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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Interview & Book Giveaway with Gail Pallotta

Joining us today is Romance Author, Gail Pallotta. Love Turns the Tide is Gail’s first romance, but she’s been writing for as long as she can remember. Her first story appeared in a grammar school newspaper. Much later, she worked as an editor and copywriter. After she married she helped her husband with his business, but continued to write. Between the feature stories she wrote at work and the freelance pieces she placed, she published several hundred articles. After some of them were selected for anthologies and two ended up in museums friends and family nudged her to “do more.” Then, she undertook a lifelong dream and wrote a novel. In 2004, the year she published her first book, Now Is the Time, the American Christian Writers Association named her a regional writer of the year.


[Anne] Welcome, Gail. Tell us how did got started in writing? How difficult was your journey to publication?

[Gail] First let me say, “The top o’ the mornin’ to ye’ and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. In grammar school a friend and I put out a newspaper about our classmates. But, when I was in college I became more serious about writing. In one of my classes the professor required us to submit a manuscript for publication, so I wrote a poem, which was accepted by Royal Publishing Company in Dallas, Texas. After I graduated I worked as an editor and a copywriter. I wish I could say I’m one of those writers who dashes off something one night and editors and readers just love it. But for me the road to publication has required persistence, hard work and dedication. When I married, I helped my husband with his business, but I also sent out freelance articles. Between those and the feature stories I contributed to publications where I worked, I published several hundred articles. After some of them were included in anthologies and two were placed in museums my friends and family urged me to do more with my writing. I’d always wanted to write a book, so I started Now Is the Time, a book of serious Christian fiction that was published in 2004. I’m still as fascinated by writing as ever, so the journey continues. I’m working hard to learn as much as I can about the craft and the business of publishing.

[Anne] Happy St. Patty’s Day to you too, Gail. Tell us more about Love Turns the Tide.

[Gail] Love Turns the Tide, is a Christian romance with a bit of suspense. The main character, Cammie O’Shea, faces a traumatic split-up with her fiancé and has to leave her family and friends to take a new job in Destin, Florida. Heartbroken and alone in a place where she knows no one, she needs God now more than she ever has. But for some reason she can’t explain she feels more estranged from him. A feature writer, she dreads meeting her boss, the editor of The Sun Dial newspaper. However, her real source of angst turns out to be Vic Deleona, the influential real estate developer she must write about to generate interest in the paper. While she refuses to open herself to another painful relationship he attempts to court her by making business appointments with her. Trying to get over her heartache, she continues to read her Bible and say her prayers. One day she reads Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” Afterward she ponders how living in Destin possibly could be good for her. Then, break-ins occur at her friend’s condo and her unit, making her doubt the wisdom of living in Destin even more. However, Vic comes to their rescue. He even launches his own investigation into the crimes, and Cammie sees a different side of him. But finally she gets an offer to return home to her old job. One minute she believes God is telling her to leave Destin, the next she isn’t so sure.


[Anne] Where did you come up with the concept for your story?

[Gail] I set the book in Destin, Florida, where the crystal, clear water gently laps white powdery sand not far from the dunes dotted with sea oats dancing in the breeze. I’ve visited there many times and think it’s one of the most romantic places I’ve ever seen. As for the plot, it comes from hearing about romantic trials and tribulations. A guy in high school once told me that he thought I’d grow up to write an advice column for a newspaper. While I wouldn’t want to tackle that, I think he felt that way, because I listened relentlessly to any of my peers who needed me to. I didn’t solve their problems, but after they talked about them they usually worked them out for themselves. Also, in discussions with others I learned that some men and women fall in love young and enjoy a romance that leads to the altar. However, many get hurt again and again before they find the right person. I wanted them to know they aren’t alone and there’s someone out there for them.

[Anne] Okay, say you have this great idea for a book, what do you do next? How much plotting do you do?

[Gail] I do enough to have a beginning, a middle and an end. But, after I begin writing and the characters take shape they seem to take over, participating in events I hadn’t originally considered. Then, twists and turns pop up just as they do in real life.

[Anne] Ah, another fellow panster : )  In your opinion what are the most important avenues an author should take in promoting their works?

