Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Featured Author Interview - Gail Delaney talks about Something Better

Gail Delaney pops in and talks about her new release, Something Better. Welcome Gail!

STEPH: How exciting to have something *grin* new out! How did you get the inspiration for the story?

GAIL: It actually stemmed from a dream.

When I lived in the East Coast -- because of our time differences -- Jenifer Ranieri and I would do all our catching up through chats and emails. She'd be getting on as I was about half way through my day. We frequently talked about our dreams, so I got into the habit of writing down my dreams to share with her later.

I had already moved to California when I had the dream that inspired Something Better, but I wrote it down anyway to keep the details fresh. I kept having the dream, with more detail each time and I just kept writing it down. Pretty soon, I saw a story idea forming and went from there.

STEPH - Did you "cast" the main characters? Who is Andie? David?

GAIL: David is definitely cast * big grin *. There is only one actor who could be David, and that's Joshua Jackson. Every mannerism, pattern of speech, everything... I can visualize in Joshua.

Andi... no... she's not cast. She's just Andi.

STEPH - How long did it take you to write the novel? Did you bang it right out or did come in spurts?

GAIL: It took me just over a year, and it definitely came in spurts. I started it right around the time we were launching DBP, so I had to work on it here and there when I had some free time -- which was hard to come by. I'd usually do nothing for 2 or 3 weeks, and then slam out 2 or 3 chapters. My biggest writing spurts finished the book, and that was about 30,000 words in about 4 days. I was TIRED when I finished! Considering this is the longest book I've ever written -- at nearly 125,000 words -- I don't think a year is too bad.

STEPH - Did you plot out the novel or did it shape up as you wrote it?

GAIL: I don't plot. I start with a beginning... a general concept of the end... and some possible 'moments' that come to me as I write. Sometimes, the scenes I see don't actually make it in -- depending on how the story flows. But I don't do much more than that. I've had people say "When you get to 'such-and-such' you should 'do thus-and-such', and all I can say is "We'll see..." because how can I know if that'll work until I get there? Every scene -- to me -- is a result of the previous scene. Just like life. You can't plan life... you live each moment reacting to the moment before it. And that's the way I like to write.

STEPH - How do you balance your personal writing with editing?

GAIL: It's not an even or consistent balance, by any means. I edit/work during the day, and often into my evening and night at home. I attempt to leave the weekends for me, but that doesn't always happen. I tend to put editing ahead of anything of mine, unless my muse is just REALLY being persistent and won't let me focus, then I give in for an evening.

STEPH - Have you traveled around California yet? Is there one place you'd like to go in California that you haven't been to yet?

GAIL: Sadly, I have not. Would you believe I haven't even been to the beach yet? My husband works on the coast, and I've yet to get there myself. I have lots of places I'd like to go... Hearst Castle, the Missions, wine country, San Francisco. I'd like to get back to the Queen Mary in Long Beach... Jenifer and I went there a few years ago, and I'd love to take my daughter. I think she'd love staying on board the ship.

STEPH - Name one thing you miss about New England.

GAIL: My dad.


  1. Gail,

    I must get this book. It sounds wonderful. The interview is great but I must admit the question "Name one thing you miss about New England and your answer "My Dad" made me cry.

    I never knew my dad It really touched me

    Walk in harmony,

  2. I enjoyed your interview.I love this quote:
    "You can't plan life... you live each moment reacting to the moment before it. And that's the way I like to write." I often post quotes from authors on my Facebook page. If it's okay with you I want to use this one.


  3. Gail,
    I'm impressed. 125,000 written words despite a new publishing company that requires most of your time.

    Check before you go to the Queen Mary. I think it has closed.

    Toni Noel

  4. Gail,
    I don't know how you do it all - you're amazing.

    I'm sorry your dad lives so far away.

    You have to make time to go to the beach and to just relax for a day.

    Great interview, Steph and Gail!

  5. Thanks everyone for popping in. Toni, the last time I went to the Queen Mary was back in 2006, but I think it is still open. They host a Scottish Highland Games there every February, (I think!) and I've been saying I want to go, but I'm going to have to wait til my boys are a little bit older.


  6. Gail, I love what you said about a scene being the result of the previous one. Isn't that so true to life. Makes perfect sense! Great interview!