Welcome to the blog! Please help me welcome Brenda Gayle. She’s agreed to take a comfy seat and answer a few questions about herself as well as her release Me + You!
Don’t forget to enter her awesome giveaway as well. The link is toward the end of the post 🙂
Let’s get started …
Tell us about yourself tweet style 🙂 That’s right, you get 140 characters!
Contemporary romance author. Lover of words, wine & wisdom. If only I could leave but one mark on life, it would have to be a question mark.
Awesome! Tell us the last restaurant you ate out at.
I’m not going to count the take-out Mediterranean wrap I got from McDonalds last weekend as I was taking my son to a water polo tournament. The last restaurant I actually sat down and ate at was The Black Dog Bistro, which is located in the small town next to ours. Great name. Great food.
I do like the name 🙂 What was the main goal you accomplished in 2015 and the one main goal you hope to accomplish in 2016?
In 2015 I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone. After four full length contemporary romances and four novellas, I had been toying with the idea of a women’s fiction story—a 20th Century historical—but have been afraid to actually start working on it. Last year I began the plotting & researching of it, and this year my goal is to write it.
I hope you reach your goal. It’s wonderful to stretch yourself. What’s the one question you’re asked most often when it comes to your writing?
That’s a funny one. Everyone always asks when my next book is coming out. I expect most authors get this question. While the publishing process is faster now than it has ever been, the creative muse often has her own agenda.
True words 🙂 When did you first know you wanted to become an author?
I’m sure this is going to sound cliché, but I’ve always known my life would involve writing in some way. I come from a family of writers, many published in a number of different genres.
It doesn’t sound cliche at all. I knew from an early age I wanted to write, but didn’t take the leap until my sister shoved me. lol Who was the first person you told when you were contracted for Me+You?
My husband. He’s always been very supportive of my writing, so he’s always the first to know of both my successes and disappointments.
I love choosing character names. Tell us how you came up with your character’s names in Me+You.
I love choosing character names, too. Often when I’m in the outlining phase, the names come to me as being appropriate for the type of people who’ll be populating the story. The hero of Me+You is Mark Wilder, and it made perfect sense for a guy who runs a Jeep Tour company. Plus, the company could be named Wilder Jeep Tours. In the original synopsis I sent to my editor at The Wild Rose Press, the heroine’s name was Jenn. However, between when the synopsis was accepted and when I actually started writing the story, I wrote another novella with a heroine name Jill and I was afraid I’d confuse myself, so I changed it to Lori.
I don’t necessarily think about people I know with the same name when I decide on names for my characters. A couple of times, I’ve changed names just prior to submitting to my editor when I’ve suddenly realized I’ve named a particularly nasty character the same as a family member or friend. Totally unintentional. Really.
What inspired you to write Me+You?
I wrote this story after visiting Sedona, Arizona. I’d been there, briefly, many years ago and had wanted to return for a long time. Last March, my husband and two kids travelled there for a week and it was amazing. The spectacular scenery, the new age atmosphere with its vortexes and crystals, and the combination of locals and tons of tourists all come together to create a truly unique and wonderful world. I really wanted to make that come across in this story not just in terms of setting, but as a character.
What’s the one scene from your book that stands out in your mind as being your favorite to write?
My favorite scenes to write involved the heroine, Lori, and her best friend Sharon. They each lead very different lives and they have an idealized image of the other’s life. I chose to have most of their scenes involve some sort of physical fitness activity—spinning, yoga, Nordic walking—that Sharon is keen on. Lori participates only because she knows it’s good for her and she can reward herself with a treat afterward.
Do you have a writing ritual—as in do you wear a lucky pair of socks, drink a certain drink, light a candle, play music?
At the start of each day I need 30-60 minutes to sit quietly and drink my coffee (which my husband brings me in bed—even on weekends). The radio may be on, but I am rarely listening to it. I need to be alone with my thoughts, which may range from the practical what I need to do that day to daydreaming about living in a warmer climate, although more often than not, they are merely wisps of ideas or wishes or nothing at all. If I don’t have this time, I feel totally out of sync for the rest of the day, and no writing gets done.
