Saturday, 5 December 2009

Featured Author Interview - Gail Delany, author of "Tender Hearts"

Gail R. Delaney has been actively writing 'for publication' since 1996. The first novel she ever wrote is still sitting on her computer, waiting for the major rewrite that will make it acceptable. She says she has learned a great deal since writing that book, and it shows when she looks back at that rough draft.

Gail has had eight novels published in the genres of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and futuristic romance. Her novels have received several nominations and awards since she was first published in 2005.

Gail and her family recently moved from the cold and blustry east coast to Southern California, and is loving every moment of sunshine she can soak in.

I'm very excited to interview Gail today!

Let's get to it.

#1 – Gail, you have such an accomplished writing career. I hardly know where to start? Grin! Tell us about your muse. How long has he or she been hanging out with you?

Hi, Steph… it's nice to be in the hot seat. * getting comfy *

First, thank you for the compliment.

I've been writing since I was about nine years old. Back then, my best friend Kristy and I would spend all our free time together writing stories about superheroes. The name of mine was The Night Panther and hers was The Sun Daughter. Cheesy, I know… but it started me down an amazing road. When I was fifteen, I wrote my first novel. It was a fantasy romance (yeah, at 15 the romance was pretty pathetic), and it's still under my bed, so to speak. I did a lot of angsty teen poetry, too.

So, I guess Alabaster and I go way back. Yeah, that's her name… Alabaster. I didn't know her name until about ten years ago. Before that, she was just the annoying little sprite with gossamer dresses and wild hair that sat on the edge of my desk and taunted me. Her name represents two things… the pure joy you feel as an author when the words flow freely… or the pure white of your computer screen when no words will come. She's flighty and fickle, but when she sees fit to gift me with inspiration she is the most beautiful creature in the world.

STEPH: Alabaster is a real cool name. Juliet likes her.

#2 – Where did you get the inspiration for “Tender Hearts?”

"Tender Hearts" was inspired by my life, and perhaps the most tragic and frightening period in my life. Eleven years ago, well, almost twelve now, my son was born three months premature. I have never been so terrified of anything in my whole life as I was at the thought of losing him. We were very, very lucky with him and he's doing great. Most people haven't a clue he was so early. But, the weeks following his birth were a blur for me. They became like one long 'Groundhog Day', playing over and over again.

Later, when the danger had passed and we knew he'd be okay, I decided to turn that time into a book. I've often heard authors say that writing can be a type of therapy for them. And that's exactly what Tender Hearts turned into for me. It was cathartic. I used it to both remember and work through the months after Patrick's birth.

STEPH: It's good to know your son is doing well. Having 2 boys myself, I can imagine the anquish you felt at the time. ((hugs))

#3 – Cast the characters. Who plays Erin? Billy?

Oh, boy… you're challenging me here. Although I often 'cast' my books now, when I wrote this book I didn't do that yet. So… let me think.

* Several hours pass while Gail does other stuff and ponders Billy and Erin… aha! *

Billy would be played by Jensen Ackles. He's an All-American looking guy, yet he's got a bit of 'rugged' in him, which describes Billy.

STEPH: I agree - very all American looks. I cast him for my sports romance I'm working on called "Curve Ball." He plays my all American pitcher.
Okay, now Erin…

* Gail goes back to working and pondering and working and pondering *

Oh! I got it! Mandy Moore… except with burnished red hair and golden-brown eyes. But, that smile and face… yeah, Mandy Moore.

#4 – What is your favorite genre to write? Is there a favorite or a preference?

My favorite to write is science fiction/futuristic romance. I like the possibilities. I don't write hi sci fi, so it's not all about spaceships and aliens with tentacles and five eyes. My writing is more about what 'could' be, and I've been told my sci fi is scary because readers think "Wow, that really could happen". I'm such a sci fi geek, it came naturally to me once I opened up myself to the possibility of actually writing science fiction.

But, I enjoy writing in any genre that allows me to dig deep into the emotions of my characters. I'm a very character-driven author.

#5 - I know you like Twilight, Gail. Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Depends… are we talking books or movies?

If we're talking books, then I'm absolutely Team Edwardespecially after I read the partial of Midnight Sun. The new view of Edward was awesome! I mean… five or six pages of him trying to figure out how he's going to kill everyone in the room just so he can suck her blood… now, THAT is an angle on a 'hero' you don't see very often.

Anyway, Jacob in the books annoyed me.

And since I made it clear there's a distinction… when talking movies, I'm Team Jacob. No one shoot me or anything, but I find Robert Pattinson annoying. He's like… um… like James Van Der Beek in Dawson's Creek. All angst and torture and whiney. Ugh. Just give it up. (Then again, I was always partial to Pacey Witter anyway…) I was impressed with Taylor Lautner in New Moon, so I'm Team Jacob when talking the big screen.

STEPH: I would have never thought of it like that, but upon reflection, I do agree there's a difference between the book and the movies. I have enjoyed both movies much more than the books. I find Bella too angsty for me in the books.

#6 – For those who aren’t familiar with Tender Hearts, can you familiarize us a little bit with the plot?

Billy Culver and Erin Griffin meet by chance in Hawaii. The attraction was intense and immediate and they had three great days together. Then Billy wakes up to an empty bed, and no way to find Erin.

The book opens months later, when Erin shows up on his construction site and tells him she's pregnant. At first, you have the usual miscommunications and shouting until they both wise up and just learn to talk. As they try to figure out together how they can be a family for their child, they realize the same intensity that brought them together before still exists. It's more than just physical… this could be love.

Then tragedy strikes and Erin collapses. To save her life, their baby must be delivered… far, far too early. When faced with the possibility of losing them both, Billy realizes what he could have… and what he could suddenly be without.

Beyond the romance and the drama of Tender Hearts, the story is about acceptance. One of the original taglines was "Family… sometimes you're born into it. Sometimes it welcomes you in with open arms".

STEPH: Consider this one on my reading list!

#7 – What’s your favorite ride at Disneyland. Fess up.

* grinning * Easy. Pirates of the Caribbean. I know… it's a pretty tame ride, but it's still my favorite. When I was 16, I came to California for the first time with my mom for a family reunion. I loved it then, and I still love it.

Now, if you're talking Walt Disney WORLD… by far, it's Mission: Space at EPCOT.

Wow, so that was really fun. I haven't done any kind of author interview in awhile now. Thanks for having me, and thanks for coming by.

STEPH: Pirates is Andrew's favorite ride, too!

* swivels in chair to face desk and goes back to work *

Thanks for popping in, Gail!

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