Friday, February 3, 2017

INTERVIEW WITH GAYLA K. HISS





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, mystery and suspense.

Gayla and her husband often tour the country in their RV, visiting many state and national parks. She enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling, and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest.

To learn more and sign up for her newsletter, visit http://www.gaylakhiss.com/

INTERVIEW

If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?  

I’m a work in progress, but tremendously blessed.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
Camping in our RV, hiking, traveling, attending music concerts

What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy. That’s what really sparked my interest in romantic suspense and mysteries. Second would be Victoria Holt’s The Road to Paradise Island.

Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
I used to be as software engineer for NASA (but not a rocket scientist J). However, I worked on the Space Station program, writing software to control payloads in space.

I’m kind of a science geek

Due to my numerous food sensitivities, I’ve developed a big interest in nutrition and natural healing.

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
I started with contemporary romance. After camping in the national parks and developing a fascination with outdoor survival and wilderness adventures, I’ve set my recent books in and near the national parks and added more suspense and mystery to them.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I can’t think of one specific criticism, but I came very close to being published a few years ago and it didn’t work out. As a result, I was forced to re-think my writing and publishing goals. I think it was a blessing in disguise because I became a better writer as a result, and later I was offered a contract with another publisher that better fits my writing goals. Best compliment was being offered a multi-book publishing contract for my Peril in the Park series.

Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?
Historical romantic suspense/mysteries. I really enjoy reading books from the Victorian and Regency period, and also Sherlock Holmes and Victoria Holt books.

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?
I’ve been blessed to have two careers, one as a software engineer and one as an author. The author career is what I dreamed of doing while I was an engineer, so you could say I’m living the dream, but I didn’t count on how long it would take for me to really transition into being an author. It’s very different than working for a large corporation and it’s been a significant learning curve for me.

What is the most important thing you’d like readers to take away from your books?
A common theme in my books is getting back to the simple things in life like faith, family, and the land. I feel like we’ve become so busy and distracted we’ve lost touch with those three basic things. To me, there’s nothing more enjoyable and restorative than going camping outdoors and connecting with God, the Creator. We are so blessed to have our state and national park system. I want future generations to value and enjoy them too.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
Find writers’ conferences, writers’ organizations and critique groups. I’ve learned so much through all those channels, and have met so many wonderful writers who have shared helpful insights and encouraged me along the way. In fact, I met my publisher at a writers’ conference.

When Park Ranger Jenny Snowfeather runs into Deputy Marshal Chase Matthews at her brother's Fourth of July barbecue, she suspects there is more going on in Eagle Valley, WA than fireworks. After Chase confides that he believes the fugitive who killed his partner may be hiding out in the area, Jenny is skeptical at first. But when her peaceful town is besieged with a sudden crime spree, she realizes Chase's theory may be true.

As the manhunt advances to the rugged back country of North Cascades National Park, Jenny is confronted with her past mistakes. But she soon discovers the greatest threat of all is losing her heart to Chase, who is obsessed with capturing the fugitive at all costs. 

Risking everything to help Chase find the man who could kill them both, Jenny's faith is put to the test. Like an avalanche waiting to happen, their path is fraught with danger. Will the enemy get away with murder?  Will Jenny and Chase reach freedom and safety, or be buried alive?  They must tread carefully. One step in the wrong direction could mean the difference between life and death. 

Leave a comment, along with your contact information, and you could win a copy of Gayla's book, AVALANCHE! (U.S. only please.) 

 

54 comments:

  1. I would love a chance to read your book, thank you
    Carol
    mcaquinn@aol.com

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  2. That sounds so intriguing. Paula. paulams49(AT)sbcglobal(DOT)net

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  3. I enjoyed Gayla's interview and would love to read AVALANCHE!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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  4. I enjoyed meeting Gayla and learning about Avalanche. I am also a long-time fan of Victoria Holt.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. The story sounds exciting and the locale beautiful. I'd love to read.

    godleyv [at] yahoo [dot]com

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  6. Beverly Duell-MooreFebruary 3, 2017 at 7:29 AM

    This sounds like a great book! I'd love to have a chance to win a copy. Then I wouldn't have to wait for the library to get it in. They are so slow some times. duellonlysis(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hopefully the library will have multiple copies one day. It's good to hear that you take advantage of our library system. It would be great if you'd request your local library to carry my book!

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  7. Thank you for the giveaway redeemed1ru at gmail dot com

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  8. Loved your interview! Our next door neighbor is a rocket scientist. He's the dean of engineering at the University of Alabama.
    My husband and I have an RV too. We love to go camping whenever we get the chance. We are limited right now. We keep our four yr old grandson during the week but he will start school in the fall. But my 82 yr old mother is in rehab and this last episode will probably put her living at our house permanently. I'm not sure how that's going to effect our camping. I feel so much closer to God when I'm out in nature. I'd love to win your book. Thanks for the opportunity!

