• Gini Grossenbacher

    Author, American Historical Fiction


    Writing Instructor.


    Book Reviewer.




    Award-winning novelist and forensic historian Gini Grossenbacher is one of California’s most respected and sought-after creative writing coaches and educators. She is a prominent literacy activist and developed an award-winning and innovative curriculum for the teaching of literature and the language arts in school districts and private academies across Northern California. Gini has frequently appeared in print and broadcast media on the subject of great authors and the joys of historical fiction.


    She is the 2017 recipient of Hollywood Book Festival's Runner Up Award for Genre Fiction. She has also garnered the 2017 Jack London Service Award from the California Writers Club.


    After completing a BA in English at Lewis & Clark College, Gini completed postgraduate work in European history and Italian literature in Rome and Perugia, Italy. She gained her California Teaching Credential at CSUS Sacramento. She has an M.S. in Education from University of LaVerne, Los Angeles, and has completed post-graduate courses in editing from UC San Diego.


    Gini is also a lifelong historian with a special hands-on interest in the recovery of women’s narratives too often neglected in the stories nations and great cities tell about their origins. She has done in-place literary and historical research across five continents and wandered back alleys and elegant high streets from Bangkok and Kyoto to Singapore, from Mexico City and Martinique to Caracas, from London and Paris to Rome and the medieval hills and historic towns where Francis and Clare of Assisi reinvented European monasticism.


    Ms. Grossenbacher is represented by Cristina Deptula at Authors Large and Small.


    Memberships and Affiliations


    California Writer's Club, Sacramento Branch 

    Historical Novel Society

    Romance Writers of America 

    Sacramento Valley Rose

    Historical Writers of America

    Amherst Writers & Artists (Affiliate)

    Editorial Freelance Association




  • Gini Grossenbacher at the Auburn Christmas Fair

    Baltimore, 1849. Under a shadow of scandal, the young Irish Brianna Baird flees her home at Fells Point. She has little cash, and no worthwhile occupation, for what use is a seamstress’s talents in the raucous, bawdy city of New Orleans? Without family support, her only chance of survival is offered by brothel madam Nancy DeSalle, and the dashing but questionable gambler, Edward Spina, who falls in love with her. In a desperate alliance with these two members of society’s underbelly, Brianna embarks on a journey through the French Quarter’s debauched and glittering world. With the aid of her freedwoman Emma, she learns the ways of the Voodoo Queen.

    After gaining freedom for Emma’s enslaved husband and son, Brianna and Edward flee with them to San Francisco. There she becomes one of the most sought after madams in the gold rush parlor house trade. At last will Brianna become the mistress of her own destiny?


    Available at Amazon and fine bookstores everywhere.


    2017 Hollywood Book Festival Runner Up Award for Genre Fiction. This annual competition celebrating books that deserve greater recognition from the film, television game and multimedia communities



    5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant success

    By Merrick Hansen on November 14, 2017


    Grossenbacher does an incredible job of exploring a side of history that goes largely unspoken, as the story finds its footing in the potent and magnetic atmosphere that New Orleans provides. She is an author that is excellent at portraying a time long past and giving it new life. Brianna comes from innocence and grows into power, subverting sexuality to take the power back into her own hands.

    The scenery is lively and full, Grossenbacher easily carrying the reader through the 19th century underbelly of brothels, gambling, slavery - but shows that true power comes from using what has happened to us to succeed.


  • Testimonials

    Love in your heart isn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love till you give it away.  Oscar Hammerstein II


    Gini is one of the best authors I know at building character and setting. Her meticulous research allows her to pick just the right details to really make her places and people come alive.


    Ian Wilson, Writer, Sacramento, California

    April 6, 2016




    Gini writes careful, engaging, detailed stories/novels of people in historically-accurate fiction. Whether in the 1850s California, WWII Europe, or an American boarding house in the hard-scrabble Great Plains, her characters are engaging, spirited, and a bit saucy in their ways. If intrigue, deception, some amorous glances, a sharp mind and adventurous spirit, are your stuff, go find her books, and enjoy!


    Robert Pacholik

    President, Action-Adventure Press, Sacramento, California

    October 10, 2015


    Writing Instructor, Gini's AWA Workshops & Manuscript Review Groups

    The environment was very welcoming and positive from the very beginning. I felt like a community was established immediately. I felt "in the group" and welcomed. I want to keep writing. I felt like I could really do this--write. I want more of your guidance!

    --Bethany King, participant, Ashland Writers Retreat, Elk Grove Writers & Artists, October 2016


    I loved the setting, the Chanticleer B & B. The openness to write and to feel that what we wrote was valuable. What stayed with me was the knowledge that when we put our pen to the paper, I am always surprised at what comes out.

    --Kathleen Taylor, participant, Ashland Writers Retreat, Elk Grove Writers & Artists, October 2016.


    I like that you (Gini) are a professional writer and experienced writing teacher. What stays with me is the continuity of the class and the development of a "library of pieces." I love the mutual friendships and caring, and knowing the others' voices.

    --Amanda Williams, participant, Elk Grove Writers & Artists, May 2016


    About the Flash Fiction class: The subject "flash fiction" allowed me to use my imagination and become more comfortable writing fiction pieces. What was strong was learning to write quickly--no time to over-analyze or re-do, over-think, etc. Very valuable! I learned to make up and write stories quickly and to let my imagination grow with each new piece.

    --Kris Schoeller, participant, Elk Grove Writers & Artists, May 2016


    Flash fiction taught me to take out unnecessary words. My writing became stronger in fewer words. Flash fiction forces you to keep the pen moving. It is amazing what can escape your brain and land on that blank piece of paper. I would like to take another flash fiction class.

