Brook Cottage Books Blog Tour

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Brenda Gayle...



 Welcome Brenda! I have no idea what happened to me yesterday but I completely forgot to schedule your interview - so here we are! Better late, than never... SO sorry :(  At least you're here now and we can get to know each other better. Let's get started!

1)   When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?

In my case, I became a published author when I was 14 and our city newspaper ran a half-page article I wrote about our high school band trip to Whitehorse, Yukon. I then went on to study journalism and work in corporate communications for over 20 years, so I’ve become quite accustom to seeing my byline on articles and commentaries. Writing fiction, however, was quite different. I’d always written short stories for myself, but it was a friend who suggested I tackle a larger work and try to get it published. The thrill of seeing my name on a novel far surpassed anything I’d experienced before—except perhaps that original band trip article. I felt this was truly my work; I was sharing a part of me.

2)   What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

The big lesson I learned about being a writer was taught to me in journalism school and by the many executive directors I’ve worked for in the corporate world. “Not every word I write is gold.” Almost everything can benefit from a good editor.  Writing shouldn’t be about egos, it’s about creating the best product you can, whether in news journalism, corporate communications, or fiction.

I am fortunate that I have the best editor in the world. Maggie Johnson at The Wild Rose Press is the perfect blend of strict disciplinarian and nurturing guardian. She keeps the work honest, but allows me the freedom to write the stories I want to write. I feel we’re working as a team with the same goal of creating the best experience for the reader that we can.

3)   Favourite author/s?

I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She’s a great storyteller and I love the large canvas she’s created. After working on my Heart’s Desire series, I have even greater respect for her ability to keep all the plot threads and details straight over multiple books.

Karen White is another favorite author of mine. I first read The Lost Hours, which was given to me by a critique partner. Since then, I think I’ve read her whole backlist and each book as it comes out. She has also a very fun Tradd Street series, which features a kooky realtor with a sixth sense.

4)   What is your typical day?

I wake up at six so I have time for coffee (which my husband makes each morning) before driving my daughter to her school bus at seven. I then wake up my son, have breakfast with him while we watch the news, and send him off to school by eight. I’m usually up in my office shortly afterwards and review my email before I start writing. I’m at my best in the morning so that’s when I try to write. I’ll write until noon and stop for lunch. If I’m on a roll, I’ll return to writing for a few hours in the afternoon, but usually I have too many other things to do: bills, promo, volunteer work, appointments, etc. My son gets home around three, my husband at four, and then I get my daughter from her bus at four-thirty.  Evenings and weekends are pretty busy chauffeuring the kids to various activities so I don’t even try to write at those times. Pretty mundane, eh?

5)   Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us

I had two releases the same week in January. On January 23, Father of the Bride? was released. This short story is the first of the Dearly Beloved digital anthology from The Wild Rose Press. The plan is to release a story a month.

She never expected to see her ex again, but at their son's wedding he's father of the bride.
For the mother of the groom, a destination wedding at a Caribbean resort should be a joyful occasion, but Penny Malloy doubts her heart will survive the weekend. Her ex-husband is the stepfather of the bride.
As soon as she sees David Parker again, she realizes she loves him as much as she ever did. What started as a fairy tale romance—when twelve-year-old David kissed Penny on the playground—has turned into a demented soap opera: a son who doesn't know his father's identity, and divorced parents pretending to be strangers.
But it's another kiss that reminds them of all they had...and the promise of what could be. Can David and Penny face the past together and declare their feelings? Or are they twenty-four years too late?
On January 25, my full-length romantic suspense, The Doubting Heart, was released. This is the second book in my Heart’s Desire series.

A woman determined to prove her friend was murdered questions her sanity when his look-alike appears.

When Shelby Holt convinces a friend to work at Wildhorse Pass tourist ranch, she never imagines he will die there. The police say Michael's death was accidental, but Shelby doesn't believe it. Haunted by guilt, she puts her academic career on hold to investigate.

Just back from the Middle East, Chad Graham is guilt-ridden over Michael's death too. He poses as a ranch hand at Wildhorse Pass to investigate the woman claiming his cousin's death is suspicious. Were the police wrong? Or is Shelby hiding something?

Shelby knows she can't trust her heart, but when it comes to Chad, she can't trust her head either. He looks uncannily like Michael. Yet even as their distrust deepens, sensual attraction simmers between them. The closer Shelby and Chad get to answers—and to each other—the closer they get to danger…and to a killer who will stop at nothing to avoid discovery.

6)   Who would you cast to play your hero & heroine in a movie?

My husband always jokes that he and I were the models for the cover of The Doubting Heart. It’s true, we do somewhat resemble the artist’s rendering, or at least we did many years ago. In terms of casting for a movie: Chris Hemsworth has the size and intensity to play the hero, Chad Graham.  For Shelby Holt, I see Emma Stone in the part, although at 5’6” she’s a little tall for my petite heroine. But that’s what Hollywood magic is all about, right?

7)   Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?

The idea for the book came from a mis-read sign while we were vacationing on the Bruce Peninsula, in Ontario. I read “Wildhorse Pass,” and I thought that’s a great place name. I started wondering what would go on in a place with that name, and found myself thinking about missing people and mistaken identities. I had the basic plot outline when I started writing the book, which eventually became The Doubting Heart, but allowed the characters to lead me through the story.

8)   What surprised you the most when you became a published?

How much hard work there still was to do. After the book is written and published, there is still a tremendous amount of effort required to promote it.

9)   Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?

This is a bit embarrassing. I share my writing space with my husband’s office and daughter’s art studio. If I look up from my computer screen, all I see is chaos.  At least it keeps me focused on writing; if I look up too often, I feel compelled to tidy.

10)                   What’s next for you?

At the moment, I am finishing the third book in the Heart’s Desire series, tentatively titled The Forsaken Heart. This concludes the original story arc and wraps up a bunch of loose ends from the first two books. I am exploring storylines for other characters in the books, so look for more in this series.


Brenda is giving away a ebook copy of her book “Father of the Bride” to one lucky commenter so  comment away, folks!!


7 comments:

  1. Lovely interview, ladies. I LOVED Father of the Bride?. A terrific story. Much luck to you in the release of your new book.

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Vonnie. And right back at you. I thought Mona Lisa's Room was terrific.

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  3. I loved the interview and enjoy getting to know a new author, especially a fellow TWRP author.

    My favorite author is also Diana Gabaldon. It was after reading the Outlander series that I decided to trying writing.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Diana is an inspiration to me, also. Her storytelling is so captivating I find it amazing that 20 years later, I still anxiously await each new Outlander book.

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  4. Jamie Fraser was the first fictional character I fell completely in love with. I'd swooned and enjoyed them before, but Outlander was a revelation in an author making that incredible connection between a reader and the hero. I've got both Father of the Bride? and The Doubting Heart on my kindle, and I'm looking forward to curling up with both!

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  5. Thanks Melissa. The only books I've ever re-read are the Outlander series. BTW: I've marked Feb 15 on my calendar to pick up Wraith Redeemed when TWRP officially releases it. Good luck.

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  6. Thanks for stopping by. I used random.org to generate a winner and Sarah, your name come up. I'll be in touch with instructions for how to download Father of the Bride? Also, you can follow my virtual blog tour for a chance to win a $50 Amazon GC. The stops are listed at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.ca/2012/12/nbtm-tour-doubting-heart-by-brenda-gayle.html

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