Every writer's journey to "the call" winds through different paths. Today, I've invited debut author Gayle Ann Williams to share her travels with us. Welcome, Gayle. My blog is yours.
And can I say how nice it is to be here today? Thank you so much for having me.
My name is Gayle Ann Williams, and I live on a small island off the coast of Washington State, approximately sixty air miles from Seattle, WA. I originally lived as we say, “East of the Mountains,” in cowboy country, but I traded my spurs for a sea kayak and moved to the wet, but oh so beautiful Pacific Northwest coast.
Today I’d like to talk about my publishing journey, because for me, before I got “The Call,” I was (and still am) always fascinated how people achieved their dream of becoming a published author.
For me the road led to a win in a contest; the Dorchester Shomi Fiction contest. I was currently writing Paranormal and Urban Fantasy, and I liked the edginess of the Shomi line and the stories that were being written there. When I saw the contest, and that the winning manuscript would be awarded a publishing contract, complete with advance and royalties, I knew I wanted to try. And I’m so glad I did. The result for me was a dream: a publishing contract for TSUNAMI BLUE, my post-apocalyptic, paranormal romance that debuts from Dorchester Publishing tomorrow. And yes! I’m so excited.
Here is how I approached my entry. First, I based the idea of TSUNAMI BLUE on a personal experience. On Christmas night, in 2004 I boarded a plane out of Seattle and flew right into the Southeast Asia Tsunami. In the air when the deadly wave hit, I knew that if I had arrived earlier, I might have been a statistic. As I traveled around the region, I listened and observed, hugged and cried, and all along, the writer in me asked, what if? Little did I know a few years later those amazing memories would be the basis for my novel, TSUNAMI BLUE.
Second, I took elements of my personal life (the old adage of write what you know), and incorporated them into my story. For example, I’ve lived on a sailboat, I’m an avid poker player, and I placed the story in my home setting, the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State. I even wrote my favorite rain boots into the story. Curious? You can see them here. http://www.gayleannwilliams.com/FunStuff.html
Next, I mixed in my imagination, writing what I didn’t know. What would a world be like decimated by deadly tsunami waves? What if there was no infrastructure and society was ruled by “Runners,” modern day pirates? And what if Kathryn “Blue” O’Malley, my heroine, known as Tsunami Blue, held the paranormal ability of knowing when the next wave will hit? As a writer, I can’t encourage you enough to keep asking, “what if?”
And third, and perhaps most important, I did my homework. I read the Shomi books. Not one. Many. I understood the tone, the edge, the feel. I asked myself, is this the kind of story I wanted to write? Was I excited about it? Was it for me? The answer? A resounding yes. The result? TSUNAMI BLUE, the winning entry of the Shomi Fiction Contest.
Dorchester Publishing still continues to publish, exciting, cutting edge books of this type, and I would encourage you, if these are your kind of stories, to look for them.
And in closing I would like to share a review from RT Book Reviews Magazine in the April edition for TSUNAMI BLUE. I was thrilled to be rewarded with 4 1/2 stars.
"This original romance starts quietly enough, like a calm blue ocean, and gradually builds until you're holding on for dear life, hit with page after page of creative, taut action. You'll be left grinning, grateful for the ride, thanks to original characters, a fantastic story and action that will keep you up late, turning pages. Can't wait to see what Williams has in store next!"
RT Book Reviews Magazine April, issue
4 1/2 Stars HOT - (Fantastic-Keeper)
It has been a whirlwind year as I prepared to bring TSUNAMI BLUE to the readers. I signed with my dream agent in the process, and I’m so happy to announce that as of last week a second book in the Tsunami World has been sold. And all this for me, through a contest.
Happy reading to all and the best of luck to those of you who are writers. I hope my story is helpful. And again, a big thank you to Emily for inviting me to share my story.
My pleasure, Gayle! What an interesting path to publication. Great advice to those who are trudging along the way. And here's the link, so YOU can buy your own copy of Tsunami Blue.
Leave a comment or question for Gayle and you'll be entered in the drawing to win a copy of TSUNAMI BLUE. She's picking 2 winners today!