by Michelle Sutton
This month’s editor’s spotlight shines on an incredible woman. She’s smart, beautiful, talented and a true visionary. She loves Christian fiction and created a site to promote authors and showcase their novels to people who love to read. Is it any surprise then that Gina Holmes is near and dear to my heart? I admire her greatly, and besides her many talents, she is a terrific person (and humble, too, as you will see in a minute). So without further ado, here is more from Novel Journey founder, Gina Holmes.
Standing in line to vote in the presidential election, I found myself next to a woman who sighed as she eyed the crowd ahead of us. “I should have brought my book.”
My eyes dilated and my heart skipped a beat. “What are you reading?”
She mentioned a novel I’d never heard of. I asked her if it was any good. She said it was all right. I then asked if she’d read any really good books lately. She mentioned a few I’d read and enjoyed myself—The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, The Time Traveler’s Wife.
I nodded enthusiastically. “Those were great.” I told her she would probably enjoy The Glass Castle, Redeeming Love, and Peace Like a River. I beamed at the last two titles, because if you’ve read them, you know they are more than merely good stories. They point to the hope we have in Jesus.
It’s wonderful to read well-written, entertaining fiction . . . but to read wonderful, well-written, entertaining fiction that also changes lives? Bliss!
I wish I could say that when I started Novel Journey years ago, getting the word out about such fiction was my utmost goal, but honestly, furthering my non-existent career was closer to the truth.
Novel Journey began its, well, journey in summer of 2004 as First Novel Journey. Terry Whalin had written a post encouraging writers
to blog, and so I did. My bright idea was to chronicle what I thought would be a short, fabulously entertaining journey to earning my first book contract. (It’s not polite to laugh.)
After a while, I added a site meter to gauge just how enormous my audience was. Boy, was I humbled when I discovered I had three readers and one of them was me.
Okay, so maybe my journey wasn’t as fascinating as I’d originally thought. I considered shutting the site down as I performed a Google search for writer interviews to read. I spent a lot of time on the Web those days, reading how other authors had succeeded before me. I’m not always the brightest bulb, but mine eventually did come on.
If I was interested in author interviews, there was a good chance others would be too. How cool would it be to get the word out about Christian fiction while waiting for my turn? I figured even if I never got published, I would have at least accomplished something for the body of Christ.
And so First Novel Journey became Novel Journey. Posting interviews every day while trying to work full time, mother, and write became a little too much, and soon I brought on the brilliant minds of Jessica Dotta and Ane Mulligan. Later we had other friends join us: Mike Duran, Kelly Klepfer, Elizabeth Ludwig, S. Dionne Moore, Noel DeVries, Yvonne Anderson, Janet Rubin, and Marcia Laycock, who replaced her.
For reasons only God can fathom, He has chosen to bless this Web site with a large and faithful readership, and with amazing interview opportunities with superstars like Dean Koontz, Nicholas Sparks, Frank Peretti and countless others. He further blessed us with honors like making Writer’s Digest’s Top 101 Web sites for Writers list.
No one understands better than we do just how little responsible we are for Novel Journey’s success. However, since God is blessing us, we figure we’ll do our best to be faithful—wake up each day and arrange interviews, edit, and write.
We hope and pray God’s vision for the site is also ours. We continue to strive to get the word out about great Christian books, to encourage ourselves and peers to reach for greatness, to preach both to the choir and to those who would never knowingly pick up a Christian book. This is a tremendous duty we have been given—not only the Novel Journey team, but also all of us who love God, His people, and words.