Ginny Baird is the author of a wonderful series of holiday romances, perfect for this season. She has written several novellas with a dash of humor in them. (Photo: Copyright Ginny Baird)

How did it all start and why did you pick romance?

I suppose I first got hooked on the notion of romantic writing when I read the classic novel Wuthering Heights in high school, but then I also discovered that love could be funny and I liked a love story that could make me laugh. When I started viewing romantic comedy films at the movies, I understood in a flash that genre was for me. That’s what I like most: sweet, emotional romance – with a dash of humor thrown in!

You write many Christmas stories about love and romance. Is Christmas one of your favorite holidays and how do you celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve?

I do love Christmas; there’s something very magical about that time of year. I feel it’s a time when people often pause and reflect on what’s important in their lives. It’s the season for feeling grateful for our blessings, too. What greater blessing than to finally encounter, perhaps after a period of uncertainty or heartbreak, the one true love of your life?

Christmas in our household is a busy affair. With six kids between us, my husband and I generally have a houseful, often with extras (such as boyfriends) included. We like to have a nice Christmas Eve meal, typically after attending a late afternoon church service. Then, we relax in front of the fire, watch a movie or play games. Christmas Day is very chill after that. We open gifts, munch on leftovers and generally hang out enjoying each other’s company.

Sometimes, I’m so inspired by the joys of the season, I whip out my laptop and begin to write! Just as I did with The Christmas Catch, which I started on December 25th 2010.

What will the third book of „The Holiday Bride“-series be about?

Book 3 in the Holiday Brides Series is titled Mistletoe in Maine and involves a bachelor dad who runs an inn in the rugged northwestern corner of that state. Paul Love’s only child (a son, Daniel) is soon heading to college, so Paul is planning to sell the inn and take an early retirement in Montreal. For many reasons of their own, Paul’s mom and Daniel are highly opposed to the idea of Paul moving and set out to place stumbling blocks in his way. One of these just happens to be Paul’s old high school sweetheart, the still beautiful and appealing Beth.

Meanwhile in Virginia, single mom Carol Baker has the goal of providing an old-fashioned, white Christmas for her two kids. She’s been divorced and the kids’ dad, sadly, hasn’t been the most attentive farther. So, Carol strikes out on this brave new adventure wanting to make her new, small nuclear family whole. She takes her children to the Love Inn in Maine, hoping for a happy holiday, and one during which they all might bond and get along more peacefully together.

Carol and Paul become attracted to each other, but there are a multitude of complications in the way, not the least of which is the fact that Paul is an innkeeper, and a very upstanding gentleman sort, to boot. Definitely not the type accustomed to hitting on his guests! This story has an “ensemble cast,” meaning there are different small love stories going on around the principal one. I like that the characters involved are of varying ages, as this shows that love can bloom fresh on the rose at any stage in the game.

I’ve just finished the first draft of Mistletoe in Maine and am working on revisions while coordinating with my editor. I’m really hoping to get this novella out this season as well, which a projected delivery date to initial outlets by December 2012.

How much research do you have to do for your novels?

Wow. This really varies. Some stories are totally love and life inspired, such as The Holiday Bride, which came to me in a creative burst and I had to sit down and write immediately. Others are sparked by trips that I’ve taken. And sometimes, I’ll specifically take a trip to research an upcoming story.

While I’ve discovered readers of my kind of story don’t particularly want to be overwhelmed by travelogue details, I understand it’s important to accurately portray the “feel” of the place I’m writing about. My husband and I generally take one couple’s trip a year. I’ll often use our adventure time to also complete research for stories. We’ve been to Santa Fe (stage for Santa Fe Fortune), for example and also Wyoming (setting for an upcoming book). We also took a jaunt through New England a few years ago, which provided good fodder for my novellas, The Christmas Catch and Mistletoe in Maine.

