Gail is a longtime novelist friend of mine. She's multi-published with several publishers. Today, we're introducing her newest non-fiction book
I write both fiction and non-fiction. My first sale in 1995 was a book of four Christmas worship services which included short plays, monologues and skits. To date, I have written twenty-three of these program books for various publishers. Then, with a twenty-three year career in counseling, I began writing parenting and articles for teens dealing with serious teen and family issues, such as: self-esteem, suicide, drugs, communication, blended families, grief, and divorcing parents. But fiction was my childhood dream, and in 1997, I began writing novels. I sold my first novel to Barbour Publishing in 1998, and since that time, I have over one million books in print and have sold forty novels/novellas to Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing primarily.
2. What would you like our readers to know about you personally?
I have lived in Michigan all my life and use the state often for my fiction. My husband and I are both active in our church, both of us lifelong Christians. I have served in many capacities in my church from congregational president to puppet ministry, strategic planning committee, newsletter committee, to music where I am a soloist, member of the choir and ringer in both handbell and handchime choirs.
Several years ago, I also sang in the choir and played in the handbell choir. Tell us about your family.
My husband and I have been married for twenty-two years. I have two adult step-children and one granddaughter. Our daughter Brenda died of ovarian cancer last year at age thirty-seven. Both of the kids are/were musical and play(ed) a variety of instruments. My husband is a tuba player and is our handchime director at church. He also plays with two handbell groups. Dave, our son, played the French horn in school, and continues to play organ and guitar. He has a band, writes music, and performs solo at a coffee house in Detroit. My parents are deceased, as well as my stepfather. I have a younger sister and brother, both married with children and grandchildren, and we are very close family.
There are a lot of musicians in my family, too. Have you written other nonficton books?
As I mentioned above, I have written a lot of non-fiction for churches and magazine articles, but my book for Writers Digest, WRITING THE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE, released in December 2007, was a new experience. It's a long book that not only explains the difference between secular and Christian romance, but it provides the how-to techniques along with examples and exercises. I was thrilled that the book sold so quickly and the editors have been very excited about the book. It has chapters on characterization, POV, emotion and the senses, sexuality, spirituality plotting, and selling the book.
What other books have your written and where can thereaders of the blog find them.
My most recent novel from Steeple Hill Love Inspired, IN HIS DREAMS, is an August release and the third book in my Michigan Island series. It's set on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan and was a Top Pick in the Romantic Times. When my books are released they can be found at all major bookstores, K-Mart, Target, Walmart, some grocery stores and other stores that carry category romance. My October release, AND BABY MAKES FIVE IS from Barbour's Heartsong Presents, an October, release. My novels and church resource materials are all available on Amazon.com as well as other on-line bookstores. WRITING THE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE can be pre-ordered on Amazon. My next fiction release in January 2008 will be the last Michigan Island book, FAMILY IN HIS HEART, set on Drummond and the Les Cheneaux Islands in Michigan's upper peninsula.
Do you have any other books in the works right now?
Presently I'm writing a three book series for Barbour Publishing. GARLIC AND ROSES is the second book set in the Monterey Peninsula and will be released in August 2008 and I am writing the third book, THE BUTTERFLY TREES, set in the same location. As well, I'm hoping to sell a long single title, SECRET PLACES, which is a book of my heart, and I'm working on a four book proposal for Steeple Hill Love Inspired, a series called Friends Forever. Four books related to four women who were high school friends.
I'm sure all the readers will be on the lookout for these books. Where on the Internet can the readers find you.
My website is www.gailmartin.com and besides book covers and excerpts, people will find pages called For Writers which has many articles, workshop logs, and Frequently Asked Questions about writing and getting published. If you enjoy cooking, I have a section called Gail's Kitchen. My blog site which focuses on my life, career and faith is www.gailmartin.blogspot.com. I also am part of the Christian Author Network and write a marketing blog each Monday, and I have a website and blog on ShoutLife at http://www.shoutlife.com/profile_view.cfm?uid=15129
What kind of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I previously mentioned my music activities at church, but as well, I'm a member of the Detroit Lutheran Singers which is a well-known chorale in the Detroit area and we perform three or four series of concerts each year—fall, Christmas, Easter and spring—as well as record CDs. Besides music, I love to travel and have been in every state in the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii, and traveling to other countries is one of my favorite vacations. We have been to many European countries as well as Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland). We just visited Greece and Turkey in October. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends.
I wrote WRITING THE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE for two reasons. For years, I've been a columnist with either The Christian Communicator (TCC) or Spirit-Led Writing, an ezine, with a romance writing column. Lyn Johnson, editor of the TCC, suggested a few years ago that I consider writing a book on Christian romance. I tucked that in my mind, but not until three years later, as I mentored writers, was I struck by the need for a book on writing Christian romance. No book exists that deals with this specific genre in full-book length, although you can find numerous books on writing secular romance and some on writing Christian fiction. Since the genre is very different from secular romance, I wrote a proposal and my agent sent it to Writers Digest, the biggest publisher of how-to books on writing.
What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
I hope the book WRITING THE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE will provide writers with a better understanding of the nuances of the genre and specific reader and publisher expectations in Christian romance. I hope that writers will grasp the importance of three-dimensional characterization brought to life with realistic emotion, meaningful dialogue that moves the story forward, hooks that turn the book into a page-turner, an understanding of the elements of sexuality and spirituality expected in Christian romance, and ideas on networking and connecting with fellow authors, as well as finding an agent and publisher. If they gain this kind of information from excerpts of well-known Christian author and the examples and exercises I provide, I will feel very blessed.
Thank you, Gail, for spending this time with us.
Readers, as usual, we're giving away a copy of the book to a winner chosen from those who leave comment. So maybe this is your chane to win one.
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