Friday, May 21, 2010

Interview with Tina E. Pinson

I am excited to introduce Tina E. Pinson to you all. Tina and I have exchanged critiques for over a year, and her mentorship has helped me climb to the next level in fiction craft elements such as deep point of view, sensory detail, and adding conflict as well as smoothing out some of my writing passages. She has an incredibly inventive mind with the type of descriptions and scenarios that grip you and carry you along with them in a powerful way. Her sense of humor and sparkling personality make her a joy to know.

Tina has a couple of books contracted with Desert Breeze, the first of which releases in June. In the Manor of the Ghost will be available as an e-book for download to your Kindle or Sony e-reader. It has a haunting and atmospheric cover image, hinting of the captivating story inside.
Tina has graciously agreed to come and answer a few questions about her books and her writing journey.

Welcome, Tina. Thank you so much for stopping in to greet our readers here at History Repeats Itself. Your books span genres from historical to contemporary to futuristic, with elements of romance, intrigue and even mystery. What your readers can expect in common to all of your books is a riveting storyline with fast-paced plotting and flesh-and-blood characters that pull you in and transport you to their worlds.

In the Manor of the Ghost is a historical, set after the American Civil War in the 1870's Minnesota. Touched by Mercy is also a historical set around the same time frame in Nebraska, and comes out in December 2010.

What is the first thing you remember that you did when you heard the news that Desert Breeze offered you a contract? Did your husband have to pick you up off the floor, or did you shriek with glee, or otherwise impair your editor’s auditory nerves?

The first thing I did, hmm… I stared at the email that said that Desert Breeze wanted to publish my books and I cried. Then I jumped around a bit, and cried some more on Hubby's shoulder.

I was vaguely familiar with Desert Breeze Publishers before you shared your wonderful news with me. Since then, I have heard the name just about everywhere I read online. They have some great authors in their stable with an exciting line-up of releases. Can you tell us a bit about Desert Breeze?

I pulled this from the Desert Breeze site. I figured they could explain it far better than me. Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. was conceived, developed and launched to provide a place for readers and authors to go where they can find non-erotica/non-erotic romance novels without having to search through the plethora of erotica currently offered.

You have been writing for several years, with many books and stories to your credit. I had the pleasure of reading the beginning chapters of your 2010 Rattler Contest finalist, Counting Tessa, and also the first half of Touched by Mercy. Both stories feature heroines full of strength and resilience, both of whom show a slightly stubborn streak and a big heart. I have a feeling that your fictional ladies reflect facets of their creator’s nature. Tell us about your personal journey and the things you’ve overcome to get to this moment as a published author. How did your faith help you arrive at your desired haven?

I started writing in elementary school. I actually wrote my first novel then. It was novel alright. I continued to write, working on short stories, poetry, songs and some longer stories. When my children were born, I cut back and didn't try to push as hard getting the stories done. I wondered if that was the right decision and decided with my husband in the Navy and gone a lot and three boys, I couldn't wrap my head around a story and give it the due attention it needed. Once the boys were in school, I picked it up with a bit more fervency. I sat down and wrote a 900 page novel in a few months time. Which promptly got lost in the computer when it fried on me. Thank heaven I made a hard copy and was able to plug it all in again.
My heroines carry a lot of my strength and resilience or perhaps the qualities I wished I had more of. There were many times I wanted to quit writing altogether, but couldn't because it's like breathing to me. I know I have a gift and I need to use it. Whether I see print or not.
After several rejections, and impatience, I decided to take matters in hand (got a bit ahead of myself ) and self- published a couple books. I learned quite a bit and out of it, found my way to ACFW, through the help Vickie McDonough. She reviewed my book and liked the story but knew I needed help with layout and editing on my stories. So I guess self- publishing wasn't a complete lost.
Anyway, long story short. I kept working, won some contests, kept getting rejections then finally got signed on with Desert Breeze.

What are the themes you most often write about? What message do you hope your readers will take away from reading your stories?

