Here is the Once Upon A Twilight Book Blog Interview with me answering 10 questions.
To see it at their site go here:
Monday, May 16, 2011
Author Interview and Giveaway: Gina Marie Long author of Werewolf Series
OUaT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m an only child. I grew up in a rural town with a population of about 800 from the time I was a baby until I was 18. Then I moved out from my parent’s house and fled to the big city…6 miles away with a population of 7,000 – Oh boy. I’m married with no kids. I have ADHD and OCD, which messes with my ability to focus. And I talk a lot and can make friends with a rock.
OUaT: I read that you owned/operated a Beauty Salon for 16 years? What influenced you to change careers after so many years? and When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Yes, I was a single owner and sole operator of a beauty salon for 16 years – in that location. But in the big picture, I had been “doing hair” for 25 years. Gulp. I’m giving my age away! And actually, going back further, I attempted my first haircut on my best friend when I was a mere 14 years old! I must’ve done a decent job because she continued to let me cut it (and eventually perm and highlight it)! During the last several years with my beauty salon, I had hit the burn-out phase working on hair, though. I loved my customers but no longer liked the business end of it and everything I, alone, had to take care of. I realized I had an interest in writing 20 years ago and toyed with writing a book at that time. Nothing at all came of it. I recalled in high school getting A’s on essays with positive notes scribbled in the margins from the teachers, so I felt I had some potential but didn’t fully submerse and commit myself to a full-fledged novel until 2009. I was frustrated with life and wanted to sell my shop but needed a job or another career. I thought, what the heck? Write “the” book now! If anything, it’s something to concentrate on and alleviate my aggravation with my current situation. In my spare time, I pumped out the first book in my Werewolf Series. Unknown Touch was finished in 2 1/2 months and published in October 2009. I finally sold my beauty salon in June of 2010 and devoted myself to writing full time as a career in some form or fashion. In March of this year, Unknown Scent was published. There is a catch to all of this: I’ve given myself two years (financially can’t go longer than that) to attain a legitimate, modest, income-producing career in writing. I have one year left. Tick, tick…
OUaT: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
As a child/young teen, the books or authors that stand out in my memory are Watership Down by Richard Adams and several Judy Blume books. Then as a teenager I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Wow. Very involved and deep. A complete WORLD this genius had created! Moving on…as a young adult/adult, Anne Rice was superb! Eventually, the one author who ultimately sparked my desire to get serious and write a book was Stephenie Meyer. Beyond her, several authors I admire and bow down to are Christine Feehan, Jacquelyn Frank, Karen Marie Moning and Amanda Hocking. Sorry, I couldn’t pick just one book or one author!
OUaT: Did you design the cover?
The cover is actually a photo I chose and purchased from an online image site! My publisher cropped it and added the printed words. One interesting note: the title is actually a Werewolf Font, according to what my publisher told me. The type is made to resemble animal hair!!
OUaT: Will you have a new book coming out soon? PLEASE PLEASE BOOK 3!
Hopefully, I will have a new book out in a few months that I will self-publish. Yep, I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon and try my hand at it like many famous authors have done. It will be a Bigfoot Series! I will heavily promote it as an eBook on all the major sites that sell eBooks and will still offer it in paperback, too, through Amazon. I’m only taking a pause on my Werewolf Series but plan on writing Book 3 of it after the first Bigfoot book is done. As long as my publisher wants me, I will stick with them for the Werewolf Series, but self-publish the Bigfoot Series, just to be clear on that.
OUaT: How did you develop the plot for “Unknown Scent”?
I sat down with a notebook and brainstormed on and off for days. I jotted down what “makes” a good story – what are the important elements to include in it (example: good vs. evil, some form of romance, supernatural goodies, etc.). I asked myself what I was interested in: specific types of story lines, TV shows, movies, other books. I tossed around about three different ideas and settled on one to write. I created an outline of the story from start to finish. I basically know how it’s going to end before I start writing. Plus I research on the Internet anything I need to know for the book. I come up with names, locations, book title, chapter titles, background stuff on the characters, the timeline of events/scenes in the book, etc. I have most of this all figured out before I start typing Chapter One.
OUaT: What is the craziest thing you’ve learned while writing?
That question could be taken several ways…Here’s a few different answers: While I actually write, I’ve learned that I just cannot let it flow and type endlessly. I have to type a little and edit a little and I just assumed I’d be able to zip off page after page and come back later to proofread and edit it. No can do. On a positive note to that, I don’t have to edit as much after the book is finished. Another way to answer your question: Some crazy things I’ve learned while writing have to do with all the cool myths and mythology I draw from/use for certain character’s background. The research is fun, mind-blowing and stirs my creative juices into weaving the old legends into my own story. Of course, I can’t give you an actual example, because I don’t want to spoil HOW my werewolves and vampires become or are who they are…mwahahaha…(oh that was lame).
OUaT: It’s almost summertime, YAY! What’s your favorite thing to do outside?
Sitting in the sun or shade, reading a book (usually on my Nook) and sipping coffee with approximately ten mini-marshmallows that’s spiked with two sugar-free sweeteners. Yep. That’s the truth.
OUaT: What questions are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
Hmm…How about: What surprises have you learned as a published writer? My answer: I’m shocked at the number of writers (published or not) or wanna-be writers out there in the world. Until I really dove into the whole writing business, I had no idea that so many people were out there doing or trying to do the same thing as me! The competition is tremendous. Also, the amount of time I spend on promoting my books is unreal. I have a small publishing house and I understand they don’t have the time or money to devote much to marketing each individual author and almost all of it falls on us – the writers. That means a good portion of time that I should be writing, I’m working on ways to get my books “out there”. Sad, but true. Luckily, and perhaps oddly, I love marketing! But am still shocked when I look at the clock and realize the day is over and I never typed a single word in my next novel.
OUaT: Is there anything additional you would like to share with your readers?
Oh now that’s a loaded question. We could be here for hours with my answers…OK…I’ll attempt to summarize. I love to use ellipses (plural)…and I know I overuse them…so you’ll have to deal with it…okay?! [chuckling] Next…I try to keep my writing PG-13 for two reasons: 1) I want to have a broad age-range for readers of my books and we know tweens and teens are eating up the genre I write in; 2) My parents and sister-in-law read my books and I just can’t handle writing sex scenes knowing they’ll read it. Awkward! It’s just the way I am! Next…Advice about writing: Try to follow in the footsteps of those who have succeeded. Dissect what they’ve done right (and wrong). Don’t reinvent the wheel when others have already created the blueprint for you. The meaning of success is different for each person. Most success requires luck, timing, time itself, reaching out, persistence, investment (some money), who you know, a well-written entertaining story and NOT giving up.
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