Friday, July 24, 2015

Interview with Award-Winning Gayle Roper and Giveaway

Today Suspense Sisters welcomes Gayle Roper!

Gayle is the award-winning author of more than forty books. She has been a Christy finalist three times for her novels Spring Rain, Summer Shadows, and Winter Winds.

Gayle is giving away the ebook of Seaside Gifts, which will be available in mid-August. Be sure to leave your contact information to enter the drawing.

And now for the interview.

SS: Where did you get the idea for Seaside Gifts, your current release?

GR: The answer to this question is a resounding I don’t know.—with qualifications. Ideas are such elusive things. Some you can trace. Many, perhaps even most, you can’t. I knew I wanted to set another book in Seaside, my fictitious Jersey shore town and the setting of five previous books. No ideas involved beyond I think I want to do another Seaside book.

But why the owner of a gift shop on the boardwalk? I don’t know. Why a cop? Well, Rog did appear in Shadows on the Sand, and it seemed a good idea to give him his own story. He was handsome, intelligent, and (the all important ingredient for a romantic suspense) single.

But where did the story premise come from? Where did the idea for the crime come from? I’m not sure. Maybe I read something or saw a movie or TV show that contributed. Or—and here’s a thought!—maybe I prayed about it.

SS: Tell us about your main character.

GR: Nan Patterson has been working for a prestigious women’s magazine for several years and doesn’t really like her job. She sticks with it because it’s a good job, it keeps her near her boyfriend, and she has no idea what else she wants to do. Then her boyfriend dumps her, and her dissatisfaction with life and her job in particular increases. She prays and prays. Enter that wonderful fictional device: the inheritance. Great-Aunt Char leaves her Present Perfect, the boardwalk gift shop with the apartment over it.

One problem solved. Nan can leave the magazine. Another problem created. Her parents consider running the gift shop slumming after the glamorous job in NYC. Nan develops a backbone she didn’t know she had. She stands up to her parents, proving herself competent and independent, the picture of a satisfying character arc. That she meets Rog in the course of needing the police proves she made a great choice with her move to Seaside.

SS: Is there a spiritual message in your book? If so, what is it?

GR: Nan receives what she comes to call grace-gifts. Over the course of the story she learns to give grace-gifts where badly needed but not expected. Grace, that free giving of something good that isn’t deserved, deepens her character as a woman and as a Christian. This grace-giving is of course modeled after God giving us Jesus, salvation, life.

SS: What are you currently working on?

GR: I’m writing a novella called Seaside Dreams about a first grade teacher in Seaside who dreams of having any family but her own. She meets Dane, the UPS guy, who delivers a mis-addressed package to her home. He takes her to Thanksgiving dinner at his parents’ where she meets the family she always wanted.

Can Dane and Kelli find happiness together and solve the mystery of the mis-addressed package? Can you guess the answer? But the fun of genre fiction, in this case romantic suspense, is learning how everything works out in each story even though you know the ending (the hero gets the heroine, the bad guys get caught) from the first page..

SS: Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.

GR: Though I’m primarily a novelist, my non-fiction book, A Widow’s Journey: Reflections on Walking Alone, won the Golden Scroll as Non-fiction Book of the Year. How cool is that?!

I went on my first bus trip, something I was fearful of as an introvert who would be trapped with lots of people all day, and surprise, surprise, enjoyed it a lot. I did spring for a single room so I’d have some time to be alone.

I like flower gardening as opposed to vegetable gardening because you don’t feel guilty when you don’t pick the flowers.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Gayle! And don't forget, readers, to enter the drawing for her upcoming release, SEASIDE GIFTS! Simply comment and leave your contact information.


  1. Thanks for bringing Gayle back to Suspense Sisters for this interview. Along with all her other talents, she's a fantastic writing teacher and mentor. Ask her how many people from her classes have now had their work published.
    Gayle, always good to hear from you.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Richard. Teaching is a joy with students like you.

  2. Thank you for this great interview! And thank you for this wonderful giveaway!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  3. I love Seaside almost as much as I love you, Gayle. You encourage everyone you work with.

  4. Whoops forgot to tell you who I am.
    Jane Baker

  5. Brenda ArringtonJuly 24, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

  6. Seaside sounds like a place I'd love to visit.
    onorman (at) wilkes (dot) net

  7. Gayle, I remember discussing Seaside Gifts with you at the B&S Retreat last fall. Or did I dream that? Hearing about it again today revives my interest - makes it a definite "yes" on my reading list. Fun interview & congratulations on the Golden Scroll Award & new book. :-)

  8. I look forward to reading this great sounding Gayle's writing.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

  9. I truly enjoyed meeting Gayle and learning as about her new book. Thanks for this giveaway.

  10. Great interview! Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win.

    rbgillihan(at) gmail(dot)com

  11. i love your books, always a great story!!

  12. Thank you for introducing me to Gayle.. I think I would really enjoy reading her work!
    dkstevensne AToutlookD OtCoM

  13. Enjoyed the interview and I think I would enjoy her work.
    linderellar at yahoo

  14. Another Seaside story? Whoo-hoo!

    I've read and reread that series. Each time I read one of the books I think it's my favourite in the series ... until I read the next. Looking forward to #6 (and more?)

  15. Great to meet Gayle here today thank you.


  16. Great interview. I haven't read any of her books yet, but sounds like an author I need to try.

  17. I love the interview . The book sounds like a great book to read. Thank you for the chance to win this book. mommystuck1(at)optonline(dot)com.