Tina Ann Forkner’s debut novel is Ruby Among Us. Tina has graciously agreed to an interview and also to give away one of her books, so please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in the giveaway. Leave your name and your email in a manner where you won’t get spammed such as 123[at]456[dot]com. The drawing will be on February 5.
1. Where did you come up with the storyline for your book?
Ruby Among Us has been in the making for years. From the moment I stepped foot in the Sonoma Valley back in – I think it was 1993 – I was in love with the scenery. Everything else was inspired by various experiences that I either went through or saw others go through. That said, it’s all fictional.
2. The mother/daughter relationships throughout this story really got to the heart of my being because of my own issues in that area. What made you have the element of single parenting woven into your book?
I was a single mom for awhile and it was a journey that definitely played a big role in the novel. During my single time with my daughter, my eyes were opened to another side of things that I hadn’t been able to imagine before. In the church, in particular, I felt really out of place on Sunday mornings. I didn’t feel I fit into any niche and it was pretty lonely at times. My feelings about that journey definitely made their way into the story.
3. So how many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have three children, two boys and one girl. My step-sons are 9 and 11 while my daughter is 10. We stay busy with their ages all close together like that. It’s crazy, but in a fun kind of way.
4. What kind of schooling did you have in the way of writing?
I think college definitely helped. I skipped the traditional plan of becoming an English teacher and focused mostly on writing and literature. I didn’t know what I wanted to be, so I figured why waste my time on something I wasn’t sure about? Writing was the one thing I knew I wanted to do. Besides college, writing is its own kind of teaching. We can take all the classes we want to and if we don’t actually write, we won’t learn the craft.
5. Do you attend writing conferences? If so, how often?
I try to attend conferences at least once a year. Last year I attended three. I love conferences, but I have to admit that conferences are fun and really exhausting, so I always give myself permission to take naps.
6. What do you enjoy in your free time?
I love to Garden. I’m not very good at it in this climate, but I do my best. It’s not easy to grow things here, like it is for Kitty in my novel to grow things in Sacramento and the Sonoma Valley. We have very short summers.
7. Do you live in the area where the story took place? If not, is where you live similar to that in the story?
I did live in Sacramento for about five years while I was attending Sac State and spent a couple of weekends a month meandering through the Sonoma Valley as I visited family friends. Now I live in Wyoming. It’s a much different climate, as you can imagine.
8. Do you have any more books coming out soon?
Rose House comes out in May 2009. It’s a sort of spin-off of Ruby Among Us and is also set in the Sonoma Valley. I think readers will be happy to see Kitty from Ruby Among Us again in Rose House.
9. Where can we get a copy of your book and how can we keep up to date on your latest books?
Ruby Among Us is available at Christian Bookstores, stores like Barnes and Noble and also some independent stores. Just ask the clerk to order it for you if they don’t have it. It’s easy for them to get it in their stores. It’s also available at online stores like christianbook.com, Amazon and B&N.
If you want to get on my mailing list send me an email at atforkner [at] yahoo [.] com, find me on Facebook, or visit me at www.tinaannforkner.com