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Writing means different things to me. I'm a storyteller, a book editor, and a songwriter. For me, it's like breathing.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holly Jolly Blog Fest Week 4 with Regina Andrews

Welcome to our winter blog hop, The Holly Jolly Blog Fest. Each week, from December 2 to January 6, six authors answer two holiday related questions.
This week, my guest blogger is Regina Andrews who is one of the nicest people I know and a talented writer whose inspirational stories remind people that there can be happy endings.

Hi Kelley, and thank you so much for having me visit your blog this week.
Thanks, everyone for stopping by Kelley's blog to spend a bit of time getting to know me. I am Regina Andrews, Inspirational Author - but that sounds kind of stuffy, don't you think?
Let's try this -- everyone calls me Gina and I love happy endings, I love writing, I love romance and I love God, so naturally I write romance novels with an inspirational point of view. After all, what's life without a good dose of faith to carry us through those times when things are not exactly going the way we'd like them to be? I know I need it, most definitely.
During the day I am lucky enough to have a full-time writing job at a national jewelry company, specializing in high-end designer and Estate pieces - I'm the one writing what you read about all these one-of-a-kind treasures! Just last week, I wrote for a 7.45 ct. t.w. diamond engagement ring priced at $143,000! Now THAT'S a stocking-stuffer! I can only imagine the look on that very lucky lady's face when she opens the box...but I digress, sorry!
In my off time, I volunteer for the blind, work at the local children's hospital and sing my heart out in the church choir. My hubby and I are proud 'parents' of a semi-feral cat named Queenie who really is in charge of the whole house. She loves Christmas -- especially tinsel! -- and so do I, so let's get to the questions and kick off Week 4 of this fun and fabulous "Holly Jolly" blog tour!
How do you manage your writing/reading schedule with all the other activities around the holidays?
That's a wonderful question. I guess first of all, even though I am a disciplined writer, I have learned through experience that, personally, my creativity can't be scheduled. By that I mean while I keep my goals realistic and set deadlines for myself, I also know when to quit if it's just not there. Instead of forcing myself and getting exhausted and frustrated, that time is better spent, for me, daydreaming, re-charging my battery and enjoying life at the moment. So I'll go to a Christmas concert, for example, and thoroughly cleanse my writing palate for one evening, and return the next day (or later that night, usually!) completely renewed. As you can tell, then, I am not the type of writer who sets a daily word count quota. Oh, no.I'm not linear like that - although there are many days when I fervently wish I could be!! For instance, sometimes I'll write a scene, or even a few scenes, and then use them at another point in the book as the plot evolves from my basic outline. From my point of view, I draw a lot of energy and emotion from this time of year and all the activities. They are not distractions, rather, they are inspirations to me. On the one hand, it's such a frenzied, hectic time...and yet, it really is a time for inner reflection. Finding an individual balance between these two extremes enriches the whole season, for me; by extension, my writing also becomes more productive, efficient and enjoyable. I think a motivated writer will get it done, no matter what. It's interesting to hear how others get their work finished. Thank you for asking. :-)

How about traveling during the holidays: do you go visiting or have you in the past? What has that been like? Have there been any absent family members during the holidays ? How has it effected your writing; have you used any of that in your stories?

Oh, this question brings back such wonderful memories. When I was a youngster, we'd have a big Christmas dinner at our house, and then everyone would leave. My parents and sister and brother and I would clean up as dusk fell and then it would get dark (4 o'clock in the afternoon, but it felt like midnight). When everything was all set, my father would pile us all in the car and we'd drive all the way over to my aunt's house across town. This was quite an adventure, because we didn't go out much at night at all. It seemed like it took us forever to get there when I was little...but it not even a ten minute ride! The child's perspective is so different from the adult's, isn't it? Then, when we arrived at my aunt's, there was more feasting, all the cousins and aunts and uncles you hardly saw through the year...and singing around the piano and more silly fun and games. The worst year was when my brother was away in the Air Force in Taiwan. We waited all day for him to call, and when he finally did all we did was cry.
Now, we still stick close to home; my sister and I and our families live very close to each other, just like my mother and her sister, my aunt that we visited. But my parents are gone now, so is my brother, so are my aunt and uncle...yet they live on in our memories and our traditions. I have, in fact, used the theme of absence at Christmas in one of my books, "Glory of the Heart", which is Sterling Lakes Book Four and will be re-released very soon by WEE publishing as an ebook and in print. This book tells the story of how my father was away from my mother during WWII in a fictionalized account of letters found in an attic. Book five of the series, "Reflections of the Heart", which I am completing now, is also set at Christmas and deals with two sisters who are reunited after many years apart.
Thank you so much for hosting me, Kelley! You can find out more about me and my list of published books at: www.reginaandrews.com and
Light of the Heart is now available in Print here: http://www.writers-exchange.com/Light-of-the-Heart.html
* * * *
Please visit all our wonderful blog hop authors. Leave a comment and be automatically entered to win a fifty dollar AMAZON gift certificate!
Ann Tracy Marr - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts
Sharon Poppen - http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com
Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com
Regina Andrews - http://worldofgood-gina.blogspot.com/
Angie Dobson – www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com
Christine London -- www.christinelondon.com
Thanks for reading. Now leave a comment and then hop over to the other author's sites. Every comment gives you one more chance at winning that 50 dollar gift certificate!!

