Sunday, June 12, 2011

Interview with award winning author Gail Gaymer Martin!

Gail Gaymer Martin is a Christian speaker and novelist who writes for Steeple Hill and Barbour with 44 published novels and over 3 million books in print with books translated into many foreign languages. 

She is also the author of "Writing the Christian Romance", released by Writers Digest Books. She lives in a Detroit suburb with her husband.  Her mission is to write stories that entertain and touch hearts with God's love. 

Thank you Gail for sharing your time with us in this interview!

1) What made you want to become a writer? Was there a particular event, person, book that inspired you especially?

My teacher wrote on my third grade report card, “Gail is a good writer.” I had no idea what that would end up meaning. Writing was a natural talent and the love of books was influenced by my parents who were avid fiction readers. In elementary school, I continued to write poetry and stories—even my own Nancy Drew-type series—when I was about eleven years old.  In high school, I wrote for two local newspapers, one was a weekly column for which I received payment. Being a novelist was actually a childhood dream that came true nearly 50 years later. Today I have over 3 million books in print with 48 contracted fiction books, 26 skits, plays and programs for church and Sunday school, and the Writers Digest book, Writing the Christian Romance.

2) What do you like most about being a writer?

I love writing and creating, and I enjoy meeting readers and receiving their letters. Sharing my faith in stories that entertain is a blessing for me, and touching people’s lives with the message in the story is an honor. I am awed that the Lord has blessed me in this way.

3) What do you like least about being a writer?

What I don’t like are the pressures of deadlines especially when they overlap. I write for more than one publisher.  Sometimes I find myself working on two or three books at one time. Then it’s not fun. I also never realized that being a writer would take over my life, not just my time but my mind. Everything I read, hear or experience sweeps through my mind and often settles in the nooks and crannies of my brain to become part of a future novel.

4) What would you say is the biggest mistake beginning writers make?  Did you find yourself making this mistake when starting out?

Some new writers are not patient. Writing is a craft and, like any craft, it must be honed. Learning the techniques, practicing and honing the craft is all part of the process. A first novel is rarely published, but many authors continue to work on the same book over and over while they are limiting themselves to a set of ideas embedded in their heads. Creativity can be gone so learning is difficult. Wanting to be published, they fall into the trap of self-publishing without having the skills of good writing and without having an established audience who will rush out to purchase the books. Self-publishing – even POD publishing – often means marketing and distributing the books since they are rarely in bookstores nationally. Authors can learn best by letting go of the first novel and moving on—stretching their creativity and using the new skills they have been learning. I was determined to be published in book format and by a traditional publisher so I didn’t fall into this trap, except I did submit my novels when they were not ready to be contracted. Many rejections reached my mailbox, but with each new novel I submitted, the rejections become more positive and I took the editors suggestions to heart and worked on the skills they said I needed.

5) Do you have particular place you write best? Do you listen to music while you write?

I have an office in my home, a large room packed with equipment and research materials that work best for me. I write the bulk of my work there. I do not like to write on a laptop so I use a PC.  I often play music that has the mood of my novel or scene – but it must be instrumental only.  Anything with words, I tend to sing along. Have you ever tried writing a novel while singing? : ) It doesn’t work, but I am a singer so I can’t stop myself.

6) Has there been a particular book on writing you return to again and again?

My library is filled with books on writing, and I use them now mainly to investigate techniques I want to hone to improve my craft and also to share with writers on my Writing Fiction Right blog at  I began this blog following the publication of my Writers Digest book, Writing the Christian Romance. I wanted to share techniques I couldn’t include in this craft book, and I also wanted to provide writing techniques for any genre not just romance and for both Christian and secular novels. Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel is excellent and I learned a great deal from Browne and King’s Self-Editing For Fiction Writers.  Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press offers an excellent download book, The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction.  I love his take on many techniques and his unique way of explaining them.

7) Is there comfort food that keeps you going when deadlines are tight?

No comfort food.  I’m always monitoring my weight so drinking lots of water is what I do. I do enjoy cutting an apple into very thin slices while I take a break from my novels and play solitaire. I can play with one hand and nibble on the apple with another. When I get back to my writing, I’m ready to go. : )

8) Is there a scripture verse that has inspired you in your writing?

My favorite verse regarding writing is: 2 Corinthians 3:  You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. This verse reminds me that what I write in Christian fiction is not only on paper printed with ink but written on the hearts of readers. Therefore I want the book to give God the glory by reminding readers of the Lord’s mercy, grace, love, forgiveness and Salvation in Jesus. I don’t preach, but I weave my faith and the faith of my characters through the story like a fine thread forming a design in a lovely tapestry.

9) What three tips do you have for beginning writers?

First, know  your life will no longer be your own. Writing takes devotion and patience. You can’t rush the process.

Next, you’re never done learning.  Writing improves with experience when you find your writer’s voice and your gifts in writing. If you stop learning, your writing will fall flat so count on reading books and magazines on writing, attending workshops and conferences, and joining groups that will continue to help you grow as a writer.

Last, don’t compare yourself to other writers. That only leads to disappointment and depression. Envy is a killer. Remember that each writer has unique talents different from others.  Work to enhance your special talent and don’t worry that someone else’s career is moving faster than yours. Persevere and be patient. Write from your passion and your heart.

Gails first novel in the Dreams Come True series is called:  "A Dad Of His Own" this was released in March 2011 and can be found in book stores and on-line.

Gail's next novel called "A Family of Their Own"  will hit stores on August 23. This is the second novel in the Dreams Come True series. It will be in stores where ever books are sold for a month and then available at all bookstores on the Internet.  So please look for this new title coming soon!

You can find Gail at:

Thank you so much to Gail for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this interview for all of us. As part of the fun for getting to know Gail we are offering one of Gail's books, "Writing The Christian Romance" to one of you blessed readers. Please just leave a comment and we will do a drawing from all comments received to win this book. We will do the drawing on Friday, June 17th.  Leave your email address so we can contact you on where to mail the book.

Also, join the blog to keep up on exciting new information and ideas about the world of writing and for more interviews from published authors. Check older posts for several interviews I have already done and once again...................

Happy Writing


Patricia said...

Gail no matter how many times I hear (or read) your POV on writing--I am encouraged. Yes, you are a blessing on the hearts of those that read your novels--but you are also a blessing on the hearts of aspiring writers. Thank you for your willingness to share your ideas.

Sandra Heska King said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks.