Meet authors Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham!
Learn all about her writing process, her favorite romance tropes, and where she stands on a very important debate.
So read on for some behind the scenes info exclusive to Military Spouse!
Do you ever base your characters off of the people in your life?
Gina: I do! When I have child characters, I use phrases or sayings that my kids have said. In fact, the character of Nico is based off my 16-yr-old daughter who has the same Meyers-Briggs personality type as him.
What is the one book you could read over and over?
Gina: Every five years I re-read EMMA by Jane Austen, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee, and THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST by Anne Tyler. No matter how many times I read them, no matter that I know what happens, I still cry at the endings.
What advice would you give to your younger self about writing?
Gina: I started writing when pregnant with Child #3. He recently turned twenty. I would love to be able to tell my younger self to spend less time writing and more time enjoying life with my children and husband. Set time limits and stick to them. Write only when kids are at school.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?
Gina: My husband and I are members of the National Corvette Museum and several regional Corvette clubs. We’ve traveled all over the continental US to shows, building friendships with people of different ages, ethnicities, religions, and political leanings. During the NCM 25th Anniversary Caravan to Bowling Green, I met a gentleman from Hawaii. Several members of his club paid $2500 to ship their Corvettes from Hawaii to California just so they could participate in the caravan. I also met a Corvette enthusiast from Melbourne, Australia. Another of my fun things is Star Wars. Before Episode 9 releases, I’m hosting Gina’s Ultimate Star Wars party. I’ve also joined podcast with Girls With Sabers where we discussed Star Wars, romance genre and why it’s so popular, and why romance is essential to the Star Wars universe.
Describe your novel (series) in five words.
Becca: Mail order brides gone wrong.
If you could spend one day with any character from your book, who would it be?
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Becca: Brainstorming. I love the process of going down rabbit holes to see where they take us in plotting, trying to find ways to twist an expectation in a new way, and exploring motives for the various characters. I also happen to love figuring out villains. They always have a good reason for why they’re doing terrible things, and it’s interesting to hear them justify themselves.
Do you have a process for working through writer’s block?
Gina: Call Becca.
Becca: I make greeting cards and scrapbook pages. It’s a way for me to keep my brain actively creating but give it a break from word-related thinking. I have a twelve-foot long craft cabinet filled with stamps, paper, ribbons, and photos I cart from duty station to duty station. The movers always hate it. They constantly ask if it’s a built-in. When I say no, their next question is whether the last set of movers assembled it. Thank goodness I learned early on that whatever one set of movers disassembles the next set must assemble, and whatever the last set disassembled the next set must assemble. I call the cabinet my dependent because, whenever we move, we don’t have to worry about school districts and enough bedrooms for our kids. I need a wall long enough for my cabinet.
Do you have a favorite character trope to read? What about write?
Gina: Enemies to lovers is my favorite trope to read, which explains why I am such a huge Reylo fan. To write, I don’t think I have a favorite. I will confess my least favorite is a romance between a widow and her dead husband’s brother (even worse when they’re twins).
Do you do any hands-on research for your books? Have you had a favorite experience?
Becca: One of the best things about military life is the army has paid for all my hands-on research. When we lived in Oklahoma, I wrote two stories set there. I wrote one about North Pole, Alaska when we were stationed in Fairbanks at Fort Wainwright. And on our PCS from Oklahoma to Alaska, we passed right through Helena, MT where this series is set. My husband and I were wandering around trying to find the brothel owned by Chicago Joe and a man came outside to ask what we wanted. When we told him I was an author, he got very chatty, pointing out things like the old ice-house, governor’s mansion, and a Catholic school, all of which were in very close vicinity to the red-light district. His house had once been a brothel owned by one of the other successful Helena madams. He said it had over thirty doors so patrons could escape if ever there was a raid. That’s the kind of information you can’t get from a map!
Where do you fall on the bookmark vs dog-ear debate?
Gina: Use whatever available! Just please don’t break the paperback spines.
Becca: If you bought the book, dog-ear as much as you want. If you borrowed it, use a bookmark.