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Talking With Gayle Trent

Last week I introduced you to Gayle Trent. Today, gayle is joining us for a wondrous interview. Grab a cup of coffee and sit back as you enjoy learning more about Gayle Trent!



Gayle Trent the person:

1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Yikes, you ask toughies! Christian, mother, wife.

2. How do you think others would describe you?

Creative, I think. Caring (sometimes to a fault – this with regard to stray animals). Goofy. [laughing] I love to have fun with my family, and I’ll do a lot of crazy things to get them to laugh.

3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Jesus and my family. I try really hard to live by the Golden Rule, and I’m so grateful for the blessings I’ve been given. My children are boy/girl twins; and when they were first put into my arms, I was at first terrified, and then I realized, “This is it. This is love.”

4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

Whoa, do I have pets (please see above reference to stray animals)! Let’s start with the minority (dog) who has the longest moniker, Holly Rose Joey Conrad “Doodles” Trent. Holly is part Whippet and part Airedale, and she looks sort of like Max from The Grinch. She is precious…the sweetest, most patient dog ever. She loves rawhide “bones” and squeaky toys. Unfortunately, this means when she is introduced to anything new (like a cat), she tries to pounce on it to see if it will squeak.

Pepper Louise is our rescue cat. The woman who’d released Pepper to the shelter was there when we got her, and she told us she was releasing Pepper because the other cats picked on her. After getting to know Pepper better, we’re thinking that might’ve been the other way around. Pepper is a little bully. She did learn very quickly one summer not to bother blue jays’ nests. Every time she’d go outside, a flock of blue jays would swoop at her head! With people, Pepper is usually friendly and sweet.

The feral foursome: Baby is an adorable gray and white cat who loves to eat and sun himself on a tree stump. Topeka is Baby’s sister. She, too, is white and gray. She’s delicate and timid. A neighbor and I were able to trap these two and get them sterilized and vaccinated. Big Daddy (how Tennessee Williams is that?) is a blue-eyed cat who can be a little scary. He is too smart to allow himself to be trapped and only comes around when hungry or hurt…or both. A few weeks ago, he showed up on the porch and was so sick it broke my heart. I couldn’t get him to the veterinarian, but I took my Flip cam and videoed him so the vet could see and hear the cat. He prescribed an antibiotic, and I put that in Big Daddy’s food until he was well. The latest member of the feral foursome is Georgie. Georgie is crippled and pitiful, but he (or she) is a scrappy little thing.

5. What is your most precious memory?


The birth of my children is number one. But I’d have to say the second is my last conversation with my grandmother. We would always go back and forth with, “I love you best!” to see who could get the last word when we parted from each other. The last time I saw her, she could barely talk but held my hand and managed to get out, “I…love…you…best.” I smiled and said, “I’m gonna let you have this one.” She nodded. We both knew she’d be going home to Heaven soon. But, when I get there someday, I plan on telling her, “I love YOU best.” J

6. What is your most embarrassing memory?


I was working for a stodgy attorney. And, I do mean STODGY. Gone With the Wind had been on TV recently, and I’d been talking like Prissy to one of the women I worked with, saying, “I’m just toting my weary load.” Word got around that I could do the voice fairly well, so I was in the hallway when some other women asked me to “do Prissy.” While I was imitating Prissy, the attorney walked up behind me. One of the women said, “Gayle, do that voice for Steve.” My eyes nearly bugged out of my head! I started shaking my head, and he said, “That’s okay; she doesn’t have to do it for me.” Feeling both guilty and foolish, I went ahead and did the imitation. “That’s very amusing,” he said, without the hint of a smile.

7. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Realistically, I’d be a legal secretary. In my dreams, I’d be an actress. Or maybe do cartoon voiceover work. That, I would be good at.

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

She left us with a smile.

Gayle Trent the writer:

9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?


It was when I got my first book contract. It made me so nervous! I became physically ill at the thought of “the world” reading my book. I’ve since come to realize that “the world” was a vast overestimate.

10. What is going on with your writing these days?

I’m working on The Quick and The Thread, a cozy mystery set on the Oregon Coast and featuring a heroine (Marcy Singer) who owns an embroidery specialty shop. I’m writing this series under the pseudonym Amanda Lee for NAL. I’m also working on Dead Pan, the sequel to Murder Takes the Cake. Both an audio publisher and a print publisher have expressed interest in my out-of-print book Between A Clutch and a Hard Place, which I’m currently posting a chapter at a time on my blog. (Your readers can e-mail me via my website http://www.gayletrent.com {scroll down to E-mail Gayle} for a f*r*e*e PDF download of this book; and I’ll get it to them as quickly as I can.)

