Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Author Interview with Gail Gaymer Martin

The Blog Studio camera pans over the band as they play their rendition of “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.” The audience is anxiously awaiting the curtain rise so they can welcome the Blog Studio hostess. The music concludes, the curtain opens, and Carol Ann Erhardt walks center stage wearing black boots, a black skirt, and a gold lame sweater.

The audience give a rousing welcome back standing ovation.
“Good morning, Blog Studio Audience! I’ve enjoyed my three month vacation over the holidays. We had a love-filled Thanksgiving and Christmas. Taking time to spend with family is a cherished gift.

Hey, how about that band! Aren’t they great?”

APPLAUSE, HOOTS AND HOLLERS

“Let me tell you one good thing—the writer’s strike isn’t going to affect our production schedule.”

APPLAUSE

“Today, I’m honored to present a multi-published Christian author and renowned speaker, Gail Gaymer Martin. Here is the cover of her newest release, WRITING THE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE.”

CAMERA PANS IN ON THE BOOK IN CAROL ANN’S HAND



“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome…GAIL GAYMER MARTIN!!!!”

CAROL ANN SHAKES HANDS WITH GAIL. THEY EACH TAKE ONE OF THE TWO LEATHER CHAIRS FACING THE AUDIENCE.

CAROL ANN: Gail, I’m so pleased that you could take time out of your busy schedule to stop by the Blog Studio. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this interview.

GAIL: Thank you, Carol Ann. I’m honored to be here. What a great audience!

APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE

CAROL ANN: Tell us about you and about your new release.

GAIL: I started writing fiction in 1997 and sold my first novel in 1998. Since then I’ve sold 40 novels and have over one million books in print. Before fiction, I began writing for publication in 1994. My first worship resource book, Kneel Before the Babe, was contracted in 1995, and since then I’ve sold 23 worship resource books, many hundreds of articles for national Christian magazines as well as devotionals and some poetry. God blessed most everything I’ve written with sales. My first novel sale was to Barbour Publishing and the next was Steeple Hill. I continue to write for both publishers, but I’m looking for a home for some of my longer books.

I actually have two new releases. Family In His Heart is a Steeple Hill Love Inspired January release that received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times. The book is the last of the Michigan Islands novels. This one is set on Drummond and the Les Cheneaux Islands in Michigan’s upper peninsula.

The second book is Writing the Christian Romance, and though this book focuses on Christian romance and how it differs from secular romance novels, it covers many of the basic elements of good writing. It is eleven chapters that covers: understanding the romance genre, creating characters, developing the hero and heroine whether Christian or non-Christian, understanding a variety of POV and how to use them effectively, creating real emotion and using the senses to enhance emotions and characterization, understanding the differences between sexuality and sensuality in Christian romance, techniques to present spirituality in Christian romance, dialogue, introspection, plotting and pacing a romance and finally preparing a book proposal. This chapter also covers writers’ organizations and conferences that focus on Christian romance, and how to find an agent. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises to help the writer practice what was learned.

The book can be ordered on Amazon. Here’s the link: Click HereMy prayer is that this book will be a help to non-published and published authors as they hone their craft to write the best book they can for their readers and for the Lord.

CAROL ANN: A book that shouldn't be overlooked. Sounds like there is something for everyone. I ordered my copy already. I can't wait to receive it. As a writer, I'm sure you have many deadlines to meet. How do deadlines affect you?

GAIL: Writing for multiple publishers makes deadlines complicated. I try to leave a span of six months between my category romance books which allows me time to work on other projects, and I try to balance all of that between travel and my music involvement which is extensive. I play handbells and handchimes for my church as well as sing with the choir and do small ensemble and solo singing there. I also sing with a well-known Christian group in the Detroit area, and we perform three or four series of concerts throughout the year. I’m also a speaker and workshop presenter so it’s a tenuous balance that only God can orchestrate. So far it’s always worked out but I will admit that things get very tense. I thank the Lord for my husband who seems to handle my crazy life and supports me in every way which means doing most of the cooking, grocery shopping and laundry.

CAROL ANN: Having a supportive husband is critical to success. You are a very busy woman! So with all this going on, how do you balance your writing life with your personal life?

GAIL: Professional writers must learn that it is natural to give up things to be a writer. My social life probably suffers the most. I miss many important things due to conference schedules and speaking engagements. I’ve missed family weddings and birthdays, family reunions and picnics. I don’t see friends as often and I’m more selective as to what I volunteer to do for any groups to which I belong. I don’t serve as an officer or on my church council which is something I did for years before writing. I also had to give up reading as much as I would like. I love books and have been an avid reader, but when on book deadlines back to back, something has to give.

CAROL ANN: So true. What do you do for inspiration?

GAIL: Worship is an inspiration to me. Hymn lyrics, stained glass windows, points in the sermon often inspire story ideas as do lyrics to popular songs (not all of them, naturally ). Travel is another source of inspiration for me. New places often trigger story ideas. News stories and feature articles in newspapers will inspire a story idea or plot line. It’s amazing how so many things touch me with ideas. My personal life and closeness to the Lord which is also an inspiration comes from travel, time for contemplation and the relationship with my husband who is a true gift from God.

CAROL ANN: That's wonderful. On a personal note, do you collect anything that you can share with us?

GAIL: I collect antique dresser trays that held the ladies hairpins. I often find matching hair reticules (covered dishes that hold strands of hair pulled out by a brush) and even powder boxes that match the pattern. I have a lovely collection. The hair, by the way, was saved so that it could be used to weave designs into pictures and put in frames. Very interesting. I’ve seen this at museums and historic homes.

I used to collect things with bunnies on them – but they began to multiply so quickly that I was overrun with bunny items (sort of like really bunnies) so I stopped collecting, but I still have a few favorites, especially the real ones that play in my yard.

CAROL ANN: How funny! I know how collection pieces can multiply quickly. Your antique dresser tray collection sounds interesting. I didn't realize that hair was used in weaving. I'll have to keep my eyes open for that the next time I visit the museum. As a writer and full time executive assistant, I sometimes find it hard to relax at night. What is your favorite thing to do to wind down after a long day?

GAIL: If I have time and quiet, I love to read, but I’m often tired of concentrating and using my eyes. So you can often find me sitting by the TV half-watching a program and playing computer solitaire or searching for free solo music with accompaniment. I’ve found some great songs that way.

CAROL ANN: Awesome. I'm not musically inclined, unfortunately, but music does help me relax. Let me ask you one last question. If you had the opportunity to appear on national television, what is the one thing you would share with the world?

GAIL: I would help them understand Christian fiction, and why it is so important to me to write in that genre. I believe it is an honor that the Lord has allowed me to be a witness to him through sharing a spiritual message in my books written to entertain. I believe Christian fiction is a solid balance between a entertainment and a faith takeaway for readers.

CAROL ANN: The Christian fiction market is growing. I encourage any author to purchase your newest book. The cover is beautiful, and I'd be drawn to the book on the shelf just by the cover. Gail, where can readers find more information about you and your books?

GAIL: My website offers a first chapter excerpt on all my books as well occasional reviews. I also have a personal blog which talks about my life, my writing and my faith. If you google my name — Gail Gaymer Martin — you’ll be overwhelmed by so many places, you can find information about me on other people’s blogs, websites and more.

CAROL ANN: Would you share the web links, or email with my blog readers?

GAIL: My website is www.gailmartin.com and besides book covers and excerpts, people will find pages called For Writers with 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

CAROL ANN: Gail, thank you so much for sharing with my Blog Studio audience. It’s been a pleasure having you with us.

GAIL: Thanks so much, Carol Ann, for inviting me to this interview. I wish you and all your blog readers a blessed 2008.

APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE

GAIL NODS A THANK YOU TO THE AUDIENCE. CAROL ANN AND GAIL WALK OFFSTAGE AND THE BAND PLAYS A CLASSIC JAZZ TUNE “GREEN ONIONS.”

THE CURTAIN DROPS AND ANOTHER DAY IN THE BLOG STUDIO COMES TO A CLOSE.

1 comment:

C. Gwynn said...

Great interview. I enjoyed it.