Hello! This month’s author interview is with Gail Olmstead, novelist of books about “Second Chances, Smart Choices, and Resilient Women.” I was introduced to Gail through her latest book Miranda Writes, a legal mystery that I very much enjoyed.
What is your favorite part of the writing process, and least favorite part of the writing process?
Writing the first draft is my favorite part of the writing process and imagining the characters, always the characters. Before I even begin writing the actual story, I have created a full-blown character description for each of the main characters: what they look like, their personalities, quirks, hobbies, favorite foods, manner of speaking, etc. I find that well-developed characters can tell their own story. I am a hybrid pantser and plotter. By the time I’m about a third of the way into the story, I have a general sense of where it’s going. But I leave myself open to twists and turns along the way. I ‘listen’ to my characters and take them where they clearly want to go.
My least favorite is editing. I always hire an editor, see advice # 7 below, but I read through a completed manuscript a dozen times or more before submitting to my publisher. It’s tedious but a necessary evil.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Hmmmm. Maybe? My oldest friend claims that I always said I wanted to write a book, but I don’t remember it that way. When I finally started writing my first book, her response was ‘well, it’s about f*cking time.’ I am starting my 8th book, so she was probably right. RIP Laurie.
Where is someplace you feel most at home?
Lately, I feel most at home literally at home. Probably a combination of the after effects of Covid and the fact that I retired from my fulltime job as a college professor. I truly enjoy our home; I love to entertain family and friends and the lake we live on is a pretty fabulous place to sail, cruise, kayak and swim.
Tell us about someone who has inspired you creatively.
My fellow Black Rose Writing authors are a constant source of inspiration and support. I am thrilled to be part of such a creative and talented community.
What kind of books do you gravitate towards in your own reading life?
I am an avid reader, preferably suspense, thrillers, women’s fiction and historical fiction. I love my kindle (never leave home without it) but I am also a fan of audiobooks. Print books tend to pile up on my shelves. If you want me to read something sooner rather than later, e-pubs and audio are the way to go.
What is your superpower?
Boring, I know, but I’m super organized, especially regarding emails, reviews, research and tracking expenses.
One of the best pieces of advice you've ever gotten?
Hire a competent editor! Paying a fair wage to an editor, especially one who works with your particular genre, is an investment, a necessary cost of doing business. This is not the place to skimp.
Thank you, Gail! You can keep up with Gail and find out more about her books at her Facebook page, and be sure to keep an eye out for her upcoming release Miranda Nights, a sequel to last year’s Miranda Writes. Miranda Nights will be available on 7/6/23.