Gail Pallotta’s interview

» Posted on Jan 19, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Gail Pallotta’s interview

This week I’m hosting Gail Pallotta with Love Turns the Tide and Mary Connealy with The Husband Tree. If you want to enter the drawing for the books (Love Turns the Tide will be a download), please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (Jan. 24th) evening.

Interview with Gail Pallotta:

1. What made you start writing?

First of all, thanks for having me, Margaret. As a child I made up stories. In grammar school a friend and I put out a newspaper about our classmates. Later in high school I worked on the newspaper and annual. But I first considered writing seriously when I was in college. While studying literature and analyzing the writing of others in creative writing classes, I realized that it is a tool that can be used for good or bad. Even though that was long before I’d heard the word “spin” in the media, I saw the “spin” and wanted to use it in a good way. One of my poems, “The Wave,” was published by Royal Publishing Company in Dallas, Texas, while I was in college.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

After college I worked as an editor and copywriter. When I married, my husband and I moved to a small town, where I worked with his business. In my spare time I wrote two books and put them in my desk drawer, where they are today. But I also wrote and published freelance articles. After two of them ended up in museums and several in anthologies my friends and family encouraged me to do more with my writing. By then my husband was semi-retired and my daughter had graduated from high school, so I had more time. I decided to try another book, and it was published in 2004.

3. How do you handle rejections?

Over the years I’ve learned that rejections are a part of a writer’s life. When I get one, I’m always disappointed, but I try to remind myself that I want to use my writing for God. While trying to market Love Turns the Tide I said prayers asking God to lead me to the right place for it. In a more practical way, I’m always working on the next project. When I receive a rejection, I concentrate on the new manuscript, telling myself it will be accepted. Later, I get out the rejected work and try to analyze why it was returned. Then, I either re-write it or send it to a more suitable market. You can probably tell I’ve had lots of experience doing this and have it down to a science, lol.

4. Why do you write?

I can’t not write. My husband says I have fictitious people and pretend events running around in my head, and I have to let them out. He could be right.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Not being able to write would make me sad, but making flower arrangements would lift my spirits, so that’s what I would do. I had a friend whose Mother owned several acres of green houses and a large flower shop. I loved to spend time watching her work and wished that someday I could be a florist. Before I married I had more time for hobbies, and I made flower arrangements. I also would spend more time with my family and friends and volunteer more often at church.

6. What are you working on right now?

A sequel to Love Turns the Tide.

7. Do you put yourself into your books / characters?

Even though I don’t chronicle my life or anyone else’s, everything I write about has touched me in some way. I empathize with others, so I don’t have to have an experience to realize the pain or joy of it. I’m interested in the things that make us happy, cause us sorrow and give us hope. Expressed in different ways several times I’ve heard that it isn’t what happens to a person that shapes his or her life, but the way he or she reacts to what happens. I’d like to reflect the way one’s faith can help a person relate to life’s joys and sorrows.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

In Love Turns the Tide Cammie O’Shea faces a traumatic split-up with her fiancé and has to leave her family and friends to take a new job in Destin, Florida. Heartbroken and alone in a place where she knows no one, she needs God more now than she ever has. But for some reason she can’t explain she feels more estranged from him. A feature writer, she dreads meeting her new boss, the editor of The Sun Dial newspaper. However, her real source of angst turns out to be Vic Deleona, the influential real estate tycoon she must write about to generate interest in the paper. While she refuses to open herself to another painful relationship he attempts to court her. Even though she sees him as pompous she goes out of her way to maintain a good business association. Trying to get over her heartache, she continues to read her Bible and say her prayers. One day she reads Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him….” Afterward she ponders how living in Destin possibly could be good for her. Then, break-ins occur at her friend’s condo and her unit, making her doubt the wisdom of living in Destin even more. However, Vic comes to their rescue. He even launches his own investigation into the crimes, and Cammie sees a different side of him. But finally she gets an offer to return home to her old job. One minute she believes God is telling her to leave Destin, the next she isn’t so sure.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Be persistent. Keep listening to the voice within and examining things that never change, such as human nature, the presence of good and evil, rain, storms and the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Look for a way to write about one of these truths that makes people see it for the first time, understand it better or find it more meaningful. Attend writers’ conferences, read about writing techniques, keep writing and send out manuscripts.

10. How important is faith in your books?

I’ve read books that I enjoyed that never mentioned faith, God or Jesus. But, it would be hard if not impossible for me to write one. I believe faith is so much a part of our lives that leaving it out of a story would be like trying to write about the weather and never mentioning the sun. My characters need their faith to get through the crises they face.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

God’s goodness, forgiveness, love and faith.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

I don’t have that many to choose from. But, if I had to pick, I would lean toward Love Turns the Tide because it’s my most recent book, and the work I’ve done on it is fresh in my mind.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

I prefer to write in the mornings, but there are times when I have to postpone it until the afternoon, the evening or the next day because life doesn’t always cooperate with my schedule. I try to balance my time with my family, church, friends and community. I don’t want to get to the Pearly Gates and have Saint Peter say, “You could have helped that homeless person that came to your church asking for food if you hadn’t spent all of your time working on those books.”