Saturday, 12 July 2008

Getting to know Gayle Roper

I have been enjoying Gayle Roper's books for years and have a copy of each one of them, even her first books for the then romance line, Palisades!

You can imagine my delight when Gayle kindly agreed to this interview. Hope you enjoy getting to know Gayle a little more as well as the story behind her latest release, Fatal Deduction.

Thanks, Gayle:~

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

No preference.

Your first pet's name?

Nibbie, a Boston bull terrier

Your best friend's name in primary (elementary) school?

Margie. She lived down the street and she and her family took me to church with them.

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

No special toy.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible)

I'd want a library. The thought of being without books is scary!

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Vanilla with chocolate chips or Rocky Road, but I must confess that I'm not wild about ice cream. I need a sugar cone to make the baby dip of ice cream palatable.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A cowgirl for a while, then Nancy Drew, then a nurse in high school until I was a Candy Striper and actually saw what nurses did.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I'd like to tour England, Australia and New Zealand, then Europe.

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

Probably my mom who was a strong and independent woman who read and thought about things.

What's your favourite book?

I could never pick one. I love story, and I love strong characters like those of Deborah Smith and Luanne Rice. Throw in some romance and some suspense, and I'm happy!

What's your favourite movie?

Again I have no one favorite. Do you remember as a kid when they asked you your favorite color? Everyone had one but me. I always liked combinations of color. I like multiple movies too.

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

Any writers conference. Writers are a fascinating lot!

What's your most fervent prayer?

That I might walk worthy of the Name I claim.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

I don't think it's ever been required of me to be truly brave. The closest is probably standing up to my family on matters of faith when they wanted me to be less committed (because they loved me and feared I'd become a fanatic).

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

I have some family pieces that I value because of the heritage in them, art by my great-grandmother, china that was my grandmother's, a set of Nativity figures painted by my mother, my father's bugle from when he was a Boy Scout.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favorites) and what does it mean to you?

Phil 4:11 about learning to be content whatever the situation has always been a challenge to me as has Col. 3:17 about doing everything worthy of the Lord.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

Losing a student government election by a humiliating margin.

How did your husband propose to you?

He drove to my house on a Monday night from the university where he was doing graduate studies, a three hour drive. He'd just driven back to school the night before, but he drove down unexpectedly on a week night and asked me to marry him.

What was the best advice you received on marriage before you were married?

Marriage is forever. No untying the knot. And remember that when two sinners marry, it cannot be a perfect situation. Work it out.

Fatal Deduction

Tell us your inspiration behind the characters of Libby and Chloe.

I can't really tell you where my characters come from. They sort of evolve as I think about them over a period of time. They even change as I write their story. Libby is sort of everyone who stands alone for the Lord in his/her family. There are many who live this life. The trick is to learn to stand firm for what you believe--which family may see as a strong criticism of them--without destroying the chance for a good relationship with these people you love. It becomes a matter of loving them and accepting them as they are and asking them to return the favor. This is Libby's struggle with her complex family.

As for Chloe, I enjoy writing kids of various ages. Girl teens are so filled with angst, but behind it there can be a keen intelligence. Chloe and Jenna both fall into this latter category of smart cookies with fluctuating hormones. What better combination to write about? The last book I wrote has four little kids in it, a four year old girl, three year old twin boys, and an eight month old baby. What fun to write little kid antics (and make certain they moved the story forward)!

I appreciated the
genuine, albeit sad, portrayal of Libby's family. They were very self centred people and that showed. Do you ever feel pressured to make your characters "nice" rather than real?

Unfortunately in real life, everyone isn't "nice". Most of us have to deal with people who give us headaches and stomach acid. The strength of fiction is the showing of patterns for living as opposed to nonficiton which merely tells us how to live. I think that if I'm to present realistic patterns of life, I have to have real people. If I'm to offer any applicable solutions, I have to have my characters standing up for themselves and the Lord against "real" people in life-reflecting situations. If Libby can stand up against Tori and her parents, then maybe a reader will say, "If Libby finds the strength she needs in the Lord, then I can too." The challenge is to do all this in without turning the story into a sermon!

How did the idea to insert the actual crossword puzzles in the book come about ? (lots of fun!)

Glad you enjoyed the puzzles! I don't know where the idea came from. Often ideas are simply there. I've done crossword puzzles for years, thoroughly enjoying them. Somehow my enjoyment and familiarity with them leaked over into my plotting. I do know that I had fun finding an on line site where you could create your own crosswords and then arranging words so I got the letters I needed in the right order.

What are you working on now? A sneak peek, please

I'm pressing on deadline right now on a story about Ellie and Gabe. Ellie ran away with her son Nick several years ago and has been in hiding from her former boyfriend to protect Nick from the man's violence. Nick is now 17, a high school junior and a fantastic football player, the kind newspapers report on and colleges recruit. The notoriety scares her. What if Joey finds them? Gabe is both the football coach and the town police chief. He knows Ellie has secrets and wants to discover them. And Joey, the former boyfriend, learns where Ellie is hiding and....

You have been in the industry for a long time now! What are some of the positive changes you have seen in Christian publishing in the last 10-15 years?

You're right. There have been many positive changes in Christian publishing since I first started writing. One of the best is the ever increasing quality of the material being written. As the amount of Christian fiction on the shelves has grown, so have the skills of those writing it. Writers conferences and self-study are two of the reasons as well as the maturity that comes as writers practice their craft. Another change has been the presence of Christian fiction in the major chain bookstores. As its popularity has grown, the chains have noted and started stocking a wide selection, letting people who didn't go into Christian bookstores know about fiction without lovingly described violence and sex.

Thanks Gayle - it has been a pleasure :) Blessings to you and yours!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Fatal Deduction and See No Evil

Visit Gayle's website

Buy Fatal Deduction from Amazon or Koorong


Smilingsal said...

Oh, we had two Boston bull terriers when I was a teenager--a looong time ago! They are sweet dogs.

Ausjenny said...

lovely interview. I know what you mean about favourite colours i always said 2 or 3 or anything but pink.
the pre wedding advice is wonderful also.
thanks Gayle and Rel

Jenny said...

I really enjoyed "Fatal Deduction" (especially the crossword element), and can't wait for the next book.

Enjoyed the interview ladies.

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