Bio: Gayla’s writing journey began with her hobby painting landscapes. In her imagination, characters and scenes came to life as she painted beautiful natural settings. Her inspiring novels combine her love for the great outdoors with romance, suspense, and mystery. Gayla and her husband often tour the country in their RV, visiting many state and national parks. She enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling, and lives in the
Pacific Northwest. She’s excited
to announce her debut novel, Avalanche, book 1 of her Peril in
the Park series, which releases today, February 1st.
I intentionally try to make my characters different from myself, but they have some of the same desires and struggles. They are definitely more adventurous and courageous than I am, and they have their flaws, too.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Does becoming a romance writer count?
Many people would think that is quirky, but to me it is normal. When did you first discover you were a writer?
I think the writer has always been in me, but I was a late-bloomer. As a child, I always wanted a diary, but I was much more into art at that time. In my late twenties, I became frustrated with painting because I couldn’t adequately paint the pictures I had in mind, so I started describing them in words. That’s when I realized the images in my imagination were really scenes from a story.
My husband was a late-bloomer, too. It is awesome watching his life unfold during our marriage. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
All kinds, really. Romantic suspense and mysteries are my favorite fiction genre, but I love Victorian and Regency romances too, especially romantic suspense from that era. Maybe after the huge success of shows like Downton Abbey and Poldark, they’ll bring back the genre of historical romantic suspense again. I also enjoy other historical fiction and the classics. I’m rediscovering The Pilgrim’s Progress at the moment. I like nonfiction too, including biographies, Bible studies, and self-help books about nutrition and health. All the books in my Peril in the Park series are set in
U.S. national parks so there is a
wilderness adventure element in them. I find stories about people surviving in
the wilderness fascinating.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I tried to stay organized. It’s not always easy, but it really helps me keep on top of things. I like to have a short-term and long-term plan and bind my activities as much as possible within those plans. That’s not to say I don’t change the plans or step outside them from time to time. I also make exercise a priority, whether it’s a walk or working out with weights. It’s a habit I started as a teenager that’s become very beneficial over the years, especially with all the time I spend at my desk writing.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I put a lot of thought into all of my characters names, probably too much. I sometimes make up names to sound different. I want the names to reflect the essence of the character, without distracting too much from the story.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being married to my wonderful husband for 32 years.
That’s wonderful. Living the happily- ever-after life takes a lot of intentional work on the marriage. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m really glad I’m not an animal, but if I had to choose, maybe a beaver because they have really nice homes on the water and they’re always building/creating something.
This is the first time any author chose a beaver. What is your favorite food?
mango-passion fruit sorbet
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think gaining objectivity with my writing. It’s easy to become myopic about what I’m working on. I’m in a small critique group, and they really helped to open my eyes and see what needed to be fixed. My editor also helps me see those things I’m blind to.
Tell us about the featured book.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Fireworks exploded across the dark sky, but Jenny Snowfeather hardly noticed. The news about the cabin break-in had cast a shadow over her brother’s Fourth of July barbecue. She’d suspected a bear at first, until she learned two hunting rifles and ammo had been stolen, along with food and blankets.
A bright flash startled her.
“Watch out!” a man cried as the stray spark zoomed toward her like a small meteor.
She spun around to escape, slamming right into the man and his plate of barbecued chicken.
He grabbed her, stumbled, and pulled her with him to the ground.
A second later, the blazing miniature rocket whizzed over their heads and crashed into the lawn only a few feet away.
She squeezed her eyes shut at the near miss. When she opened them, Jenny found herself face-to-face with the handsome stranger.
His large, brown eyes stared back in surprise.
Her gaze traveled to his arm, sheltering her body.
Quickly, he withdrew it and rolled over, raising himself to his elbows. “That was a close one. Are you okay?”
She sat up and lightly brushed the grass from her blue sweater and faded jeans. “Other than a few grass stains, I’m fine.” Glancing back at him, she noticed the food plastered to his chest and smiled. “But you’re not.”
When she leaned over to flick the remnant of baked beans from his white cotton shirt, her eyes zeroed in on the holstered Glock beneath his jacket.
That’s a very nice hook. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gayla-K-Hiss/e/B01N09FMKZ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
My website is: http://www.gaylakhiss.com/
Thank you, Gayla, for sharing this new book with us. I’m eager to read it.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Avalanche: A Contemporary Romance w/Suspense (Peril in the Park) (Volume 1) Avalanche: A Contemporary Romance w/Suspense Elements (Peril in the Park Book 1)
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