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    1. Forgot my email: tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. I used to live in Huntsville, Alabama, Gail.
      Last summer, we camped at Lake Guntersville for a few days on a cross-country RV trip. Your grandson will love camping. We took our 5 year old nephew on two camping trips last year and he's crazy about it.
      Saying a prayer for your mother.

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  9. I like books set in the outdoors and especially mountain country! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Great! I love to hear from other outdoor enthusiasts!

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  10. Great interview.... this sounds like my kind of book!
    smincer10(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. I love that your books are filled with faith family and the land. fishingjan(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. It doesn't get much more basic than that, does it? Thanks, Jan!

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  13. My favorite genre is Christian Suspense-romance but I don't believe I have read your books before, so look forward to reading a new author. Thanks for the chance.
    dawn dot nicol at gmail dot com

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    1. Avalanche is my debut novel, book 1 of a 4-book series. Thanks for your interest, Dawn!

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  14. My family has gotten back into camping this year after a long break. I enjoy reading romantic suspense that involve the great outdoors. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway! momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

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    1. Romantic suspense in the outdoors is fun to write about too! Thanks, Loraine!

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  15. I enjoyed the interview. My hubby and I also go camping in our RV. It's fun to travel to different places. I would be honored to read your book.

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    1. Hi, Deana! I'm always happy to meet another RVer!

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  16. I think it's interesting to read about your journey to becoming an author.
    Martha T.
    CRPrairie1(@) imonmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you for that encouragement. There have been many twists and turns in my writing journey, but it's proof that we should never give up. A breakthrough could be right around the corner.

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  17. I would love to win a copy. My name is Linda Walters. My email address is lwalters25@charter.net

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  18. Resounds like a good book. Look forward to reading to. Winning it would be even better.

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  19. Sorry. I didn't edit before publishing! Sounds like a good book. I like clean suspense.
    Charlyn515 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi, Charlyn, I like clean suspense too, and a lot of adventure!

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  20. Hey Gayla! I enjoyed this interview and learning more about you. I think you already know that I love your book. I would truly enjoy having a paperback copy. It was interesting to learn that you have been a software engineer. I spent over 40 years working in the banking IT and Operations arena, starting as a computer programmer for Bassett Furniture Industries in 1969 and moving to banking in January 1970. I loved programming but especially seeing the results when those programs were put into production. What a charge! Now I am retired and have a lot more time for reading books like Avalanche. I'm still shaking my head over a particular scene of two people rushing to an avalanche site in a Mustang over rough back roads. They must have better roads into the mountains out in the Cascades than we have here in Virginia. LOL! Edward

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    1. Hi, Edward!! You should write a book about all the changes in the computer industry over the years! Speaking of rough roads, I've been on quite a few in the national parks. One time, we almost got stuck in the Rockies, but I'll save that for another book. :)

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  21. "Avalanche" sounds like a fantastic read. I love the mountains and your book sounds like my kind of read. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  22. "Avalanche" sounds like a fantastic read. I love the mountains and your book sounds like my kind of read. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Enjoyed reading the interview. "Avalanche" sounds like a great read.
    betsylu2@msn.com

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  24. Our little group has been meeting, off and on, for at over 3 years, but I learned a few new things about you from this interview. My copy of Avalanche should arrive in the mail today, so no need to enter me in the giveaway.

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, H.L. I hope you'll sign your book Chasing Freedom, the Prequel, for me next month.

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  25. I enjoyed reading this interview. Avalanche sounds really good and I hope to read it soon.
    Cindy99@mac.com

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  27. Oh my gosh, loving that cover! Great interview, Gayla, great to meet you here :) Thanks for the giveaway!
    Blessings, Kara
    Wman4JC{at}AOL{dot}COM

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  28. Hi Gayla! I, too, live in the Pacific Northwest on the Oregon coast :-) You are right when you say there are so many places to camp & hike, RV parks as well. Lots to do outdoors for sure! Let's not forget the ocean & many beaches to explore. I like to call this God's country in all the beauty surrounding you. My favorite place in all the world.

    Someday that will be my husband and I traveling by RV all over the country. It's a huge dream of ours to live full-time in a 5th wheel/truck combo. We have family scattered throughout the U.S. and so many different places we want to visit. My sister-in-law lives in Washington state and we've done extensive traveling in both OR & WA via car, even going as far down as the Redwood forest in California! We also did our first couples vacation in many years to San Francisco in October. Our son graduated from High school last June, so it was a celebration in a way of finally raising our two kids :-) So you see, we have the love of traveling in our veins!

    Fun interview! You're a new-to-me author and your book sounds amazing. Thank you for the giveaway chance to win it!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  29. I enjoyed reading your interview. I can hardly wait to read Avalanche. You have definitely had an exciting life. Thanks for this giveaway. d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  30. I enjoyed reading your interview. I can hardly wait to read Avalanche. You have definitely had an exciting life. Thanks for this giveaway. d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

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