[Gail] Whatever works. I think promotion is difficult. Even though each book has its own voice, the writer has to find a way to connect with his or her audience. Suggestions I’ve heard include speaking engagements, book signings, a Web site, a blog and a facebook page. Online interviews and group promotions also are great opportunities.

[Anne] All good suggestions, Gail.  Now what is one of the most memorable things that has happened to you since you’ve become a published author?

[Gail] It’s not easy to pick one memorable thing, because I feel humbled and honored each time someone buys one of my books or tells me the book had a special meaning for his or her life. However, one of the people who read Love Turns the Tide remarked that she not only loved the story, but she thought the Scripture used blended into the story line and added to it. I had worked hard to try to achieve that effect, so her statement meant a lot to me.

[Anne] Now for a little fun! Do you have any unusual or not so unusual hobbies you’d care to tell us about?

[Gail] While I enjoy making flower arrangements and decorating, I’d have to say my most unusual hobby is bargain shopping. I call it a hobby for two reasons. First, whenever I visit a new area I must investigate the discount mall. But secondly, since I purchase so little merchandise the excursion doesn’t necessarily fill a need. It’s a fun activity my daughter and I have enjoyed for years. We can spend an afternoon in a discount store trying on shorts, blouses, skirts, pants and dresses. Then, we end up getting maybe one item. But that gives us something to look forward to, because we have to plan another shopping trip to find something to go with it. She picks up items that she thinks I’ll like and vice versa. If we try on something that’s wrong for us we laugh for five minutes at how we look in it. When we finally purchase our perfect item for the day, we are so pleased, and we’ve had a great time!

[Anne] What snack are we likely to see sitting next to your computer when you’re typing away on your next best seller?

[Gail] Nuts, pretzels and raisins together or separately. I sound like a granola writer.

[Anne] LOL. Hey, you forgot sunflower seeds. You can’t have decent granola without sunflower seeds. Okay, now let’s pretend you’ve been stranded on an island somewhere in the pacific. What are three things you would miss the most?

[Gail] My husband and my daughter equally. Those two are a no-brainer, but the third one, ouch. I’d miss my computer, because I need it to write, but I’d miss books to read and a pool for swimming too.

[Anne] But you’ll have a whole ocean to swim in…that is unless you don’t like swimming with the sharks : ) So, what advice can you offer for any aspiring authors out there?

[Gail] Be persistent and continue to learn about writing and the industry. Don’t get discouraged by rejections, but keep listening to the voice within and examining things that never change, such as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, storms, human nature and the presence of good and evil. Look for a way to write about one of these truths that makes people see it for the first time, understand it better or find it more meaningful. Keep writing and sending out manuscripts.

[Anne] Great advice! Where can we purchase your books? And do you have a website we can visit?

[Gail] Now Is the Time can be ordered from any book store and Amazon. The ISBN number is 1-4137-0686-X. Love Turns the Tide is available from Awe-Struck E-Books at www.awe-struck.net. I’d love to have folks visit my Web site at http://www.gailpallotta.com and my blog at http://www.gailpallotta.blogspot.com.

[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[Gail] Yes, I have enjoyed being a part of March Madness. Thank you so much for having me.

[Anne] I’ve enjoyed having you, Gail. Here is the video for Love Turns the Tide. Gail will be giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter. The drawing will take place on Sunday. So we want to hear from you.

22 comments:

Miss Mae said...

Wow, Gail, you have articles in museums??? I am soooo in awe! Mine would wind up in outhouses! LOL

Yes, the beach is a terrific spot to place a romance story and I love the outline you've given of yours. Here's wishing you much success! :)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Miss Mae,

Your articles wouldn't wind up in outhouses (LOL). The two that are in museums are historical articles. Thanks for stopping by and for your good wishes.

chahtameda said...

Gail, you have achieved your lifelong dream of writing and publishing a novel, and not just one, so what comes next? Can we look forward to a sequel to "Love Turns the Tide"? The Spirit has truly guided you along a path that has proven to be a delightful one for, not only you, but your readers. I am excited and anxiously waiting for your next publication. Also, will you consider offering your future books both online and in tradition print? Books make great gifts.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hello chatameda,
Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. Yes, I'm working on another romance, and I'd love to have Love Turns the Tide as a print book, but it's up to my publisher, and so far it's only offered online. One can hope though.

