Interview With Ginny Fite - Author of Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea

Check out my previous interview with Author Ginny Fite covering her journey as an author HERE!

I have been honoured to review a few of your books that were murder/mystery/thrillers. I think Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea is your first with a fantasy time travel theme. How did the inspiration for this new storyline come about?

The title Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea came from a jumble of words posted by a literary magazine! For fun, I’d selected each word in the order of its size from the word cloud. I had no  idea what story was connected to those words, but I’ve learned to wait.

Tooling around the Internet, I found a fragment of The Rapiuma (a long poem in Ugaritic, one of the most ancient written languages) that referred to the goddess Anath who had eyes of lapis lazuli—a deep blue semi-precious stone. I knew immediately my blue girl, Hana, was named for her rare eye color and that she was a Canaanite, probably a Phoenician, who would sail on the Mediterranean Sea.

Then I stumbled on stories written by women Iraq war veterans and knew Elena Labat, with her deep homesickness for a place she’d never been and her wounded heart, would tell me the story. For Elena and Hana to meet and help each other, one of them had to traverse 4,000 years. Elena’s the warrior. She had to be the one to travel to another time.

Book Review - HERE!
What challenges are there in writing a book based in 2 different eras? What research did you need to do to create a sense of reality to the Phoenician world of 4,000 to 6,000 years ago?

After I made the decision that two voices would tell the story and that the two timelines would intersect, the hard part of constructing the novel was done. The essential elements of Elena’s world are familiar to me. I read about the construction of the new One World Trade Center, the New York City police counter-terrorism unit, women in the military, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. I consulted a physician about the perils of delivering a baby in a public bathroom. I just had to select the right details to make her environment come alive on the page.

For Hana’s world, I did a fair amount of digging. Over a year, I collected amazing images of Bronze Age mosaics and frescoes from the ancient cities that thrived on the islands in the Mediterranean Sea in 2500 BCE. I found articles about architecture, geology, societies, religion, trade, textiles, shipping, and languages in Cyprus, Lebanon, and Crete.  

I briefly explored the oldest written languages when I needed Osnot to create a passport for Hana. I learned Phoenician DNA is still found in modern Mediterranean populations. I read about ancient glassblowing and even the major earthquakes and tsunamis that changed the landscape of the Mediterranean region. I do love research!

Ultimately, I realized that people are people, even if their religions and customs are different. Whether they live in huts or concrete buildings, they are driven by needs and wants, they experience love, loss, jealousy, anger, hatred, and sorrow. They laugh and cry, dance, and strike out against others. The human emotion and motivation we share creates the sense of reality.

One of the hardest things I think for new authors is understanding that you can't build success relying only on your friends and family - you have to build a readership that reaches outside your circle. Do you have any tips for new authors on how to connect with potential readers, build their core support group and keep in touch with fans?

You have that right. It’s very difficult to find your readership with hundreds of thousands of novels being published every year. I think you have to be persistent. Don’t expect one book to do it. Keep writing and writing. Do as much shoe-leather publicity as you can in your local area. Go to your libraries and bookstores and ask for a reading and signing. Join networks of writers that organize panels in libraries and bookstores. Say yes to every legitimate opportunity that gives you access to the public, such as speaking at book club meetings. Ask for reviews on book platforms, because the best advertising for a book is still one reader saying to another, “I loved this book.” And find ways to get your books out to reviewers, like you, Marilyn, who live far away from you so that news about your book can travel.

Being an author can be a roller coaster ride. Can you share one of the cherished highest moments you've had that carries you through the hard work moments?

People who come up to me and say, “I read your book,” or send me a note telling me they loved it—those moments make my year. Last year I was one of seven authors at a book signing with Nora Roberts at her bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland. I levitated when I got the invitation to participate in it. But when I was sitting there hoping that at least one person would want my signature in my book, I looked up to see a young woman clutching my novel in her hands, a grin on her face, and her eyes alight. She was looking at me like I was the author she had waited to meet her whole life. That moment will do me for life.

Your early work includes literary novels and even a book of poetry. Do you think at some point you will explore writing in either of these genres again?

Always! I suspect things go in cycles, maybe seven-year cycles. But if a poem comes to me, I take it. It’s always a gift. When I’m quite old and it’s difficult to focus for the amount of time a novel takes to write, I’m sure I’ll go back to poetry as a daily practice.

I have completed a literary novel written in linked short stories, like Olive Kitteridge. This year my novel was shortlisted for a national prize. Eight of the stories have been published in literary journals and one of the stories has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. It is completely different from every other novel I’ve written, and I would love to see what my readers think of it.

Can you share with readers what your next novel might be (or will be if already in development what it will be)?

I’m working on several novels in different stages of development.
  • Clarinda is a paranormal murder mystery with historical elements—a young widow moves to a remote town near the Chesapeake Bay and finds a seductive ghost waiting for her. 
  • Leave Everything You Know Behind is women’s fiction about a dying woman who transforms a stranger’s life.
  • Thoughts & Prayers is a YA novel, in collaboration with my writing group, about an accomplice’s guilt after a school shooting.
  • And tooling around in the back of my head with about 13,000 words on pages is a dystopian science fiction novel about a family searching for a safe place in a world that’s coming apart.
Connect with the Author: website  ~ facebook  ~ twitter


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