Me: Gloria, I am so excited to interview you for my blog this week. Welcome.
Gloria: I know it will be fun today. February 24 is my birthday so it is great timing!
Me: Yay! Happy Birthday!
Gloria: Thank you.
Me: Well, I know you’ve seen how I do this. I have a few questions I think my readers would ask if they were here with us. Many of them are relatively new to the writing/publishing game. So let’s get started. I want to start with your latest book and then talk a bit about the journey to get there. I read Bring a Cowboy Home and loved it. A romance for baby boomers? Yes! Tell us about the book.
Gloria: Bring a Cowboy Home is the first in a series of three contemporary Christian romance novels. All three will be released in 2016. (Feb, May, and the fall.) They are written and covers designed. Each book can stand alone, but they are the continuing story of Cal and Lucy Frasier. Cal is a 62-yr-old Texas rancher and Lucy is a 59-yr-old successful, wealthy businesswoman living in Illinois. They have many obstacles to overcome besides distance if they want to make a life together. Adult children and secrets from the past are just a few of them.
Me: It is a fun and entertaining book. How did you come up with the title?
Gloria: I have a daughter and her family living in Texas. Several years ago, my best friend took me to the airport in Indianapolis to board a plane to visit them. I was divorced and always being teased about looking for a husband. As I was about to board, she shouted, “Bring a cowboy home.” The book is dedicated to her. She lost her battle with breast cancer but I never forgot her advice.
Me: I love it. I boarded a plane for Texas last September wearing a cowgirl hat (Where can you pack it?) I was reading a book when my seatmate arrived. In his distinctive Texas drawl he asked, “Goin’ home?” I thought that would make a great opening line. Then I read your book. What fun. Tell us, what do you hope will be the big “take-away” from the book?
Gloria: I wrote this romance hoping it would help my readers realize two things: People in the 50-100 year-old age group are not dead to romance and affection and passion. I believe there are millions of baby boomers who will enjoy reading about romance that isn’t all about twenty-year-olds. The second reason was to show the need for prayer in everyday life and the positive effects it has on my characters’ lives.
Me: Your main character, Lucy is a vibrant, independent woman. I take it these are qualities you admire in women.
Gloria: Oh, sure. I am partial to strong women. I like a woman who can make decisions and face tough situations. Having said that, I also admire a woman who can admit she needs comforting and a shoulder to lean on. And let me say, too, I most value honesty and loyalty in a friend.
Me: Oh, yes. That actually comes out in the book as well. So, tell us, how long have you been writing?
Gloria: I wrote my first story as a homework assignment when I was in third grade. I wrote many things after that but never pursued selling them or publishing anything…until 1979. I sold my first freelance article for $75.00. I didn’t seriously write until 2011. The time between those dates was filled with LIFE: 5 children, a farm, owning a business and other things that took my time.
Me: Sounds like so many people I know. But at some point, you made a decision to take your writing seriously. What led you to become an author?
Gloria: My fifth child has autism, Asperger’s and mild intellectual disabilities. I saw a need to let other parents of special needs individuals see what life could be like as these children grew. I like to say it took ten years to write that book: one year to write it and the first nine years talking about writing it. I was told by an editor it would have to be totally transparent and was I prepared for that? I decided I was and told the story of her first thirty years as honestly as I could. I included the laughter and the tears and the mistakes I made everything in between.
Me: Not Different Enough. I’m familiar with it. Can you tell us a bit about the publishing journey?
Gloria: Bring a Cowboy Home is my third published book and they have all been done differently. The first one, Not Different Enough, was published by Author House. I paid to have it published. The second book, A Bouquet of Devotions, was published on CreateSpace. There was no cost, but lots of work. I learned formatting, cover design and a zillion other things. I checked out Booktrope for my present novel, my first fiction book. Booktrope is a unique hybrid publishing design. I investigated it thoroughly and decided it was the right place for me.
Me: Got it. Where there is a will there is a way, right? What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
Gloria: Never stop writing; ideas, scenes, thoughts, grocery lists…whatever makes you think. Publishing takes a lot of decision-making. What type of publishing is best suited for you? Consider all your options and research them until you are comfortable with your choice. Don’t be afraid to change that choice if you find a better way.
Me: Great advice. Certainly the publishing opportunities are wide and varied. Can you tell us a bit about your current project?
Gloria: I am working on a book about an older woman and the young man who inadvertently falls in love with her. It involves online dating and society’s disapproval of ‘cougar’ relationships. It will also be classified as a contemporary Christian romance novel.
Me (laughing): I’m sure it will be fun as well. Okay, I have one more, quick question. Are there any books out there you wish you had written?
Me: Thank you so much for joining us today…and again, Happy Birthday! I hope the book series does well.
Readers, here is a bit more about Gloria:
In addition to her current fiction series, Not Different Enough, tells the everyday experiences of life with her daughter, Kalisha, and their 30-year journey with autism, Asperger’s and intellectual disabilities. She has also published a book of devotions with her sister, Jeanette Dall, titled A Bouquet of Devotions. Gloria has been published in various magazines and is a regular contributor to the quarterly devotional: Hope-Full Living. She writes about the lessons learned at: www.gettingitright-occasionally.blogspot.com and www.writingbygloria.com