Anonymous said...

This book sounds very interesting and I think I would enjoy reading it.... a good mystery is always a winner with me. Articles in museums? What museums and what articles? How do you get an article in a museum, part of a history collection or a discription of a museum piece? Thanks....

Gail Pallotta said...

One article is in the Atlanta History Center. It's about the Brookwood Train Station, and it was the first one written about that train station, so that's why the history center wanted a copy. It's the same with the other article in a museum. It is about Catherine Whitener, the mother of chenile and the carpet industry. She invented the weave for chenille. It's the same one used for carpet. She'd been mentioned in lots of articles, but mine happened to be the first one about her alone. It's in the Murray-Whitfield County Historical Museum. When I started the articles, until I was into the research, I didn't realize mine were the first specifically on these topics, and it didn't dawn on me that the museums would ask for them until they did.

Anne Patrick said...

Hi everyone! Hey, great questions.
Gail, that's quite an accomplishment to have articles in museums. What made you chose these topics?

I love old train stations! Out behind my grandmother's house near Council Grove, KS, is an old KATY Depot. As kids we used to explore it and make believe we were part of the James Gang. We had a blast!

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Anne,
Many years ago in another life I used to ride the train out of the Brookwood Station in Atlanta and it just held a nostalgic place in my heart. I was working with an editor who wanted articles about Buckhead, and I thought of the train station. For the other one, I met an extremely talented seamstress who was making chenille clothes, pillows, stuffed animals, etc., and selling them at craft fairs. I was writing an article about her, when I discovered the information about the weave. That made me want to write one about Catherine Whitener.
You might look into the old train station in Kansas. There might be an article or who knows, a book, there.

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi Gail, Anne,

Awesome site. So much here, Anne. Took twenty minutes to load your page on my turtle-paced dial, but I finally made it.

The interview was interesting. I like bargain shopping, too. Not just clothes. Love to pilfer through all those places. Never know what treasures you might find.

Great storyline, Gail. Sounds like your heroine has a tough decision to make. My kind of book. Has a great moral and I'm sure a happy ending.

Congratulations. Sounds and looks fantastic.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Laurean,
Thanks so much for hanging in there for the download. Nice to find out we are kindred shoppers.
I appreciate your stopping by.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

HI Gail and Anne,
Very interesting interview and loved learning about you, Gail. Thanks for sharing with us. Both your shopping hobby and your love of old train stations definitely sparked a chord with me. LOL
Sounds like a wonderful book and I wish you every success.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Rebecca,
Thanks for stopping by and for your good wishes.

Sherry Kuhn said...

Hi Anne, Hi Gail,
Really enjoyed the interview and getting to know you Gail.

Love Turns the Tide sounds really good. Love the romantic cover! Please enter me in the drawing.
Blessings and thanks.
Sherry
love2stitch(at)hotmail(dot)com

Crystal Ennis said...

Great interview Gail & Anne!
The setting for your book sounds very romantic. I would love to win a copy.

okiecrystale@yahoo.com

Martha Lawson said...

Great interview, another new to me author.. The book's cover is beautiful! I would love to read this one. Please enter me for the chance. Good luck.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Anne Patrick said...

Thanks for your patience, Laurie. I don't miss my dial-up at all. I didn't realize my page took so long to load. Maybe I need to do some redecorating.

Hi Crystal, Sherry & Becca! Thanks so much for dropping by. Your names have been added to the Gail's drawing & my grand prize drawing. Good luck!!!

Anne Patrick said...

Hi Martha. You slipped in on me : ). Glad you dropped by, and yes, I'll put your name in the hopper. Good luck!!

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Sherry, Crystal and Martha,
Thanks for stopping by and for your good thoughts about Love Turns the Tide.

Danielle Thorne said...

Great interview! I'm looking forward to reading Love Turns the Tide, Gail. It's on my summer reading list.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Danielle,
Thanks so much for stopping by and for thinking of Love Turns the Tide for your reading list.

Leni said...

This was a fun,insightful interview. Your description of Love Turns The Tide as a christian romance with a bit of suspense sounds like a great book.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Leni,
Thanks so much for stopping by.

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