Author interview with Gina Henning

Today on Becca's Books, Gina Henning is here, chatting to me about her debut novel, and also about what it's like to be an author. 

B ~ Gina, for those who haven't yet heard of you, could you introduce yourself? 

G ~ Hello *waves to everyone and offers a round of drinks* Per my bio I live where the bluebonnets line the highways in Spring, but I would prefer the rock flower anemone from under the sea. That being said, I love scuba diving and all things ocean related, especially sharks. Diving with whale sharks is on my list. 

B ~ Your debut novel How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie sounds absolutely fabulous, unfortunately I haven't yet had the chance to read it! Could you tell us what it's about? Where did your inspiration for the story come from? 

G ~ Thank you, it's a story about a gal that's been presented with a culinary challenge that may lead to a hot romance. Thanksgiving is a holiday that I hold dear to my heart. The main character Lauren and her grandmother were very vivid in my mind immediately when this story began to develop and the plot played out accordingly. It just so happens that there is a pecan farm between the four hour long drive to visit my mother from my house, I have always been intrigued by it. 

B ~ Have you always wanted to be a writer? Has is it been a life long dream? What made you take the leap towards becoming a published author? 

G ~ I've always written poems, stories, plays in school and I have always enjoyed it. How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie is actually my second completed book. The first one I had been working on for over seven years, it was with this book I realised how important it was to have a beta/critique partner. 

B ~ Do you have a particular writing process that you stick to? Any challenges you had to overcome when writing? 

G ~ I'm a plantster. I have an idea of how things are going to go in the story, but I don't make much of an outline with the first draft as the characters sometimes have a different idea of how the story should go. After the first draft is complete and I have typed those two wonderful words "The End", I go back and read/edit the story. My challenges are time, never having enough (who does?) and sometimes I come to a point where something happens and I'm not sure what happens next, so I step away and do some daydreaming about it. 

B ~ How do you plan? 

G ~ I have a bulletin board where I plot out different parts of the story and I take character notes about jobs/hair colour, things of that nature to look back at. 

B ~ What's your favourite part of watching a story come together? 

G ~ I love when my characters say something that makes me swoon or laugh. 

B ~ Who are your biggest supporters? 

G ~ My family is wonderful and my friends, both in real life and via the net, are tremendously supportive. I have made so many fantastic connections online and I'm grateful for all of the amazing people I have met. 

B ~ Have you doubted yourself at any time? 

G ~ Of course, I doubted myself in many aspects of my life, I think it's all a part of human nature to be insecure. 

B ~ How did you celebrate publication day? 

G ~ My friends threw me a surprise party in the park and they brought champagne and donuts for us to enjoy while our kids played. My husband brought home a lovely bottle of wine, some red roses, and a beautiful card. 

B ~ Are there any authors who you would call role-models? 

G ~ Oh, there are so many authors that I look up to and am happy to have as friends. 

B ~ What motivates you the most?

G ~ I really enjoy diving into the story, I do my best to set aside time to write it and see how things develop. Once the story is finished then it's a big rush to the deadline with edits. 

B ~ What are your plans for the future regarding your writing? 

G ~ How to Bake the Perfect Christmas Cake releases on December 3, then the third book in the series will be released sometime during the first half of the year. I have a few other stories that I've written and hope to have published next year as well and I look forward to writing more stories that pop up in my head. 

B ~ How do you feel about bloggers and reviewers? How do you cope with negative reviews? 

G ~ I think bloggers and reviewers can be very helpful. I appreciate the time and effort they take to write their blogs and reviews. I have a blog on my website and understand how even from the formatting of a post can sometimes take an hour alone. All of the bloggers I've had contact with have been wonderful and I enjoy interacting with them. A review is a matter of opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs. 

B ~ How long did it take you to complete How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie? Were there any moments where you wanted to give up? 

G ~ I wrote the original version of How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie several years ago and it was about 19K word count. When I self-published it, the count was 34K, when it was published through Carina UK (Harlequin) it was right around 54K. My editor gave me such great feedback to bring the readers more into the story and I truly enjoyed writing in the additional scenes. I think we all have moments of self-doubt, but like the little train I continued to chug along the track. 

B ~ It it hard to fit writing in around general day-to-day life? 

G ~ Yes, the majority of my writing is done at night. If I'm working on a scene where I don't need to use a dual screen monitor, then I can take my boys outside to the park and play and get some writing done during the day. 

B ~ What's the best piece of advice you ever received? 

G ~ The best piece of advice I've ever received is "think beyond the moment," from my dad. 

B ~ What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

G ~ My advice would be to write every day even if it's an email or text to a friend and to find a great critique/beta partner. 

B ~ How does it feel knowing that people are reading your book? 

G ~ I think there is a mix of emotions. It's like baking a pie for Thanksgiving dinner, you've told everyone about it, they all sat down at the table to eat it, you worked really hard making it, but will they enjoy it? 

B ~ Can you make the perfect pecan pie? 

G ~ I use the recipe in the book and let's just say there is never any leftovers. 

B ~ Are you looking forward to the future? 

G ~ Always. 

~ Author Bio ~

Gina Henning currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean's surface, Gina likes to dance with her three boys and travel to exotic places like the grocery store with her husband. Her poor Schatzi is a mix between German Shepard and possibly pig. One of Gina's favourite pastimes is running. She recently completed her one-and-done marathon. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full. 

Gina Henning can be found on TwitterFacebook &

How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie ~ Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
How to Bake the Perfect Christmas Cake ~ Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

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