Debut Release: Infinite Betrayal
Please describe your writing environment.
It really depends on my mood but I just converted a room in my house to a writing room. It has shelves full of books, my computer and our first book cover framed over the desk. I love sitting there with my iPod going and just writing.
But when I need a change of scenery, I end up at one of my local Starbucks sipping a Mocha and nibbling on a blueberry scone.
Please tell us your latest news!
Well, we are a month into our first release and loving it! The reviews are extremely positive and the reader emails have been fantastic. Both Robyn and I will be attending the Lori Foster Reader/Writer Event in June as well as Authors After Dark in August so we are very excited about those opportunities to meet with readers as well as writers that we so love.
Regarding book 2 of the Infinity Series: Infinite Surrender, we are well into the writing stages and hope to have the final draft completed soon. The story is fantastic and writing Talon is fun in its own right!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have several favorites but only dedicated to a select few.
Larissa Ione - Her Demonica series is....well....it's hard to describe in only a few words. For those of you that have read her, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you that have not read her, go out and get her books. You will not be sorry! Her world building is fantastic and her characters draw the reader in immediately. She is just superb...and incredibly nice!
JR Ward - This is pretty self-explanatory. Her Black Dagger Brotherhood Series is the first I read and honestly, Wrath is my fantasy man. The blind King just does something to me that I have to read and re-read Dark Lover constantly. Again, the world building is phenomenal, the emotion between the characters is strong, and the personalities of the Brothers are hysterical. I love reading books that make me laugh out loud!
Lora Leigh - I have read some of her Breed series but the books that make me swoon are the Nauti books. There's just something about her Alpha males that make me swoon!
Desiree Holt - I had not read Desiree until after I met her. She was on our shuttle bus from the airport to Lori's event in 2010. Just talking with her made me want to read everything she has written. Her latest and 100th publication, Downstroke, was one incredible book! The woman is talent with a capital T!
Jaci Burton - This woman can write one hell of a seduction scene! And her men are always drool-worthy! Once I dive into a Burton book, I rarely come up for air until I'm done!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don't give up! Robyn and I went to Lori Foster's Reader/Writer event in 2010 and had no idea what we were doing. When we registered, we asked for one of the red necklaces that several women were wearing. The lady behind the table politely told us that those were for writers only. My response was "Next year, we'll get one." Here it is next year and we are gonna get a freakin cheap-ass red necklace but I will be damned if I won't wear it with pride! Hell, I'm probably going to have it framed!
We were set up for several agent and editor meetings and didn't know the "rules" of the game. We actually showed up to an agent interview with a printed version of the book and tried to give it to her. She politely declined and told us doing that was an industry "no-no". Hey, live and learn. But we never stopped. We got a contract on our 4th submission and that doesn't happen often. We just met the right people that liked our ideas.
Keep writing, join writer's blogs, subscribe to industry mags, get on Facebook and Twitter and connect with as many writers and review sites as possible and READ your ass off.
Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing?
I think the only thing I truly need when I write is Starbucks! It's a must! Also, when Robyn and I are writing together, we always have what we call "shit dip". It sounds disgusting but it is delicious!
2 bars Philly Cream Cheese
1 can Rotel
1 package sausage
Cook ground sausage in a pan and drain grease. Place sausage, cheese and Rotel in a crock pot and cook until melted. Stir and serve with multi grain tortilla chips. Goes great with Margaritas!!
What main genre do you write in?
Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?
I think the most challenging part for me is to remember when I write, the story is in my head, pouring out on the page and I need to make sure that the reader understands where I am coming from. The characters are alive to me and I know everything about them...but the reader doesn't. I struggle with how much to put on the page and what to leave out. I'm thankful for Robyn as well as some really dedicated beta readers to let me know when I need to expand or draw back from the info dump.
Oh...and to not use the word "that". If I had a nickel for every time I used it, I would be a millionaire!
Who has been your best supporter? How have they been there for you?
There have been so many people that have supported Robyn and me in our writing career. I would have to say besides Robyn, my husband has been the most supportive. He has really taken up the slack with the house chores, the kids, and making sure everything is taken care of so I can escape and write. It's not easy for him to be left at home with two girls (one of which is a temperamental teenager) and not go insane. I stay up late at night to write, leave on the weekends to have alone time and most nights, I don't even think about what's for dinner. His reply is always, "No problem baby. I want you to succeed." I am very thankful for him.
Tell us all about "The Call" or "The Email"!
It was November and my parents were down from Maryland for my oldest daughter's birthday. My Mother and I were getting ready for a day of shopping and my Dad was sitting at the kitchen table working his email. I had gone out to the garage to get a bottle of water out of the fridge and my phone dinged. I clicked on the email link and opened it up. It was an acceptance email from Liquid Silver Books. I let out a squeal and started jumping up and down. Mom walked out of the bathroom with half of her make-up on and asked what was wrong. I screamed, "I got it! I got it!" and she knew exactly what I was talking about. She hugged me and I looked over at my Dad. He just smiled and went back to his email. The smile was his congratulations. I ran to the back yard and called Robyn. By the time she answered, I was in hysterical tears and she thought something bad had happened. I blurted out that we did it and she immediately started crying as well. She left work, came to my house, and we cried together for a good thirty minutes. Honestly, it didn't really hit us until we got our book cover and saw our names. I will remember it forever!
What inspires your writing?
I love the idea of "escape". A story should allow a reader to escape to another world or another time and live out their fantasies. The perfect thing about romance writing is a reader could end up in space, in the 1600's, with a Highland warrior, falling in love with a shape shifter, or trapped by a sexy vampire. The possibilities are endless. That's what I love about writing. Oh the places we can go!
If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?
I would choose my Grandfathers. They both passed away years ago but I still miss them. They were like fathers to me since my own mother and father were only in their teens when I was born. One was an Army man - reminding me of Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall. He was strong, stern but loved me and always showed it. My other Grandfather was the long lost twin of John Wayne! He owned a farm and as a child, I was always there riding horses or riding on the back of the tractor while he drove. I can still hear him laugh. Both of my Grandfathers met my first daughter but neither met my second. I would love to sit down with a well-cooked steak and baked potato and tell them about how my life is going and how they influenced me.
Signing Off: Gayle Donnelly