    --Kathleen Torian Taylor, participant, Elk Grove Writers & Artists, May 2016


    This has been a fun class. Learning about flash fiction and reducing a short story, still having all the elements of what the writer wants to convey. I liked the You-Tube films, the book with the many sample stories, and I liked sharing our writings the most.

    --Lorna Rae Warrington, participant, Elk Grove Writers & Artists, May 2016




    I have belonged to various critique groups over sixteen years of writing fiction, but Gini Grossenbacher's "Writers of Elk Grove," an Amherst Writers and Artists Affiliate, has been the most beneficial due to her professionalism and leadership. Each month, my gratitude increases for the honest feedback and guidance I receive from members of this group. Using Gini's own words, "I consider our AWA manuscript review to be the garden where our new plants are tended as they flower."

    --Margaret Duarte, Independent Writing and Editing Professional, Elk Grove, California

    April 13, 2016, Margaret worked directly with Gini at Elk Grove Writers & Artists, An Amherst Writers & Artists Affiliate




    I've been a member of Gini's writing group for three years. She has been extremely helpful and encouraging in memoir, prose and poetry, and currently working on flash fiction. I am now a member of her advanced manuscript group. Before meeting Gini, I did most of my writing alone in my office. I have found that writing with the group gives me instant feedback. Gini has inspired me to move forward toward getting my writing published.


    Kathleen Taylor, Writer, Elk Grove, California

    April 18, 2016




    I consider Gini to be a master of creative writing and recommend her to anyone. She is a natural leader in our manuscript critique group with remarkable resiliency. She proven she can communicate smoothly with people from different backgrounds and cultures. She's been a wonderful encouragement to to me as a new writer. Her overall advice has helped to develop my writing craft toward a whole new level. I'm very impressed with her knowledge in writing structure, dialogue exchange and how available she is for writers to network with her online.

    Lorna Norisse, Webpage Writing Consultant, 2016




    A true inspiration. What was strong was the time spent writing together and sharing. Amazing how much writing we do in such a short amount of time. Thank you for a wonderful writing experience.

    Kathleen Torian Taylor, 2015




    I loved the atmosphere in your house--being able to move around to write . Strong prompts. Your leadership and moving us along was gracious and needed--thanks! What will stay with me: Writing with my fellow writers was once again wonderful--the time passes so quickly.

    Christine Templeton, 2015


    Writing/Editing Coaching

    We meet at Peet’s Coffee.

    Will Gini think I haven’t listened to her advice? She gives me a four-page critique, and then orally reviews the progress made in the current draft. We discuss character, touching on gestures and how to include backstory. We refine methods to reveal the relationship of the protagonist to others.

    We move on to story arc, the crisis, escalation.

    Ah, the ending. I’ve gotten the inevitable result of the protagonist’s character flaws, but not enough surprise.

    Gini ends the meeting with more encouragement; she praises my work to move towards a professional standard of writing.

    I leave ready to write more, write better. Gini’s developmental edit is more than a professional service; it’s gift of her care for my work and for me.


    Judy Vaughan, Elk Grove, California

    June 1, 2015

    Book Reviews

    Gini is a longtime reviewer for the Historical Novels Review, having contributed many beautifully written reviews since 2008. Not only do her reviews clearly express her thoughts on the strengths and/or weaknesses of each book (in 300 words or fewer!), but they’re also engaging to read. Gini has a wide range of historical knowledge and reading interests, and her enthusiasm for history is evident throughout her work.


    Sarah Johnson, Professor of Library Services, Eastern Illinois University,

    Book Review Editor, Historical Novels Review

    And here’s your reviewer link if you need it: https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviewer/liz-allenby/

    Writing Organizational Leadership

    As John F Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” When I joined the California Writers Club – Sacramento Branch, my first contact was with the VP of Membership— none other than Gini Grossenbacher. Immediately I noticed that Gini was highly motivated, ethical and possessed a strong passion about writing and her willingness to help others become successful. Her effervescent smile and easy going personality was catching while setting a great example for the organization. Leadership is unlocking people’s potential and Gini does this on a daily basis with fellow writers and friends. It is a pleasure to know and work with Gini.


    Michael Brandt, Writer, Speaker, Global Adventurer 2016



  • My Blog

    See the latest news & reviews from the Elk Grove/Sacramento/Amador writing communities and beyond!

  • Elk Grove Writers & Artists

    An Amherst Writers & Artists group for writers of all skill levels.

    About Elk Grove Writers & Artists

    Contact ginis.writers1@gmail.com for course schedule and fees.

    This Amherst (AWA) Creative Writing Workshop Series helps writers expand their craft through developing a unique voice. In an AWA workshop, writers gain confidence in a supportive, small community of peers. Groups generate first draft writing, then choose excerpts to review in our once a month manuscript group.


    Our writers improve as they practice techniques of creative writing, applied across genre to creative non-fiction, autobiography, journals, fiction or poetry. Many work on their own writing projects during the scope of the course. The group meets once a week on Thursday mornings.


    In addition to small classes, one-on-one creative writing coaching is also available.


    We also have Creative Writing Retreats in Ashland, Oregon in the fall and at Fern Cottages on the Russian River in the spring every year.

    About the AWA Method

    Five essential affirmations of Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA), according to Pat Schneider, AWA founder and author of Writing Alone and With Others:

    • Everyone has a strong, unique voice.

    • Everyone is born with creative genius.

    • Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or educational level.

    • The teaching of craft can be done without damage to a writer’s original voice or artistic self-esteem.

    • A writer is someone who writes.

  • Contact Gini

    I'd love to hear from you!

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