10 Fun Facts about Ginger’s Journal
The History of the Journal
1. I didn’t know when I started writing the Ginger Gold Mysteries that there would be a journal. When Ginger started hanging out in my head, I knew I wanted a woman who was ahead of her time ideologically, but I also needed her to have a set of skills that would be unique to women in the 1920s. The answer that came to me was to make her a former secret service agent during WW1. Now it made sense that she would now how to pick a lock, start an engine with a stocking, or was fluent in several languages.
2. Every time I needed Ginger to showcase a certain skill, I found I wanted to give context for when she learned it, so I would invent a situation she could’ve experienced during the Great War. Not only did I end up creating events, but also characters who first showed up in the 1920s, and then appeared in the journal timeline.
3. I knew I needed to keep track of these, rather random mentions of Ginger’s backstory as a secret agent so I wouldn’t lose continuity as the series went on. This was the beginning of what would become the Journal.
4. Once I started developing a backstory for Ginger that took place during the war years, I found I needed to develop her story line from before that. I introduced her late husband Daniel in Murder on the SS Rosa, but at the time, I hardly knew anything about him or how Ginger’s romance with him had unfolded. Once I decided to write her history, I began with her coming of age in Boston and the concept of Ginger’s Journal was born. I knew it wasn’t something I’d be getting professionally edited or that I would sell, but I thought fans of Ginger Gold would enjoy it and offered it for free to my newsletter subscribers as a thank-you.
How the Journal affected the writing of Ginger Gold
5. For the most part, I write the journal entries as I go along. I’m not hoarding entries and teasing my readers! There’s actually a lot of thought and research and time that ends up going into each one. (In fact, my husband Norm Strauss helps with a lot of that.)
6. I knew that writing each new mystery would direct what I’d enter into the journal, but what I didn’t expect was that sometimes the journal writing would direct what ends up in the books. Researching for the journal or just the development of a story idea while writing it sometime sparks a plot point that ends up in the next book. A big example of this happens in MURDER IN FRANCE.
7. The journal entry in this week’s newsletter entitled New Years Eve Disaster is a version of an event that turn’s Ginger’s life upside down. Even though the original draft was written first, the 1917 “disaster” becomes key to a crime in 1927 that Ginger and her good friend Haley Higgins are trying to solve.
The future of the Journal
8. New Years Eve Disaster takes place on January 31, 1917, which means the journal entries are heading into the final year of World War One. It’s revealed early in the first Ginger Gold Book, Murder on the SS Rosa, that Daniel didn’t survive the war, so some tender scenes are coming and at least one where Ginger and Daniel spend a day together, which we already know will be their last.
9. The ending is already written! The last scenes of the Journal are actually a prequel to Murder on the SS Rosa, when Ginger and Haley decide to take the steamship to England. It’ll be available exclusively to audio book listeners sometime in the spring. Stay tuned.
10. As for what I’ll do when the journal is finally completed, I’ll probably have it professionally edited and offer a revised and enhanced version for sale. Is that something you’d be interested in? Let me know in the comments.