1. What or who inspired you to start writing? I'm one of those writers who read a book so bad I knew I could do better. I soon realized writing a good book took some effort, so I spent the next half dozen years learning to write--and rewrite. After fourteen years, I sold my first book. Since then I've published the two other novels in my Rock'n'Romance trilogy, two novellas, and this month celebrate the release of book #5 of my Legacy Series, CHALLENGING THE LEGACY. Four more Legacy books are contracted to release every two months through July 2013.
2. How do you come up with ideas for your books? My fascination with people who live through horrific experiences yet emerge stronger plays a key role in my Legacy Series. The first book of the series, PICTURE PERFECT LEGACY, features a minor character in an earlier book who captured my writer's imagination and insisted her story be told. Since she has seven overly protective, adopted brothers, they all needed a story and romance of their own so they would quit interfering in Marly's life.
3. What expertise do you bring to your writing? My dramatic stories are fueled by over twenty years of working for a social service agency--great fodder for trauma and drama and overcoming incredible odds.
4. What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio? If it's not in my bio, I don't want anyone to know about it! LOL! OK, a couple things: (1) I'm also a graphic designer and have designed all my own book covers, and (2) I don't talk about my great love and respect for dogs in my bio, because I could go on and on for hours talking about my furbabies. However, dogs or pets of some kind usually show up in my stories.
5. If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why? While I really like the characters in my books--I have to so I can write their stories well--and admire certain traits like boldness and being outspoken, I'm pretty used to being me and would have to start all over with the self-improvement if I became someone else. :)
6. Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing? I have several critique partners who each bring a different perspective that is invaluable in improving my writing.
7. When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step? I had been hesitantly submitting my work with the encouragement of members of my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. However, Christine Young encouraged me to submit to the publisher who contracted for my first book. (Many thanks for that, Chris!)
8. What is the best and worst advice you ever received regarding writing or publishing? This advice could actually fit for most things: Use what works for you personally (advice, suggestions, stuff at garage sales) and don't worry about the rest.
9. Do you outline your books or just start writing? I am a detailed plotter who has developed even more ways to keep track of details (and drive my pantster writing friends crazy) as I've been writing my series of books.
10. Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books? As I mentioned above, I love pets, especially dogs, and pets usually end up in my books. I'm also very interested in healing with energy and different spiritual pathways, and that also influences my characters.
11. As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans? Right now I'm focused on writing and promoting my Legacy series, which features eight adopted siblings determined to continue their father's legacy. As they uncover secrets that lead to the truth that killed their father, the action, romance and family drama heat up. These books started releasing in March 2012, and will release every two months through July 2013. This is a wonderful release schedule, but intense. When it's done, I want to explore ways to add audio and video clips to make books a multi-sensory experience for readers.
12. Anything else you might want to add? Many thanks to Chris for inviting me as a guest on her blog!
EXCERPT: CHALLENGING THE LEGACY
The pressure of Pierce's fingers on hers surprised Tallie. She knew speculation about the two of them had been raging through town since Pierce showed up the night Halo exploded. Fitting, it seemed, since his arrival and the news he was Marly's biological father had rocked the foundation of her world.
Events continued to unfold at a rapid pace, including the whirlwind courtship and marriage of her oldest son, Collin, and local café owner, Beth Boulanger. Tallie already loved Beth like a daughter, though she had questioned Collin about the haste of their wedding.
However, Beth glowed with innocent love as she walked down the aisle toward Collin. And Tallie had never seen her oldest son as happy as when he took Beth's hand and tucked it under his arm, then turned to face his brother, Patrick, who was performing the ceremony.
What a difference the packed church was to the intimate setting when Tallie had married Bernie. Just the minister, his wife, and Bernie's uncle, along with Collin and Patrick, who were still wary little boys not believing they might actually have a loving home of their own.
Collin is so handsome. Just like Bernie was.
Tallie dabbed at her tears with a tissue. Bernie had worn a navy blue suit and starched white shirt. Tallie wore the new dress he insisted on buying for her and carried a bouquet of flowers--real ones--from the florist fifty miles away. The two boys were self-consciously silent in their borrowed suits and slicked-down hair.
"This will be a real marriage." Bernie had told her when he proposed a union so the boys would have both an adoptive father and mother. "You decide when you're ready to be physically intimate. But I'll always be faithful to you."
Tallie touched the wedding ring still circling the third finger of her left hand. A ring that had belonged to Bernie's grandmother.
When they married, Bernie spoke his vows clearly and looked directly at her. In all their years of marriage, Tallie knew without a doubt Bernie had indeed been true to her. He never gave her reason to think anything else.
You would be so proud of your children, Bernie.
As she dabbed at her tears again, Pierce took Tallie's hand and smiled at her. What would her life have been if she had married Pierce? She would have missed out on all her children, as well as the courage that came with being part of Bernie's legacy. She might have become as bitter as Portia Stratford.
She had loved Pierce with a deep physical passion--in a different way than she loved Bernie. She and Bernie were partners, with a love that grew from shared respect and purpose. No matter the past and whatever the future might hold, Tallie was grateful she had her marriage with Bernie and the blessings of all her children.
Only time would tell if her relationship with Pierce would become more than being parents to Marly. Today, Tallie simply cherished this beautiful time of her oldest son marrying the woman he now gazed at with total devotion and love.
BIO for GENIE GABRIEL, romance author
For years I've been fascinated by the puzzle of why some people collapse under life's traumas and others emerge triumphantly stronger. These triumphs of the human spirit over the ugliest of adversities became the basis for my stories. Yet my dramatic stories have always contained touches of humor, and sometimes I have great fun writing romantic comedy novellas. However, in all my stories, my passion for writing romance is an outlet for the powerful messages that people can overcome great difficulties, and true love can turn life’s heartaches into happily ever after.
My Web site: www.GenieGabriel.com
My LEGACY blog: http://oshealegacyseries.blogspot.com/