Sunday, August 12, 2012

Author Interview with Gale Martin

 Gale Martin
Women's Fiction

Reader’s Haven: Hi Gale! We’re so excited you’re visiting with us this week. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Gale: I wanted to be tap-dancing missionary in the third grade and a musical theater star by grade 12. Eventually, I abandoned both quests though the dream of being a star on Broadway died harder. A few decades later I decided to write my first novel.

Reader’s Haven: What made you want to become a writer?

Gale: I really don’t know if most other small children were a lot like me, but I literally told one tall tale after another. I didn’t know where the truth ended and the lie began for most of my childhood. I suppose life was more exciting that way. I really didn’t check into reality until I went off to college. I stopped, um, prevaricating around age 23, but the talent for making things up sure came in handy once I began writing creatively. I was 43 when I had my first mid-life reckoning. That same year I wrote my first novel.

Reader’s Haven: Please share a bit about your new release Grace Unexpected, without giving away any spoilers.

Gale: It’s contemporary women’s fiction that is chick lit-ish in tone and scope. Grace is smart, well educated, and capable, but she’s a complete moron when it comes to finding guys who could become Mr. Right. As regards the premise of the story, I visited Shaker Village in New Hampshire, and the story sprang from my head faster than baby Dionysus from Zeus’s leg, nine centimeters dilated.

Blurb for Grace Unexpected:

Thirty-something Grace Savage has slogged through crummy jobs and dead-end relationships with men who would rather go bald than say “I do”. In search of respite from her current job, she visits Shaker Village in New Hampshire. Instead of renewal, she’s unnerved to learn that Shaker men and women lived and worked side by side in complete celibacy.

When her longtime boyfriend dumps her instead of proposing, Grace avows the sexless Shaker ways. Resolved to stick to her new plan – dubbed the Shaker Plan – despite ovaries ticking like time bombs, she returns to her life in Pennsylvania. Almost immediately, she's juggling two eligible bachelors: Addison, a young beat reporter; and True, a venerable anthropology professor. Both men have ample charms and soul mate potential to test her new-found Shaker-style self-control, and Grace appears to be on the fast track to a marriage proposal… until secrets revealed deliver a death rattle to the Shaker Plan.

Reader’s Haven: Do you write under a pen name?

Gale: I haven’t done that yet. I might have to at some point because I have novels that aren’t funny, and it’s not nice to confuse loyal readers.

Reader’s Haven:
What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Gale: I like characters who aren’t perfect, who are flawed. They don’t all have to be uncommonly quirky, though selected ones are in each book because most people have no idea how funny and quirky they are in real life. But if the characters are smart or intellectual, then they have to lack common sense or be dorky in some other way. If they are beautiful, they have to be clumsy, that sort of thing. Subconsciously, I always feel in competition with characters I read in fiction and I’m a sore loser. I guess I just figured my readers don’t want to stack up against a character and measure themselves sorely lacking either.

Reader’s Haven: That’s true. Perfect characters aren’t realistic. Tell us about a typical day in your glamorous life as a writer.

Gale: Oh, my goodness. I get up at 5 am every day. Yes, it’s like I’m channeling Warren Zevon when he sang, “There’ll be time enough for sleeping when I’m dead” because, sadly, he’s no longer with us. Then I check my vitals (Twitter, FB, email, website traffic) and answer any urgent inquiries. Then if I’m not suddenly convicted to write a blogpost, I work on one of my WIPs for an hour. At the job I have at the moment, I work every lunch hour I can. When I come home at night, after dinner and chores, I sit down at my computer and follow the same routine as I do at 5 a.m.

Reader’s Haven: We know grueling over a keyboard all day can be a pain in the neck so be sure to get up and move throughout the day. Easier said than done, don’t we know! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Gale: My books don’t have common themes, but I seldom stray far from what I know in terms of setting or backdrop. I have lived in Pennsylvania most of my life and that’s where I’ve set my books. I’ve worked as a schoolteacher or in higher education, and so far, with a few exceptions, so have my protagonists. Oh, sure. I’ll venture outside Penna. for a scene or two. But so far, not for long.

Reader’s Haven: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Gale: I can bang out a 2,000 word story in a few days. But I am a chronic editor of my own work. I use the word chronic because people who have chronic illnesses can probably relate because chronic ailments can drive you nuts. Terminal editor works, too. Don’t let anyone kid you. Writing creatively can kill you. Or your marriage. So be careful not to let it overrun your life. Time you take away from writing can be productive time. Your mind can also solve problems when it is relaxed and detached from the issue at hand.

Reader’s Haven: Good advice! Do you have to be alone to write?

Gale: I can write with my husband at my side, but he better not be trying to have a conversation with me. How does our marriage survive? Ear plugs.

Reader’s Haven:
How do you go about naming characters?

Gale: Names just kind of land on me, out of the blue, without much effort, like butterflies alighting on flowers. Then I try them on the character to see if they fit. Rinse. Squeeze. Repeat.

Reader’s Haven: Now that’s cute! LOL Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Gale: Typically, I write the characters. Then I go looking for photos of them. Then I add them to my website, because readers like to see how you’ve envisioned the characters they’re reading about.

Reader’s Haven:
How do you pick locations for your stories?

Gale: I am quite susceptible to places I travel to because I don’t get out and about as much as I want to. This is evident in GRACE UNEXPECTED because Grace has an abiding sense of wanderlust. My husband is a homebody with a fear of flying. Therefore, almost every location I’ve visited is integrated in my fiction.

Reader’s Haven: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

Gale: I am drafting a sequel to Don Juan in Hankey, PA, my debut novel. It’s also funny and features some of the same (quirky) characters as DJIHP as well as being a humorous backstage novel.

Reader’s Haven: Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Gale: You can purchase GRACE UNEXPECTED at and Barnes &

 Twitter   (@Gale_Martin)

My GoodReads Author Page

Email: galemartin (dot) writer (at) gmail (dot) com

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great interview from a wonderful author! Who knew she'd even be able to make me laugh with an interview the way I laughed when I read Don Juan in Hankey, PA and Grace Unexpected! Really enjoyed the blog!

  2. Nice of you to drop by, Ginger!!! Wasn't this a great post. Props to Louise and Deanna!

  3. Hi Gale, thank you again for visiting with us this week. We love creating a setting for the interviews.
    Ginger, thank you for stopping by and showing Gale your support!
    Readers get your entries in to win a signed copy! Good luck!

  4. Stopping in to see the happenings and check out a new author for me to follow. Nice to meet you Gale sounds like one I am gonna have to heck out.

  5. Congratulations Trina! You won the copy of Grace Unexpected. Gale will be contacting you soon. ~Louise