Sunday, September 23, 2012

Interview with Ginger Marcinkowski @Grm55Grm

The Digital Ink Spot interviewed Ginger Marcinkowski. Marcinkowski was born in northern Maine along the Canadian border, a location that plays a prominent role in Run, River Currents.Her debut novel, Run, River Currents, was a 2012 semifinalist in the Association of Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Awards.
Ginger has been a public speaker and visiting lecturer for many years. She has been a professional reader for the James Jones First Novel Award ($10,000 prize) and is currently a judge for the East-West Writer's Contest. Her works have been awarded honorable mentions, and she has placed in several writing contests. She is looking forward to writing full-time in 2013.

The Digital Ink Spot: You say you are following your dream now. What brought about the change?
Ginger Marcinkowski: It’s the same story you hear from a lot of women. I wanted to support my husband and my son during the years they went to school. It was never a priority for me to have an education, and we both worked toward his career. The choices we made together in our youth included traveling. It was how I learned about the world and was my education. But writing was always in me, and the desire for a formal education to help me learn the craft of writing was something I really had wanted from a young age. Now I’m more mature and realize that the support I gave was not always the support I got in return. Not on purpose, mind you, but no one expected that I would ever, at this late age, even want to start college. Getting to this point was difficult. I had given up a piece of me to everyone but me. I just wanted it enough. It sounds a bit selfish, but now, at this point in my life, I wanted to treat “me” as well as I’ve treated others. So I’m off on a new part of my life!

The Digital Ink Spot: Your book, Run, River Currents, caught my attention from the first sentence in the description. Tell the readers about it.
Ginger Marcinkowski: I’ll give you the “back cover story” and then fill in a bit for you. 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 Evans seeks the peace she’d lost in her youth. Yet, shattered by the betrayal of those she was taught to respect and love, she fears that she may never overcome the devastating effects of generations of abuse. Set in the rich backwoods of New Brunswick, Canada, Run, River Currents is inspired by a true story of abuse, pain, and the struggle to find healing and forgiveness. First, Plaster Rock, New Brunswick is real and was the home of my grandparents and really was the only place I’ve ever called “home.”
The times I spent in that small town are as alive and vivid to me as if I were there right now. When I smell the scent of pine or see the flow of any river, I think of that place, how I ran the logs on that river with my siblings, taking our lives in our hands and not caring a lick! Second, a reader reads to learn, to understand, to be entertained, and to find hope. There is pain in everyone. It follows you and permeates every part of your life. Sometimes you can hide it, but it still affects everyone around you. Emily’s story of abuse is a tough one, but it’s a story that happens every day in every city of this country as well as around the world. I want people who have been abused or who are in relationships with people who have been abused to understand that there is hope for that pain and that they can break the cycle they were pulled into. Finally, the beauty of this story is that throughout everything that went on in Emily’s life, she had a place of solace, and even at a young age understood a “sense of place.”
That place is where the setting of this book is set, Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. I hope people see my love for the Tobique River and the power it held in giving life and death. I hope they understand the gentle people of this small town and see the influence that one person, Emily’s grandfather, had on her life. The love of just one person can be such a powerful influence, even if that influence occurred years earlier. So yes, this is a dark story, but who among us has had a perfect life? This story is just stark truth in a rich and beautiful setting with a lesson of hope and forgiveness. It’s a story that once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down until you’re done, and by the time you do, you’ll have felt a range of emotions you won’t soon forget.

The Digital Ink Spot: You say it’s based on a true story. How did you come across this story and why tell it?
Ginger Marcinkowski: You are right, the story is based on some true events from my own life. The story of Emily’s abuse, and the struggle she had throughout her life because of what her father had done to her, are based on fact. I did take great liberties with characters and settings, but the main events were true. Why tell the story? I guess, because that too is something that couldn’t be helped. Professors often tell new writers that everyone has a story inside of them that MUST be told before they can ever really write what they want to. I found that to be true. My first book, this book, started out to be a humorous biography about my mother, a serial wife and mother to eight children. Everyone loved her. But our house, like every home, had secrets. My mentor, Sara Pritchard, author of New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Crackpots, pulled this story out of me. She saw the pain I had long ago distanced myself from. With her prodding, I ended up telling the story that I had to tell.

The Digital Ink Spot: What authors do you love to read?
Ginger Marcinkowski: Well, besides Sarah’s hysterically funny books, Lately and Crackpots, I love Jeff Talarigo’s books, The Pearl Diver and The Ginsing Hunter, both beautiful stories that were poetically written. I also enjoy Laura Hillenbrand’s powerful character-driven books, Seabiscuit and Unbroken, any of Maeve Binchy’s Irish tales, Lenore Hart’s books—she does a fantastic job with historical characters in Becky and The Raven’s Bride—and a host of classic writers.

The Digital Ink Spot: What can readers expect from you in the future?
Ginger Marcinkowski: Right now I am working on the first book of a series whose main character is a travel agent. Here’s a teaser. When the husband of attorney Laura Eden dies unexpectedly, she withdraws from her life, blaming God for his death. When she resists help from coworkers, her prestigious law firm fires her. With no job, no savings, and no hope, the surprise arrival of an official letter presents her with the inheritance of her grandmother’s historical house in Pella, Iowa, her place of solace as a child. Laura’s unexpected arrival into Pella embroils her in a battle of eminent domain. A crooked attorney sets his mind on building a commercial project that includes bribing city officials and enforcing unwritten rules in an effort to take possession of the historical homes in the way of the project. The ensuing battle to save her new home without losing her life reopens the blind eye she had closed to her faith. The setting for the women’s fiction manuscript is Pella, Iowa, known for its Tulip Festival. The stories that follow will go from mystery to humor, but will be character and “sense of place” driven. I’m not going to the dark side anymore, if I can help it! Thanks for having me!

Readers May Connect with Ginger:

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Twitter: @grm55grm
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