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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Welcome, Brenda Gayle

Welcome to From the Pages, Brenda. I'm so pleased I'm getting this opportunity to get to know you! Soldier for Love sounds wonderfully romantic. I've got lots of questions to ask, and I know you're busy, so I'm going to get right to the interview, if that's all right.

First, something I'm always curious about when I interview authors, where do you write?

I write wherever is most convenient. I have a laptop that I cart around the house. My current release, Soldier for Love, was written primarily at the kitchen table as life revolved around me. I now have an office with a proper desk and that's where I usually write, however, there are times when I really need a change of scene and so I'll just move. The only place that I've found that's not conducive to writing is on the patio during the summer.

Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

I've written stories for as long as I can remember. In high school my girlfriend and I used to play a game were we'd come up with a first sentence and then go off and write our own short stories. I was always amazed at how different they were. But along with a love of writing, has been a love of reading. While friends dreamt of being actresses, singers or sports stars, I always dreamt of having a best-seller!

What a great game!

Does your family support your writing career? How?

My family is phenomenally supportive. My husband always makes sure I have time and space to write. Every couple of months he takes the kids away for a weekend to visit his family and allow me to have a mini-writing retreat at home. The kids, ages 9 and 11, are very proud of Mom and love to tell everyone about their mother, the author. They are also very understanding when my muse is calling and fend for themselves.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

That's a hard one. Like most authors, writing is what I do for my me-time -- after I've completed all my house chores and made sure the kids are taken care of. I love to read and seem to never have enough time for that. I also like to knit and cook.

Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?

I have just completed my second manuscript, Wildhorse Pass. It's set in New Mexico (living in Eastern Ontario, Canada, I wanted to be able to fantasize about a nice warm climate). Here's the blurb:

When Shelby Holt first sees Chad Greene she thinks she’s going crazy. He looks uncannily like the man she loved—a man she believes was murdered.
But Chad, burned by love and war, is not quite what meets the eye.
Posing as a ranch hand, he’s come to Wildhorse Pass to investigate the woman making wild claims about the death of his cousin—a death ruled accidental. He knows Shelby Holt is hiding something.
But then, so is he.
Chad’s disturbing resemblance to the man she loved confuses Shelby, both physically and emotionally. And in close proximity, despite the danger, sensual attraction simmers and deception deepens. Because the closer Shelby and Chad get to each other, the closer they get to the answer...and the closer they get to danger—until Shelby herself becomes the target of a killer.
Only when they learn to trust one another with the truth will Shelby and Chad be safe and, together, resolve the mysterious death at Wildhorse Pass.

Wildhorse Pass sounds like another good read. Best of luck with that!

The question most readers want to know but never get the chance to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

Sure. I mean, what's the point in being a writer and working from home if you can't lounge around in your PJs for a day. I've had to learn to be a quick change artist, though, after several embarrassing incidents of people arriving at my door in the middle of the afternoon.

What are you reading now?

Mistress of the Sun, by Sandra Gulland. It's a fictionalized biography of Louise de la Valliere, a mistress of Louis XIV. I love biographies about strong, powerful women and although this is fiction, Gulland has done a lot of research. Just prior to this, I read the Lives and Loves of Louis XIV, by Antonia Fraser. I'm a real history geek!

Do you have a pet?

We have a Siberian Husky, Takoda. We had a husky when I was growing up and I've had several since I left home. My current one, however, is in danger of losing his Nordic dog status. Although he's quite capable of staying outside in sub-zero temperatures, he would rather be inside. He's also taken over the couch and I find him every morning, lying on his back, stretched from one end to the other!

What do you love most about being an author?

I love the freedom to let my imagination run away. I understand how appealing it is for actors to "get into character", and as a writer it's even better because you create those characters. You can explore situations and emotions that you'll never face in your own life. Through your characters, you can take a risk or act in a way that is totally foreign to you.

Being a writer also gives you license to learn about anything that even remotely interests you -- all in the name of research. I can fantasize about being on a tropical island while I'm snowed in at home.

If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?

I'd love to be an archaeologist. I can just image the great stories you can create from the artifacts you discover. You could learn not only about whole civilizations, but about the individual day-to-day activities of their inhabitants.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

I don't think I'm different from most writers when I say that writing is both the most difficult and easiest thing I do. But writing is only half of it. Sharing my stories with readers is equally important, and blogs like this one, which allow authors and readers to connect, are a wonderful forum. Readers of this blog all know the wonder of getting yourself totally lost in a book. To be able to give that gift to someone is my life's dream.

Thanks so much for giving us the inside scoop on the woman behind the stories, Brenda. I've enjoyed chatting with you. I hope you'll come back and visit again!

Readers, Brenda has graciously offered to give away a copy of Soldier for Love to one lucky commenter. So comment away, and check back to see if your name is the one that has been randomly chosen!

And read more about what Brenda's working on at her website, http://www.brendagayle.com/

Purchase Soldier for Love here.

SOLDIER FOR LOVE

She’s his Commanding Officer. So why does he seem to in charge?

Major Julie Collins should be on top of the world. Her long-sought promotion has finally come through and she has just been given her first overseas command. But when one of her troops turns out to be the handsome Native American who has just left her bed, everything starts to unravel.

Lieutenant Matt Wolf’s exploits with the opposite sex are legend—if only they were true. His larger-than-life persona masks deep loneliness and isolation. He has every intention of obeying Julie’s order to stay away, but what’s he to do when she follows him and then gets herself kidnapped by a deranged voodoo priest? Suddenly, all orders are belayed as Matt mounts a one-man rescue, risking both of their careers and the only home he has ever known.

An excerpt from Soldier for Love

"What were you doing before I woke up?" she asked to cover her confusion.

"Oh, just a little whittling. I find it helps pass the time." He rose and retrieved the object he had been working on. "Here, I did this for you," he said as he held the piece of wood out to her. "Hummingbirds are incredibly beautiful and delicate, yet also strong and independent," he explained. "Like you." His voice had become husky.

Julie looked down at the bird. Its face reminded her of the festival mask he had selected for her from Madame Lucie’s collection. The vision of making love to him, the wolf, flooded back. At the time she had found arousing the sense of anonymity the masks provided. Had it only been two days ago?

Last night there had been no masks. For the first time they had come together honestly—two people, no more or no less than who they really were. Her body stirred with the memory.

Matt hadn’t let go of the bird when she went to take it from him and his hands melded with the textures of the carving. She stroked the hummingbird’s extended wings, feeling its feathers morph into gentle fingertips. Its head and neck were smooth, Matt’s hands strong and hard.

"Did you know some hummingbirds’ wings beat one hundred times per second?" he whispered. "Can you hear?"

Julie nodded slowly. She had raised her gaze to his face and was losing herself in his eyes. They were questioning; she wasn’t sure she had an answer. In her ears the hummingbird’s wings beat one hundred times a second, keeping pace with her own heart. She couldn’t breath and closed her eyes as Matt lowered his head.

Soldier for Love

5 comments:

Mary said...

Interesting interview! The excerpt is great. This sounds like something I would read. Another for the tbr pile, LOL!!!

Susan said...

This sounds like an interesting story. Nice interview!

Anonymous said...

I want to know what happens next!

Pam

Hadley H. said...

Great interview and a beautiful cover. the new book sounds interesting too. I look forward to hearing more from this new to me author!

sharon said...

Wonderful interview and a very pretty cover. I love these interviews!