When writing do you try and reach a certain word count each day, or do you write for a certain amount of time, or do you just write and don’t worry about either?
Unfortunately, I don’t write every day. I have a weekly goal of what I want to get accomplished and try to arrange my schedule around that. I am fortunate that I work from home so my schedule is more flexible than those with an “outside” job, but it also means more distractions.
Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
I’ve started writing my 20th Century women’s fiction story, which is loosely based on a family legend. After writing contemporary heroines, it’s an interesting process to imagine my heroine as a woman living in the 1930s without many of the modern conveniences I take for granted, and having to deal with the prevailing attitudes of society.
RANDOM FUN: FINISH THIS SENTENCE…
If I could go anywhere in the world … I’d go to Fiji.
My toothbrush is … purple.
I’ll never eat … lima beans again!
When I was a kid … I wanted to grow up. Now I wish I could take back that wish.
My favorite television show … is no longer on the air.
My favorite quote is … “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” by Mark Twain.
The last book I read was … Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Enter to Win a
$25.00 Amazon eGift Card
ME + YOU
A Candy Hearts Romance
Released January 20th 2016
Wild Rose Press
Teacher Lori Tait has always wanted a family, but now she’s 40, she’s pretty much decided all the good men are taken. Instead, she
devotes herself to her students, particularly one little girl whose struggle with math seems inconsistent with an otherwise brilliant and artistic mind.
Mark Wilder hadn’t planned to become a father, but when a fling resulted in his daughter, Grace, he whole-heartedly embraced the role.
Raised in a family of boys, what does he know about women and girls? Once he learns of Grace’s inability to comprehend basic math, he welcomes the role of tutor as a way to connect with his daughter; the opportunity to spend time with her sexy teacher is an added bonus.
When Lori cracks the mystery of Grace’s problem Mark’s world is thrown into turmoil; he’s the last person who can help his daughter.
He pushes everyone away, confirming Lori’s theory about men. Grace, however, has other plans. Using her new-found understanding of math, she sets out to prove to her father and teacher that, together, they add up to the perfect match.
“…if I wait much longer I will be too old to be accepted into an IVF program.”
“I could give you one of my kids on a rotating basis.” Sharon grinned. “You could take a different one every week. Heck, I’d even throw in Tom for a week, he’s almost as bad as the young ones.”
“I know.” Sharon sobered. “But raising a child isn’t easy, especially if you have to do it on your own. For all I rag on Tom about being a big kid, I couldn’t manage without him.”
“Lots of women do it,” Lori said stubbornly.
“True,” Sharon conceded. She took a sip of her drink and then seriously observed Lori over the rim of her cup. “Okay.” She put the cup down on the table and sat up straighter. “But if you’re determined to have a child, don’t do in vitro. Find some sexy hot stud and, at least, have the fun of doing it the old-fashioned way.”
Lori gagged on a mouthful of mochaccino, trying not to spit it out with laughter. “And where do you think I will find such a specimen?” she asked when she managed to compose herself.
Sharon shrugged. “What about Mr. Tall, Dark, and Yummy?” She pointed over Lori’s shoulder.
Lori swiveled in her chair and found herself staring at the crotch of a poster-sized Mark Wilder exiting one of his famous purple Jeeps. She quickly raised her gaze to the familiar stubbled chin and deep brown eyes, but not before she felt the crimson rush of embarrassment flood her face. He was the only man she’d met recently that looked better than his picture. Take a Trip to the Wild Side with Sedona’s Wilder Jeep Tours, the poster proclaimed.
Yessiree, if she was picking a partner on looks alone, she’d definitely take a trip to the wild side with him.
I’ve been a writer all my life but returned to my love of fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communications–although some might argue there is plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too. I have a Master’s degree in journalism and an undergraduate degree in psychology. A fan of many genres, I am drawn to contemporary romance and enjoy creating deeply emotional stories with elements
of mystery and suspense.
I live in eastern Ontario with my wonderful husband, two fabulous children, a rescued cat, two Siberian Huskies, and assorted aquatic