First off, I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of you awesome readers for helping out my daughter! She’s overwhelmed by your generosity and can’t wait to get on her bike to do some good. Not sure what I’m talking about? Check it out here. Thank you so much!
Today I’m super thrilled to have my gal pal Gayle Carline on the blog to talk about fun stuff like horses and her writing journey. That’s her with her mare Frosty in the pic. Don’t they both look gorgeous?!
I met Gayle at the Southern California Writer’s Conference and was immediately smitten. Of course, at the time she had no idea who I was, but I managed to stalk her long enough that she eventually gave in to my charms and befriended me. Little did she know that I’d drag her to porn shops for a research field trip! If we lived closer, we’d be lethal.
Gayle’s written two mystery books ~ Freezer Burn and Hit or Missus, that feature her heroine, Peri Minneopa. As well as two humor books, What Would Erma Do? and Are You There Erma? It’s Me, Gayle. Because she’s totally awesome (and it’s her 20th Anniversary), on Wednesday, May 16th, Gayle will be offering all of her books for free on Kindle! Don’t worry, I’ll remind you again on Wednesday.
Enough jibber jabber, let’s get to know Gayle a little better!
Me: Your mysteries have a very interesting main character, where did the inspiration for Peri come from?
Gayle: Think of Peri as “Jessica Fletcher meets Murphy Brown” (the youngsters will have to Google those references). Peri came out of a joke between my friend and me. We made up Peri Menopause, Private Eye, who solves every case by crying, eating chocolate, then bitch slapping people until someone confesses. She’s sassy, she’s feisty, she says the things I’d like to say, if I wasn’t so desperate for people to like me.
Me: Peri’s totally feisty! You’re working on book three now, how many more books do you envision for Peri and her friends?
Gayle: I could easily come up with more stories of things for Peri and the crew, but I’m going to take a little break from her and write a different series after the third book. Depending upon how that one goes, I’ll probably alternate writing a book in each series. Damn, I better get busy.
Me: You’re already so busy! What with your multi-genre empire you’re building. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?
Gayle: Does sleeping count? It’s hard for me to think of ONE favorite thing. I love playing with my horses. Love going to horse shows. Love listening to my son sing. Love hanging out at a sports bar with my hubby and watching a game with him (btw, NEVER watch sports otherwise). And love-love-love hanging out with my friends and yacking.
Me: I’m all about that hanging out and yakking part! Speaking of yakking… a lot of my writer friends use music or soundtracks for inspiration, but you like movies. What are some of your favorites?
Gayle: The Thin Man series, for certain. I love their banter. Also, The Big Sleep (Bogie and Bacall), and a lot of the old comedies, like You Can’t Take It With You, My Man Godfrey, and Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy. Dialogue’s a big thing with me.
Me: I’m always so impressed you can write with a movie playing. I’d get distracted and sucked into the movie! You seem able to do many things at the same time, like branding yourself in different genres. Was this hard for you?
Gayle: Yes, sort of. When I was developing my website and my Facebook page, it took me a few tries to figure out how to introduce myself as a mystery AND humor writer. I started out a little more wacky-humorous, then over the years have calmed down into a (hopefully) more confident, serious presentation of who I am.
“Why, yes, Gentle Readers, I’m delightfully witty and yet can give you a few dead bodies for your puzzlement.”
Me: Killing it with Humor! So, you’ve gone the indie route with a publisher and you’ve also self-pubbed, what’s your sage advice to us writers?
Gayle: My traditional publisher was a small, indie press, and required me to do a lot of the work on my own. I was responsible for my publicity, for setting up my book signings, for my marketing, etc. (I’ve been told that a big publisher wouldn’t have done much more for me as a midlist author.) So once I tried self-pubbing, I found I wasn’t doing THAT much more work. Sure, I’m working with a cover designer directly, seeking out a professional editor and beta readers, and formatting my books (I could pay for this, but as a former engineer, I know how to do it myself), but once the book hit the shelves, it wasn’t any more work than the traditionally published book.
Self-pubbing is work. You need to ensure your product is as good as you can get it. You must have either professional editing or LOTS of vetting from beta readers who don’t love you. You must hire a professional cover designer. If you think you can’t afford it, don’t self-pub. The outside packaging must make them want to look inside. If you’re shy but you want your books to be read, you’re going to have to suck it up and get out of your shell. Maybe take a public speaking class or join Toastmasters. Get used to talking to groups of people.
Me: Dang it! I have so many more great questions for you, but this post is getting long. I’ll post more questions and answers on Wednesday when I feature your super fabulous book trailer!
One last thing, okay two really. First, who does your covers?
Gayle: Joe Felipe of Market Me (www.marketme.us/) has done all my self-pubbed covers. He’s so easy to work with, and we collaborate really well. I met him when his daughter and my son were singing in the high school choir together. Networking works!
Me: And finally, if you couldn’t have coffee, what’s your favorite kind of hot drink. And remember, the answer here should be tea. What kind of tea. 😉
Gayle: Call me old school, but my favorite is Constant Comment. I buy it loose and fix a pot. Hmm, there’s none in my pantry… gotta go, see you later.
And she’s off! It was great having Gayle here today. Come back on Wednesday when we find out what her favorite curse word is and what she’s got coming up next. Hint: It involves her horse Snoopy.
Remember too, Wednesday is her Anniversary and she’s giving all of her books away for free! Here’s a link to her Amazon Author Page.
- You an find her on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/gayle.carline
- Twitter: @GayleCarline
- Check out her website! http://gaylecarline.com/
- Then, check out her blog! This one is her writing blog. On the edge of the chair of literature.
- And this one is her blog where she ruminates about her life with horses. That’s My Snoopy!