My themes usually deal with forgiveness and grace and overcoming insurmountable odds. And telling about a God who is bigger than any troubles, scars or sin my characters may have. He's a God of second chances and a God that carries us sometimes, and other's allows us to walk through valleys while guiding us. To help us grow. Having been a benefactor of that grace on many occasions, I want people to know and understand the love God has for them. I try not to be too preachy, I hope. I want to show how you get from Point A to Point B with God. It's a process and my characters get to go through it. A process that has been cathartic for me.

Has your family been supportive of your writing? Was your publishing contract an “ah-ha!” moment to them, or is it a victory for them as much as for you?

My family has been pretty supportive. My husband, Danny, encourages me and listens to my rants, ya know… I'll never make it… My stories are dumb… I wonder if I'll sell one book. He assures me that my books are wonderful. So much so he spent the money to self-publish. He wants me to see my potential, my God given gift and wants me to use it. He said he'd be my chauffeur when the time came and I was published. I'm just glad I get to lean on him and use his shoulder.
My children have big plans for my earnings, when and if I get some. Not really. They just tease me that since they were there at the beginning, and lived through cold meals and the repetition of stories told over and over, they should get a percentage.

Have you had mentors along the journey? Who are your favorite authors/books/movies? Does music or other artistic expression inspire your writing?

Back before I took a break from writing, I attended my first writer's conference with Susan Lenzkes, author of, When the Writing on the Wall is in Brown Crayon. She encouraged me to study the writing craft and use my gift. She always encouraged me to do it in my time, using my voice, invaluable information, especially when everyone has an idea about how your book should go. You need to know who you are as a writer. A writer needs to be true to who they are and their voice. I mentioned Vickie McDonough already, her help and encouragement was the thing I needed at the time to get on the right track again. Then there's our esteemed interviewer Kathleen, who has been a great source of encouragement and a great critique partner who I appreciate immensely.
As for music, certain songs will get in my head and make me think. But I usually dream about a book, or a scene that gives me inspiration for a story. I don't know that I have any favorite authors/books/or movies. I like Doris Day movies. But I'm pretty open to most genres in movies. Music and books as long as the story, tune catches me.

Can you tell us about In the Manor of the Ghost and what led you to write it? Would you characterize it as a romance, a love story, or a ghost story, or all of the above?

I would say In the Manor of the Ghost is all the above. It has romance, a love story and a ghost. But it's important to know that some of the houses we reside in aren't always made of lumber or stones. They are fashioned from our fears and are as thick around us as a wall might be. And some of the Ghosts we face are those fears, real or perceived they haunt us.
While the main scene for In the Manor of the Ghost does take place in a manor, the story was written with the spiritual aspect in mind as well. Because the greatest love stories come out of two people growing together through some of those things mentioned above, and growing together in the Lord. As for why I wanted to write it. I think where I was at in life pulled it out of me. Though like Kaitlin, I wondered how I fit, and had lost a loved one, (my father had passed away not long before), I actually identified more with Devlin in some aspects of the story. He's on journey to find himself.

Ditto for Touched by Mercy. Please give us a look at the dauntless Samantha and her quest to find her orphaned niece Angelina. I particularly liked the affectionate role that the nuns had in helping Samantha and the orphans. Do your characters have living counterparts who inspired you?

Touched By Mercy does have some characters, like the nuns who are taken of the real person in history. I think it gives a true picture of the time and what the nuns were trying to accomplish with the Orphan Trains. It also tells the story of one woman's journey to grace perhaps. Samantha comes from a background of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Having been molested as a child, I identify with Samantha even more than Kaitlin from In the Manor of the Ghost. The story was pretty much my rite of passage. Coming to a point where I believed God could find me lovely. Yes, I made it a bit harder on Samantha than myself, but only to show the beauty of God's grace on us, his arms around the brokenhearted. Samantha hadn't done anything wrong, as far as the molestation went, but she spent years believing she had. I went through long years of wondering like Samantha.
I think many of us have areas where life catches us, uses us and beyond no fault of our own, leaves us feeling dirty and unlovable. It literally spits us out. That's the nature of abuse. I wanted people to see that God knows exactly what happened. He hurts to see that his creation could be so cruel, and he loves us and wants to heal the scars. If we'll allow him to, he has gentle hands, strong arms and loving heart.
This link directs you to my website and will allow you to learn a bit more about me. By following the links Bits and Pieces and Touched By Mercy you can take a look at other books I'm working on.