I’m further lucky to work with a couple of excellent editors who will point something out to me when a particular detail doesn’t sound right. I was blessed to learn my editor for The Christmas Catch (set in Vermont) actually has a house there, which ultimately proved helpful in many ways. Another editor was like a dream come true in researching specifics of certain kinds of bulls and horses (for How to Marry a Matador). Even after having lived in Spain myself, there were certain nuances I didn’t know. I cannot underscore enough the importance of having a solid editorial team in place. I adore my editors, and thank them greatly for saving me from any unnecessary embarrassments!

Many authors have chosen to go into the paranormal or Young Adult genre. If you had to switch to a different genre in the romance sector which would it be?

I actually began my writing career several years ago as a thriller novelist. I’ve also written a children’s middle reader mystery. While those were well received and won some awards, the market and distribution for those books weren’t there at the time. I’m currently exploring revamping my thriller writing with a new series, and under a different pen name. At the moment, though, I’m extra busy just being Ginny Baird!

How do you keep in touch with your fans? Are there any German fans who write you?

I welcome correspondence from readers and always respond to emails, which I’m happy to receive. I also have a Facebook and Twitter. Although I’m fairly new to social media so still learning my way around it! I do know I have German books sales and readers, but if any have written to me they haven’t identified themselves as that expressly. I’d love to hear from more folks from Germany. Please encourage them to write to me at GinnyBairdRomance@gmail.com or to post a note on my Facebook page.

I’m already a fan. 🙂 What hobbies do you have to spend your leisure time with?

During my alone time, I’m huge fan of crossword puzzles, but only the ones that come in the newspaper. (For some reason, I’ve never been much drawn to the ones in those crossword puzzle books.) My husband and I also bike a lot together, and enjoy cooking with one another as well. As a family, we play lots of word games. Two of our favorites are Scrabble and the dictionary game.

The dictionary game, if you don’t know it, is a fairy simple exercise using a standard dictionary. The person who’s “it” picks a random word out of the dictionary that everyone agrees they do not know, then folks make up false definitions and write these on slips of paper. The one who selected the word then reads all definitions out loud (including the real one) and players secretly vote – by a show of hands – on which definition they believe is the actual one. You win points by either guessing the true definition, or by duping others into believing your false definition is real. The dictionary cycles around, and everyone gets a turn selecting a new word. It’s a delightful game, and one in which I’ve never seen people laugh so hard. I actually played it with my birth family growing up (that’s where I learned it).

What books are your favorite ones and which do you like to give as a gift?

Oh! Well, I’m must admit to being a bit of a writer nerd. I can spend hours poring over the dictionary just for fun (and not just to bone up for the dictionary game) and also adore perusing The Character Naming Sourcebook by Writers Digest Books. You can find all sorts of great names (from any type of nationality) in that tome, and also learn what the name means. I’ve been using The Character Naming Sourcebook for years, and always check the names of my characters to ensure they are perfectly fitting. I mean, you wouldn’t cavalierly name a child, would you? And to me, that’s how my characters are. Very much like kids I’m bringing into the world. No matter if they’re six years old or seventy, I want their names to suit them.

For pleasure, I like reading nonfiction and pop psychology books. I’m a particular fan of Deborah Tannen and really enjoyed her book on male-female communication styles, You Just Don’t Understand. I tend to gift books in genres that people enjoy. I feel books are very personal, and what somebody likes is taste driven, so it’s rare that I’d surprise someone with a book just because I liked it. I’d have to really believe it’s something they’d want and like too. When family or friends hint they’d like a particular book for a particular occasion, no matter the topic, I’m always happy to oblige.

Would you like to tell your German fans something else?

Yes! Thank you for taking the time to read my long-winded replies to these wonderful interview questions. As you might guess, I’m very much into being a writer. Sometimes I just can’t stop myself.

In a serious way, I also want to wish everyone a very happy, upcoming holiday season. May yours be filled with lots of love and light, and also plenty of laughter.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview.

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