Thanks, Regina! I can be found over at Ann Tracy Marr’s blog this week.


Gina said...

Hi Kelley and thank you so much for the warm welcome to your lovely blog! I can't wait for our week together. It's going to be such great fun! And very special to share Christmas week with you :-)

I can't wait to read your books - and the cover art is amazing! Just beautiful. Talk to you again really soon. Hugs, Gina

joye said...

Well, everything is finished so just waiting for good ol Santa


Kelley Heckart said...

Hi Regina,

It's a pleasure having you as a guest on my blog this week.
I'm with you on using this time to re-charge my batteries. I've been taking notes and preparing to start writing after the holidays.
Thanks for sharing your Christmas memories. We tend to forget those special memories as we get older.

Merry Christas!

Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm said...

Growing up, we only had to travel as far as a couple of towns away. My aunt and uncle used to live in Bethel, Maine and I always wanted to visit there during the holidays. As I get older, and so does the body, we don't travel as much - just to the other side of town. Now it's all about the nieces families. It's fun watching the young ones opening their gifts and finding out which single gift holds their attention for the rest of the day.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Gina said...

Merry Christmas, Joye! It was great to hear from you, thank you for visiting. Hope Santa made all your dreams come true! ;-)

Gina said...

Hi Kelley, you're so right about preserving memories, and passing them along, too. Last night we went over some old family photographs with my nephews and they heard more about their family. Even though they weren't around for some of the memories, they can still share in them by listening to stories about those times gone past. (In fact, that gave me an idea I might use in my next book...)

Happy re-charging! Talk again soon :-)

Gina said...

Hi Lynn and thanks so much for visiting Kelley's blog today. I'm with you, it's much more relaxing to make a short run across town on Christmas, unless you can spend 10 days in the tropics - that's the kind of holiday travel I wouldn't mind, because it would be a nice long trip in great weather. Oh well, I can dream, right? Guess that's why I'm a writer lol. And I love seeing which gifts grab the children, too. That's always a surprise lol. Thanks again for visiting. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hugs :-)

Unknown said...

Gina, Loved your approach to writing. It's good advice. Also loved the tales of family gatherings. Even tho my parents are gone, my brother's family and mine always get together on Christmas day. He passed away in October, so while we had some sad mements, it was good for my kids to be with his kids and their families. Families - that is what the season is all about. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Christine London said...

I can relate to your story about husband and wife separated by war. My grandfather and his new bride were apart for over four years during WWI. He was a dough boy--a foot soldier in the European theatre. Had God not been watching over him, my father would never have been born.

Dad went to war at nineteen as a Navy pilot and did not meet mom until after the war--Northwestern University Chicago. Now that too would be a lovely story. He played piano in her sorority house whilst waiting for someone. As it turned out, Mom, a radio singer, was attracted to his playing and the rest, as they say, is history.

The horror of war makes for high stakes and romance too doesn't it? We should both write more tales inspired by our loved ones. :)

Thanks for sharing.

Christine London

Gail Pallotta said...

What an interesting interview. It was great learning a little more about Regina, one of my favorite people and writers.

Ben Smith said...

REGINA-looks like you have been busy again writing books etc.Most glad that too have surfaced again from other projects to continue your writing career.REGARDS BEN SMITH

Ben Smith said...

Kelly-it is wonderful to read your blog,such great authors.Regina is a great author for you to have on your blog.REGARDS BEN SMITH

pc said...

Thank you for sharing your writer's "day" and cleaning the palate, Regina! As I've gotten older, I've really come to appreciate the time I can spend with family and cherish those experiences and memories!
Have a wonderful 2013!

Gina said...

Dear Sharon, thank you for your comments. My thoughts are with you, dear friend. Hugs, Gina

Gina said...

Dear Christine, thank you for commenting and stopping in to visit. You really have a great wealth of life experience, and thank you for opening yourself up to us and letting us into your world. No wonder you are such a fantastic writer. Have a blessed 2013. Hugs, Regina

Gina said...

Gail, you are the most wonderful writer/girlfriend! Thank you for your loyalty and support. You have taken me through some dark days into the light. Luv you! Have a great 2013. Hugs, Regina

Gina said...

Thanks, Ben! Let me know what you think when you finish reading one of my books, ok? I appreciate your loyal support. Happy New Year! Regina

Gina said...

Hi PC and nice to meet you! Thanks for commenting :-) Glad you liked the post, and I look forward to hearing from you again. Hope you enjoy a great 2013 and all your dreams come true. Hugs, Regina

Gina said...

Kelley, thanks for having me this week, it was great! Happy NewYear!! Hugs, Regina