How can our readers purchase a copy or learn more about you and your books?

You can find my book and by using the following link.
My Blogsite—

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share my books and myself.In honor of the release of In the Manor of the Ghost, I am running a contest for the entire month of June 2010. Giving away some pretty awesome gifts, if I must say so myself. Check out my blog for the particulars.

Thank you, Tina! I am excited to celebrate the debut of your wonderful books with you. May your characters be household names, and may the message God has laid on your heart to write find many hearts ready to connect with. Blessings, both to you and to your books.


  1. Great interview Kathy and Tina. I sure can relate to the ups and downs of writing and crying on one's hubby's shoulder. This is definitely not a career for a sissy. LOL. You mention Kathy as a crit partner. I have to put in, Kathy and I joined ACFW at the same time and met through a crit group that fizzled before it started. Kathy and I were the only two who stuck with it. She is an awesome critter. Helping me grow so much in my writing. Your books sound intriguing. I'm going to have to get my TBR pile whittled down so I can read them!

  2. Nice interview, ladies. I have to put IN THE MANOR OF THE GHOST on my to-be-read list!

  3. Thanks, Debbie Lynne and Janalyn!
    Ghost is one I really want to own, too. Tina has created a wonderful video trailer for it. I'll let her share the link when she pops in.

  4. Hello Everyone,

    Sorry I've taken so long to drop in today. Been busy at work, painting and then babysitting my granddaughter, who is most happy to be out of school for the summer.
    Here the link to the book trailer Kathleen spoke of.

    I appreciate you're coming by.

    So, Debbie, when did you and Kathleen join ACFW. I was in a really good critique group and when that kind of dropped off, looked for another one, but found little until Kathleen happened along and decided to be nice and read my stuff.

    Janalyn, I would love to In the Manor of the Ghost to be on your reading list. Come June I'll be doing a contest and giving some away. have to wait for it to come out.

    Only a week to go.

  5. Debbie Lynne and I both joined two years ago, this coming month. I wish I had known about ACFW sooner. It has made a huge difference for me.

  6. Wonderful interview Tina! Just a few more days!

  7. Great interview, ladies. Tina's books sound like stories I would be interested in.

  8. I've been in ACFW for several years, actually it was ACRW when I first started. Well the fact that I finaled in the Genesis (Noble Theme then)in 2003, gives a pretty good clue.

    It has helped being a group and learning.

    Shawna, not long till June 1st now. I'm not getting excited at all.

    Patti-- I do hope you are able to get my books and of course, I hope you find them interesting, and your life is touched and blessed.
    Thank you for stopping in.

  9. Tina,

    I'm so excited about the release of your books!! Woohoo!!

    Folks, Tina is an awesome writer. I read two of her books years ago, and the stories and characters have stuck with me all this time. Don't shy away from The Manor of the Ghost because of the word "ghost." This is a heart-tuggingly inciteful story, and you'll be glad you read it.

  10. Cogratulations, Tina, on persevering your way to multiple contracts. I wish you great success, and your books sound fully worthy of it.
    God bless. : )

  11. Vickie, thanks so much. You had a big hand in pushing me ahead in writing. You're stories are pretty good if I recall, having read some myself. Thanks for coming by.

  12. Appreciate the congrats, Linore. From your mouth to God's ears is all I can say. I pray the readers of my stories are touched just as much as this writer was.

  13. Tina will also be the feature author on Seekerville, June 18th.
    Don't miss it!
    Thanks everyone for dropping by, and special thanks to you, Tina, for being a wonderful guest. :)