I write Christian fiction—women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and romance. The bulk of my fiction is category or series romance, books that are in stores for a month and then replaced by the next months books.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
My happiest moment is a difficult question. I would have a huge list. Naturally when I married my husband Bob would be a premiere event in my life. We celebrated our 25th anniversary last August.
How has being published changed your life?
Being a published author has changed my life very much. My time is no longer my own due to deadlines, research, promotion, and also other things that stemmed from being a published—speaking and teaching writing around the U.S. An author learns quickly that sacrifices must be made. Since I’m already very active in music as a singer and handbell player, I had to learn to use my time wisely. Since I was unwilling to give up the music aspects of my life, I had to give up some of my social life and the worst—housework. : ) I have a cleaning lady and a husband who does so much for me.
My husband is my cleaning lady, er man. What are you reading right now?
Right now, I’m reading nothing since I’ve been under duress with too much going on following Christmas. I have a book set out to begin, a secular romantic suspense that I’m judging for the RITA contest. The book I finished reading last was Letters In The Attic, a mystery by DeAnna Julie Dodson. Interestingly, I read very few romance novels. I never have.
What is your current work in progress?
My current work in progress is the final touches to Small Town Christmas, a duet novel from Love Inspired to be a November release this year. They asked me to squeeze that between my last completed novel to be released next September and the final book in the Dreams Come True series that will be in stores Spring, 2012.
What would be your dream vacation?
I’ve been so blessed to have traveled so many wonderful places that I have a multitude of dream vacations. We go to Europe often and have visited wonderful places like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Greece and the Greek Islands, Turkey, Italy, England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. I was in Germany again last summer where I toured with a Christian chorale singing in churches and halls throughout Germany for two weeks. I enjoyed the trip immensely, even though that was probably my fourth trip to Germany. I would love to tour China, and I would enjoy a trip to Spain and Portugal. Two trips we’d planned were canceled due to our children’s health issues—Scandinavia and Australia. I’d like to do those again too. Some of my favorite places are Germany, Ireland, England, and Greece.
I'd love to visit the Scandinavian countries of my ancestors, and Australia is on my wish list. How do you choose your settings for each book?
I chose settings that I know so I set many novels in various parts of Michigan. I’ve enjoyed many trips around our lovely state, and though I hate our winter weather, I love the interesting settings in Michigan. The movie industry has recently found our state to be an amazing place for films because we have so many different terrains from rocky coasts to golden sand, deep woods, mountains, and water of all kinds—the Great lakes, smaller inland lakes everywhere, rivers, and streams. I enjoy small town settings. When I travel to other states and countries, stories often begin to develop that I have used or would like to use for a novel. I find the best setting for the characters and theme of my novel.
As I said earlier, music is more than a hobby, it also defines who I am, but that’s another way I spend much of my time. Travel is another. Whenever I have a break from my busy schedule and my husband’s, we travel. I also enjoy cooking although I do very little of it. Before writing, I gave big dinner parties for friends such as Chinese meals and I made everything: wonton soup, egg rolls, chicken, stir-fried rice, chicken almond entree, Madam Wo’s shreaded chicken salad, and even a steamed cake from rice flour served with an Mandarin orange topping.
Sounds yummy. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I’ve conquered many obstacles and continue to work an improving my writing each year by selecting a technique or element of fiction that I want to improve. I always solicit suggests from my editor who always says nice things, but I do know my weaknesses. Trite romantic phrases irritate me and I try hard to find new ways to describe the emotions. I also am working on redundancy—avoiding overstating an issue or again overusing the same words. I am always reading books and articles on writing to improve and strengthen my novels. The same information comes in handy for my Writing Fiction Right blog at
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
I talked about sacrifice earlier and the multiple aspects of being a published author. I think new writers want immediate satisfaction and go the self-publish route rather than sacrificing to learn to be the best novelist or writer they can be. Writing is like brain surgery. An author can’t learn it in a week or a year. It’s a continual process of honing your craft and striving to perfect all aspects of writig. This is done by connecting with writers and writing organization, using critique groups, taking classes (many are taught online. I just completed teaching a course on plotting for the Space Coast Writers.) Attending workshops and reading books and magazines on writing are other ways to learn and hone writing skills. It never ends.
Tell us about the featured book.
My March release, A Dad Of His Own, is the first book in the Dreams Come True series. The idea is based on the Make A Wish foundation, and the stories involve single parents who have children with serious illnesses. The stories are emotional, heartwarming romances with a happy ending, despite the serious theme. The message of God’s love and faithfulness is always present in my novels.
Sounds like a wonderful premise. Please give us the first page of the book.
Chapter 1- First Page
Lexie Carlson peeked into the meeting room of Mothers Of Special Kids. She hated being late, and the reason for her delay had plunged her spirit to the pits. Despite trying to slip in unnoticed, her friend Kelsey Rhodes, the meeting moderator, spotted her. She sidled the few steps to Lexie’s side, a frown etching her face. “Something wrong?”
Lexie shook her head, uncomfortable with Kelsey’s attention especially with the intriguing guest speaker standing nearby. A grin curved his full lips, and smile lines crinkled the edge of his gray eyes canopied by thick blond lashes. His honey-colored hair glinted with copper highlights.
As much as she wanted to shift the focus, she leaned closer to Kelsey, managing as pleasant a look as she could. “No. Just a phone call.” Hoping to end the questions, she slipped into a nearby chair and turned her focus to the front.
Grateful Kelsey had moved away, relief spread across her face. Relief. The welcome expression from women who faced life, as she did, with seriously ill children. Their support brought her here weekly and had become her mainstay.
“As I was saying” Kelsey said, sending a teasing smile her way, “I’m glad so many of you are here today since we have a special guest.” She motioned toward the good-looking man.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can find me in multiple places and I’ve provided a list below:
Blog Site: www.gailmartin.blogspot.com
Writing Fiction Right Blog: www.writingright-Martin.blogspot.com
Thank you, Gail, for spending this time with us.
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