I’d like to welcome Ginny Swart to my website and I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Ginny Swart is one of the writers in the book By My Side. Her story in the book is titled “Talking to Tarzan”.
Could you tell us a little about the story?
It’s about a girl who is still getting over a bad divorce and she receives a text from some unknown man who calls her Jane. So she plays along and calls him Tarzan and they keep texting each other. He tells her he has had a difference of opinion with the management and he is leaving his job but not sorry to be going. Later it turns out that Tarzan is actually her boss in the bookstore where she works. And he offers her a job as manager of the new book store he will be opening, where he will stock the kind of classic books they both like. So life is going to become a lot more interesting and besides Jane Austen, there is a whiff of future romantic possibility in the air.
I’ve read that you’ve had over 800 stories published. That is a fantastic accomplishment. Congratulations!
Thank you! A lot of those stories were sold to 5 or 6 different magazines or anthologies in different countries. Different word count, different names. Writers can’t do that any more, these days a lot of publishers want you sign a contract and not sell your story anywhere else.
How do you keep the stories organized?
I have Excel spread sheets but when I started using that I actually didn’t know how Excel worked so it’s just a list of titles, word count, date subbed and to which magazine. By the time a friend tried to teach me how to use it efficiently it was too late – I had pages and pages of incorrect entries! It would be so nice to be able to tap in “Mystery” and come up with a whole list to ones Ive written, now I have remember the titles and do a search.
So sorry about the Excel problem. I struggle with computer technology myself.
I also read that you’ve written for textbooks. I have never considered textbooks for a possible market.
How did you tap into that market?
I didn’t set out to tap into that market. The publishers found my stories on-line in some way and asked if they could use them. My stuff is in textbooks in South Africa, America, Canada, Israel, and Thailand (don’t ask! They translate)
Could you explain how one writes for a textbook market?
The stories they used are all African in flavour so I suppose they might be a bit educational. I’ve never tried to teach a moral lesson in a story though, and I notice the editors delete all the swear words!
I see that you’ve been published by Linford Romance. I’m from the United States and I’ve never heard of that publisher.
Could you tell us if it is a difficult process to have work published by Linford Romance?
Linford Romance are lovely UK publishers who print large print books for elderly people who don’t like reading books in 12 pt. They used my serials which had been printed in the UK People’s Friend and turned them into books.
Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?
I’ve never thought about that! I like a lot of them – the darker the better!
How can readers learn more about you and your writing?
I have a website www.ginnyswart.com where there some of my African stories.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
I’m the short story tutor for the South African Writers College ( and the New Zealand and the UK colleges) We do eight modules which cover just about every angle of short story writing – plot, characterisation, dialogue etc and you’ll find the address on my website
Ginny, thank you for sharing your personal writing story with me and my website followers.