Today, I am speaking to a wonderful author, ‘Discover the Magic’s’ own, Genie Gabriel. Genie is here to tell us a bit about herself as well as her latest book. Please, Genie, enjoy our fresh baked goodies and slip your feet into our fuzzy slippers while we begin our interview. There is a selection of teas or flavored coffees.
Ahh, I'll just help myself to a blueberry muffin and a cup of lemon tea. Why do I envision pink when I think of fuzzy slippers? Add a woven throw and a doggie to cuddle with, and I'm ready to talk. :)
Genie, I must tell you that you have a lovely website. I loved the beautiful set of covers from your books displayed on the site. Why not tell the readers how you spend your day once you climb out of bed?
Thank you for your kind words. It's great to also be a graphic designer and design my own covers, so that's part of my day, which is "guided" by a herd of dogs. They do let me sleep in, but only so long, and then they definitely let me know it's time for breakfast. After food and a quick cleaning of doggies and picking up the worst of the household disorder, I'm at my computer. I like to write fairly early (for me!) in the day so I get that accomplished before the world discovers I'm awake and moving. In the afternoon, I work on promotion and graphic design projects. I also try to slip in some "dirt therapy" in my yard at some time during the day. Then, depending on where I am in my work-in-progress, I may write more in the evening, often staying up until one or two o'clock in the morning finishing "one more thing."
The Legacy Series is really moving right along. Would you like to discuss this series, or another upcoming book? The readers are eager to learn about Genie, and her fabulous stories.
All my upcoming books ARE the LEGACY series. LOL! A new LEGACY release is scheduled every two months through July 2013. This is an awesome schedule for a series, but also tight enough to generate occasional panic if I think I'm not moving along quickly enough. The series centers around a family of eight adopted siblings and their mother, who is the widow of a slain police officer. Each sibling will have their own story--and find the love of their life--as will the mom. Overarching the entire series will be the unraveling mystery of why their father was killed.
Would you enlighten the readers the inspiration for composing this series?
I spent about twenty years working in a state social service agency and became fascinated with how some kids could overcome horrendous childhoods and shine as heroes of their own lives. That translated into my writing. Most of the time, my main characters have deep emotional wounds to overcome. The O'Shea siblings are all adopted, so things didn't start out so well for them. They originally appeared in THE BODYGUARD, when two children were kidnapped and hidden in the mountains near the fictional town of Halo, Oregon. After those children were rescued, the O'Sheas started hinting about having their own stories and teasing me with interesting pieces of their lives. So I drafted Marly's story, which became the first book of the series, PICTURE PERFECT LEGACY. Wherever Marly is, her seven overly protective brothers are nearby. To get them out of her love life, they needed challenges and lovers of their own, so their stories started percolating in my head. LEGACY OF ANGELS, the story of her-brother-the-former-priest, was released on May 1. And there will be at least seven more books in this series.
Which is easiest for you to choose, the title, the name of the characters or the setting of the story?
Usually first names of the main characters come to me right away--though I look up meanings and make sure they fit the character. But I also can spend hours deciding on last names and nicknames and the names of secondary characters. Once I have the characters, the settings usually follow quickly. Titles are the toughest for me. They often change a half dozen times while I'm writing a story.
What does the future hold for Genie?
Writing, editing, releasing and promoting the LEGACY series. Writing, editing, releasing and promoting the LEGACY series. Writing, editing, releasing and promoting the LEGACY series. Can you tell I'm immersed in this series?
When is the best time of the day for you to compose your stories?
As I mentioned, I like to write early in the day so I get some writing done. If I don't write, I quickly become crabby. But I can write pretty much any time.
Do you have any challenges as a writer?
As with many writers, a big challenge is keeping my writing time sacred and not letting other tasks gobble up that time.
Are there times that you experience the writer’s block?
LOL! I don't have time for writer's block.
Can you describe your workstation for us?
In a word, messy--er, lived in. Actually, I have a wonderful office. On one side, a big window looks out on a bench nestled under a magnolia tree and surrounded by hostas--gorgeous plants with big leaves that thrive in the shade. Another side of my office has a door that opens onto a covered deck and my back yard, so my doggies can cruise in and out on nice days. Inside my office tends to be the messy part. Visuals are great to help me become immersed in my stories, so one wall is covered with picture boards of each of the LEGACY series books. There are also many stacks of papers in my office. Sometimes the stacks are neat and tidy. Other times, not so much. I like to say when my office is messiest is when my characters are going through their most intense challenges.
In your opinion, what are the three most essential ingredients of an excellent novel?
Character, plot, passion--and not just romantic passion, though that is important--but a passion for life and for the work the characters have chosen to do in their lives.
Do you go with the flow or form an outline when you write?
I am an excruciatingly detailed plotter. I start with character sketches and character arcs--what the character is like at the beginning of the story and what lessons they need to learn by the end of the story. Their journey of growth becomes the major part of the plot and the plot becomes the major force in helping or forcing the character to grow.
I also do an outline of each scene in the book and, because events and relationships in the LEGACY series quickly became complex, I set up databases to keep the facts straight. In spite of that, the characters continue to surprise me with revelations and quirky tidbits as I write their stories. So all this planning is NOT set in stone. It's a compass that guides the stories, but my characters always seem to take side trips along the way.
You decide you want to open a bakery, and make some killer cupcakes or other sinfully delicious items. What would you name your bakery? And what name would you give to your luscious dessert?
Since the LEGACY series takes place in Halo, Oregon, the name must have "Heavenly" in it--perhaps Heavenly Delights. However, this Halo isn't named for angels, but for one of the town founder's love of astronomy. So I could have luscious desserts like Cosmic Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes and Shooting Star Strawberry Cheesecake. Care to add those to your buffet of yummy desserts?
Do you have a household chore that you really hate doing?
Perhaps a better question would be is there a household chore I actually like doing? LOL! Household chores do not appear on my list of favorite things to do. However, I love having my house clean and don't want anyone else messing in my "stuff," so the remaining choice is to do it myself. I try to keep the worst of the dirt and clutter under control by cleaning up whatever messes I make right away. Obviously, my office is immune from this "pick it up" rule. And I just realized filing is probably the chore I avoid most, which would explain the stacks of paper in my office.
You have plans to take a romantic trip and would like to share the tips with your readers. Where would you spend your romantic trip? Also, tell the readers what you consider the best plans to really make the trip fabulous?
Oh, gosh, some place with water. A beach or by a river or lake or waterfall. Beautiful scenery, luxurious accommodations, delicious food--including decadent desserts. Almost as important is what NOT to take--worries, deadlines, cell phones, computers and no TV when you arrive. And, of course, to make the trip fabulous, you gotta spend it with someone very, very special.
Genie, thanks so much for taking the time to spend with us today. We look forward to reading all your stories, and wish you the best. Be sure to take a to go box of some of the goodies, and enjoy. The slippers are yours to take home, too.
Thank you so much! Can't wait to share the goodies and tell everyone what a great time I had here. And I won't let my dogs chew the fuzzy slippers!