Wow. I’m up here in the BEAUTIFUL Oregon forest, after flying (or trying to) nearly all day yesterday. Got to bed at 4:12 AM Oregon time, but slept a few hours and am actually adjusting, I think, to being on the Pacific Coast. We have a great group of conferees out here, lots of friends, and I’m looking forward to sharing a few things the Lord has placed on my heart.
Today, though, I wanted to let you know about my friend Gail’s latest release from Steeple Hill. I think you’ll enjoy it!
Gail Gaymer Martin is an award-winning novelist for Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing with over one million books in print and forty fiction novels or novellas. The second book in the Michigan Island Series, With Christmas In His Heart, was recently honored with the 2007 National Readers Choice Award in Inspirational. Her book, Writing The Christian Romance will be released in December from Writers Digest.
Escape to beautiful Beaver Island could be the answer to Marsha Sullivan’s need for a fresh start. Since her husband’s death four years ago, Marsha had lost her way, but on Beaver Island, she had good memories to help guide her. Running into Jeff, her brother-in-law, in this paradise turned out to be a blessing. Not only did they share grief in losing their spouses, but also a warm bond began to form between them. Did God want her to love again? The only thing she knew for sure was that being with Jeff and his daughter felt like family.
Review: Top Pick! (4-1/2 stars) In His Dreams touches on sensitive issues, including the problems of an emotionally handicapped child. But Gail Gaymer Martin outdoes herself with the romance she threads throughout.
1. Why did you write this story?
Michigan is blessed with the Great Lakes and a multitude of islands. I’ve enjoyed a number of them and I began to think about the thing that intrigues people about islands. As I thought, I realized islands might make an interesting setting for a series. My first book was set on Harsens Island in Lake St. Clair, was based on a real experience of mine, and I used it to spark a story idea. The second book, With Christmas In His Heart, was set on Mackinac Island, a charming and amazing island that’s like stepping back in time. Mackinac has no motorized vehicles, and people who live there walk, ride bikes, horseback, or horse and carriage. This book was inspired by my visit to the historical island which an amazing history. I’d spent a week in a chalet which I used for my heroine Marsha and many of the places mentioned in the book are real. The final book to be released in January 2008 is set on the awesome Les Cheneaux Islands and Drummond Island in northern Michigan. The series was such a joy to write.
2. How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
How a story comes to me is not consistent. I might hear a Bible verse in church, notice something in a stained glass window that strikes me. I can get a story idea from song lyrics or an article in the newspaper. I might hear a real life event or situation that brings a story to mind. I might meet someone who has an interesting take on life. Sometimes I visit a place and think that I’d like to set in a story there. Whichever comes first, close behind are the other aspects of what I need. If I have a setting, the plot will be on its tail and then the kind of characters needed to make the story work. My last three book series proposals were based on location. I have completed the Michigan Island series — stories set on four different Michigan Islands as I mentioned. The next book series came to mind while spending time in the Monterey area where my nieces live, and finally, my travels have resulted in a new series idea for Steeple Hill Love Inspired set partially in the U.S. and partially in a foreign country.
3. What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love writing and creating, and I enjoy meeting readers and receiving their letters.. Sharing my faith in stories that entertain is a blessing for me, and touching people’s lives with the message in the story is an honor. I am awed that the Lord has blessed me in this way. What I don’t like are the pressures of deadlines when they overlap. Then my life becomes so very stressed, especially when I find myself working on two or three books at one time. Then it’s not fun.
4. What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
My books all contain romance. I write basically Christian romance, romantic suspense and women’s fiction with romance. I was never a reader of romance, but I happened to meet many writers who wrote in that genre, and it just happened. Since I sold my first novel in one year, I believe that’s what the Lord meant me to do. I have always read suspense and romantic suspense—older authors such as Mary Stewart and Phyllis Whitney, and I love suspense.
5. What would you want readers to take away from your books?
My takeaway message is always one of faith but varies with each book. If I were to give a blanket statement, I would want readers to know that they are not alone, but God is with them and offers them forgiveness, love, mercy, comfort, and eternal life if they believe in God’s son, Jesus Christ, and His sacrificial death for our sins.
That’s it for today. I owe a HUGE thanks to Ernie Wenk, who reads this blog from time to time, for picking me and Robin Parrish up at the airport at 2:30 a.m. Ernie, you’re a gem!