Friday, November 4, 2016
Interview of Gail Gaymer Martin by Cynthia Hickey
When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?
I started writing very young. My third grade teacher wrote on my report card, Gail is a good writer. I wrote poetry as a child, and by the time I was ten, I was creating stories. My writing segued more into journalism, and I wrote for my high school newspaper as well as two others, a county and city newspaper, when I was a teen, a paid position. I began college in journalism and soon changed to education with my degree in teaching high school English and public speaking. Later I taught at for Davenport University in Michigan and following a masters degree in counseling , I worked as a counselor for twenty-three years. Yet all the while I was writing for my personal pleasure along with church musical programs that were fund raisers and plays for the teachers to be performed at school events. When I retired from my counseling career and was young enough to pursue my dream, I began freelance writing for magazines and periodicals and in 1997 I began writing fiction. I sold my first novel in 1998 and today I have sixty-eight published novels.
What is your writing process like? Do you write daily? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I tell people I have holes in my head that collect story ideas and pieces of dialogue that live there until the plotlines comes to life. Then I write the movie that I see in my mind. I write daily but not set hours. I’m slower at the beginning of the novel as I create the characters and new ideas strikes me, but once I’m half way through I am a fast writer and the book seems to fly off my fingers. I am a plotter although I do not prepare detailed outlines. I know the beginning of my novel, major conflicts, and the ending but my writing process can take me on unexpected journeys to get where I am going. Often those flashes of dialogue or character’s startle me but also thrill me since it twists the plot or makes the ending far more meaningful and exciting.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?
Creativity is my favorite. Finding a new way to present a character or situation, discovering the story rhythm through the words that I hadn’t noticed as they landed on the page, or developing an unexpected plot twist that flashes into my mind. My least favorite is editing although even then I sometimes discover a surprise element that makes the story better and I then develop it more fully into the story.
What is one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered in your research?
I love to visit the places I write about, and one of the best experiences is meeting people there who become major assistance in providing me with great information to make the book come to life. I always try to make contact with one or two key people in town who I can call or email to get answers to questions. One example was the owner of an old time photo business who sent me detailed photographs of her wedding chapel that I had not had a chance to see. When I wrote my Christmas book set on Mackinac Island in Michigan’s Straits, With the help of the island’s bookstore manager, I was connected to a woman who had lived on the island all her life, invaluable contacts for a book set in a real location.
Secrets Within revolves around Laine whose sister on her death bed asks Laine to become guardian of her little daughter. Becca. She also learns that her sister’s wealth and beautiful jewelry have shriveled to almost nothing, and she suspects her sister’s boyfriend is a con-man. After her sister dies, Laine takes Becca to her home where the child clings to a rag doll that seems to represent the love for her mother. Laine’s neighbor Jeff becomes a source of support and romance as he works with Laine to discover the answers to her questions while not knowing that she and Becca are in more danger than they realize.
Who or what inspired this special story?
Secrets Within is set on an inland lake in Michigan. My family owned a cottage on a lake and I used that setting to inspire some of the ideas for this book. I had also written a few “novels” when I was about 11 and a huge fan of Nancy Drew Mysteries. I found one of the books one day and read it. I was shocked to see that as a kid who knew nothing about writing a novel, I had done a pretty good job, and one of the important elements of that book that helped solve the mystery was such a great idea, I decided to use it in a new novel.
Is there anything else you would like to share? What will you be working on next?
Another new book is A Tucumcari Christmas, is the second novella series set in the New Mexico town of Tucumcari, on the heart of Route 66. The first book, A Trip To Remember, began the series, and I decided to use Tucumcari again for the final book, Be Mine In Tucumcari, that’s also part of a collection of Valentine novellas with Winged Publications. The romances involve the same characters but focuses on a different person in each novella.
Can you tell us something about yourself that few people may know?
I could tell you a lot of things, but I won’t. J I took a summer course while in high school at Michigan State University and won an award for News Writing which was very exciting for me. I also am a solo singer at my church and have sung with some wonderful auditioned Christian chorals as well as the auditioned choral group at Wayne State University in Michigan. Oh and I tap danced at the State Fair with a dance studio and was so scared I did part of the dance backward.
What is your most treasured possession?
My mother wore a ring all of her life, an amethyst stone in a gold setting, which had been her mother’s. She told me that since I was the oldest daughter that it would be mine when she died. I have worn that ring daily since my mother went to heaven, but I would give it back if I could have her with us again.
If you had to leave your house suddenly, what is one thing you would grab, other than family and pets?
As I said above, the ring, but also I would take the computer. It’s backed up in the clouds but I never find things there. My whole writing career is on that computer.
Thank you so much! Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
My website is http://www.gailgaymermartin.com where I have all my books available under the Books tab. Also both books and eBooks are found on Amazon.com which has the most complete listing of my novels and novellas. Readers can also find me at: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gail.g.martin.3 Twitter: http://twitter.com/GailGMartin Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/83354.Gail_Gaymer_Martin LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gailgaymermartin Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/109587381229322171655/posts
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