. Almost every line of dialogue I write has been spoken by me in some context or another. Since I don’t plot, I’m often found wandering from room to room mumbling, “Okay, so XXX did YYY. What happens next?”
What advice would you give other writers?
Read. Write. Rinse. Repeat.
Read everything you can get your hands on. Read in your genre, outside your genre. Note the way sentences and paragraphs are strung together. Analyze what works for you as a reader and why.
Write every day. Stretch your imagination while doing the mundane writing task. Find your voice. The more you write, the stronger your voice will become.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I first published in the nineties, self-publishing was still in its infancy stages and looked down upon. Over the years, I watched indie publishing take off and when I had a manuscript that no traditional publishing house would touch (Eternally Yours) because of its “dangerous content,” I decided to dip my toe in the indie waters. I now do both: traditional and indie publishing and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take the best from both worlds.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Right now, I believe publishing is on the cusp of something huge. The indie world is flooded with those not yet ready for prime time, but there are some superstars mixed in who just haven’t found their audience or niche yet. Eventually, this will all balance out and the quality books will find their audience.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Sweet Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance (under the pen name, Katherine Brandon)
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print