11. What are your future goals for your writing?

I’d love to keep doing both the cozy mysteries I’m working on…at least for awhile. I enjoy both series and have some fun ideas for upcoming books.

12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Since I freelance part-time for a California-based company, I usually begin my day working for them. I do a lot of my writing during the school year while I wait for my children in their school’s car rider line. I also write after everyone else has gone to bed…especially during deadline crunches (like now! TQTT is due June 1).


13. Why do you write?

I’ve always loved creating characters and stories. When I was a little girl, my friends and I would develop entire plots. Instead of playing “wedding,” we’d play wherein we would meet and marry our husbands, then go on our honeymoon and be involved in a plane crash, or get abducted by spies or something.


14. What writer most inspires you? Why?

Once again, you ask tough questions. There are several modern writers I enjoy reading; but I would have to say I was inspired by Victoria Holt. I devoured her books when I was in high school.


15. How do you define your writing?

Character driven, comedic and (at least, I strive for) warm.

16. In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?


“I wanted every one of her books to keep going.” When people tell me they wanted my book to keep going, I take it as the highest compliment they can give me. I know that feeling, and to me, it means a book was wonderful.


Gayle Trent the details:


17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

Website: http://www.gayletrent.com

Blog: http://gayle24202.tripod.com/gaylesblog
Twitter: @GayleTrent


18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Probably the easiest way for people to get in touch right now is through Twitter. They can also e-mail me from my website.


19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Murder Takes the Cake is the only book I currently have in print. I don’t have a release date for The Quick and The Thread. And my other books are out-of-print. But I’m hoping to remedy that soon, so I’ll keep you posted!

20. For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?


What I hope they get [in Murder Takes the Cake] is a warm, funny Southern cozy mystery. Deborah Smith once described my writing as “Mayberry meets Fried Green Tomatoes.”

In conclusion:

21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers—what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

Wow, I think I’ve probably told them more than they cared to know already! I would like to let them know I appreciate them very much. I’d also like to invite them to a Virtual Writers’ Conference I’m hosting May 19-22. If they’d like to “attend,” they’ll simply visit the Virtual Writers’ Conference blog, (http://virtualwritersconference.blogspot.com/).

Throughout those four days, authors, publishers, publicists, marketers and agents will be giving writers valuable information. Plus, two of the agents are seeking new clients. Please stay tuned (you can subscribe to the blog at the site) for more details!


Thank you for stopping by and sharing with us, Gayle. Folks, the conference promises to be a great one! I promised to tell you what Gayle and I have in common. Those who know me well have already guessed--it is our love of animals and wish to make the lives of feral cats better!


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8 comments:

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Gayle, you precious moment with your grandmother is so touching. It's interesting how as I get older I wish I could talk to my grandmother about her life. When you're young you don't realize all the fascinating information that will be lost.

Karen

orcalover said...

Thanks for being so devoted to the wild kritters. I hate to see any of them injured (I make an exception with wasps).

Gayle said...

Thank you, Karen. And, Orcalover, my exception is mosquitoes. I hate those suckers.

I once saved a baby rabbit out of the mouth of a cat! I put Neosporin on the little thing, wrapped it in gauze and slept with it in a basket beside me. I think I scared it worse than the cat did! LOL!

Nancy Famolari said...

Great interview. I feel like I know Gayle. I appreciate the memory of her talk with her grandmother. I treasure the same memory!

Thanks for sharing, Joyce!

Nancy

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

It is great getting to know Gayle a bit better. We keep running in to one another in writers' circles, so this was great. Especially loved the imitation story. Some people have no sense of humor.
Best,
Carolyn
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Website pick, www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

Gayle said...

Thank you, Joyce and Carolyn. As for the sense of humor, Carolyn, when they were handing our humor, this guy thought they said "tumor" and he definitely didn't want one of those! ;-)

Liana said...

Thank you Gayle for sharing this with us...I am glad I read about you and your work. I wish you every success!

Liana

Gayle said...

Thank you, Liana!

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