Monday, March 29, 2010

Road to Publication~Gayle Ann Williams

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.


Hi Emily,

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.

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!


Gillian Layne said...

Wow, Gayle. That's a great story. You had a plan that made sense and went after it. The story of the plane ride and near miss is terrifying--but I bet that emotion comes through in your writing. And congratulations on the gorgeous cover.

Did you start out writing paranormal and urban fantasy, or did you begin with a different genre?

Gayle Ann Williams said...

Hi Gillian!

Thank you for stopping by.

I have always written paranormal, always. I'm one of those who love the "things that go bump in the night." Lol.

And I must give my wonderful editor Leah Hultenschmidt with Dorchester Publishing full credit for my beautiful cover. She looked hard to find the "right" Blue. The result? Perfect!

All the best,
Gayle Ann Williams

EmilyBryan said...

Good morning, Gillian! Just put the finishing touches on your Red Pencil critique for Thursday.

Gayle, I'm glad you have Leah for your editor. She's mine as well. The gorgeous STROKE OF GENIUS cover is her brainchild too. Perfect for my sculptor hero!

Nynke said...

Hi Gayle,

your book sounds great - I always love post-apocalyptic stories, but I've only ever read one romance like that. Can't wait to read it!
And wow, about the real tsunami...

Barbara Monajem said...

Whew! Sounds fabulous. I've been aware of your cover and title for some time - that blue just grabs me - and now I know the story behind it. Go, Gayle!

Marcella Burnard said...

Ooo. Gayle, what gorgeous cover art and what a great (but bittersweet) story - I can't imagine flying into the kind of devastation you saw in Thailand. I very much want to read your book now - so whether I manage to snag one today or not, I think I'll take a detour past Amazon for a bit of Tsumani shopping. ;)

Jane L said...

That is an awesome call story Gayle! Congrats on your release! You certainly have lived a fun and exciting life to draw stories from. Wishing you all the best on your new adventure as a writer. Enjoy!

P.S. Do you think we should take that red pencil away from Emily, she gets a little crazy with it! LOL!!!!

EmilyBryan said...

Don't mind me, Jane. The red pencil just makes me drunk with power! LOL!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

What a great story and beautiful trailer! Sounds like a great book!

Anonymous said...

Note from Emily: This is from my lovely and talented e-critique partner, the fabulous but blog-challenged Darcy Carson

I can never get on those links on your website. I've tried a couple times.

Just wanted to tell you that Gayle is a super sweet lady. You'll like her.

Tell me about the conference you just attended.


EmilyBryan said...

I plan to share a bit about the NEC conference later this week, Darcy!

Gayle, what did you love most about living on a sailboat? Or on an island? (do you get that those are both dreams of mine?)

Laurie Ryan said...

Wow. What a motivating story. I'm so excited to read all these pieces together in Tsunami Blue. Best of luck to you, Gayle! And have fun tomorrow!

Gayle Ann Williams said...

Hi Nynke!

Thank you for stopping by to "hear" about BLUE. :) And I know. . . the timing of my trip was unbelievable. The beachside bungalow I was to stay in was gone, the marina, the hotel. . .
I feel very fortunate.

Gayle Ann Williams said...

Hi Barbara~

So nice to "meet" you, lol. And congratulations on your release of Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil. Sounds terrific. Very exciting. :)

And hi to you Marcella! Thanks for going "shopping," lol. I love your cover. . . Enemy Within. Of course she is a blonde. . . this too, looks like a great read.

Thank you both for stopping by! Um, you both go, lol.


Jennifer said...

Hi Gayle!

Congrats on the fabulous review from RT Book Reviews. Your story sounds like a really great read. I love the cover art!

Gayle Ann Williams said...


I'm so glad you liked my book video. It was done here on the island, and Nick did a great job.

And is that a horse I see on your new cover? As an ex-Rodeo Queen, I notice things like that, lol. Beautiful!

All the best,

Gayle Ann Williams said...

Darcy! ~hugs~ You always say the nicest things. . ya know you're pretty darn sweet yourself. ;)

And hi Laurie! Thanks for the support with BLUE. Tomorrow is the day,lol.

And Jennifer, thank you for dropping in. Yes I did indeed get lucky with my cover, I love it. And the RT review? Well, over the moon would cover it, lol.

Gayle Ann Williams said...


I loved living on a sailboat. . loved it. During the winter it was harder, and like Tsunami Blue, I was always wet, lol.

And the island? What I love most is how very beautiful it is, in any season on any day. I do indeed feel blessed to have lived here for so many years. . .

Alexis Morgan said...


Happy dances and cyber champagne for the release of your book! And congratulations on the fabulous review from RT!. I'm so happy for you--and hope to make your big signing on Friday night.


Elizabeth Darvill said...

Gayle have I told you how very excited and proud I am of you! :) Love ya!

Laurie London said...

Gayle, I'm still chilled reading about how you narrowly missed being on the ground during the tsunami. I knew you were close, but I had no idea you were in the air. No wonder it affected your writing.

Congratulations on the release of your first book. I can't wait to read it! The premise is fascinating. (Plus, I love pirates!)

I'm hoping I can make your book signing on Friday.


Debby Lee said...

Dear Gayle, this book looks so exciting, I've been waiting for months for it to come out. Best of luck to you at your book signing and on the rest of your writing journey. Congratulations and hugs.

Gayle Ann Williams said...

Alexis, hi you Rita finalist you. Still so excited for you! And thank you for the congratulations.

And Elizabeth, I can hardly wait for Bound by Blood. . and I miss my "island buddy." I think you should move back. . . ;)

Hi Laurie! Just think, you're next in this process. Soon you will have cover art. . .so exciting.

Thank you all for coming by the amazing "Emily blog". . I like it here so much, I may never leave! ;)

Gayle Ann Williams said...

Debby Lee,

Thank you for the kind words and support. I peeked at your website and I want to go back. . .your writing is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

And ~hugs~ back. :)

Gina Robinson said...

What a great publication story, Gayle! You know how happy I am for you :-) Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the book!

librarypat said...

Sounds like a different premiss for a book. There is so much coming out with so many different paranormal aspects. This is a plot line I've not seen yet. Should be good - just suspend disbelief and enjoy.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Ex-rodeo Queen? Have you used that in a book? :)

Glynis Peters said...

Wow, wow, wow. What a great post. Such an interesting, emotional ride you had to publication. Thanks for sharing those gorgeous boots!

Thank you Emily, for finding and sharing such an interesting author...again.

EmilyBryan said...

My pleasure, Glynis. Gayle was a terrific guest!

Thanks, everyone for your comments. Now for the fun stuff. My DH has done his random math magic and come up with two winners for us today.

Congratulations to Laurie Ryan and Library Pat! You two are the winners of a brand spankin' new copy of TSUNAMI BLUE! Please contact Gayle through her website with your snailmail info!

Thanks again, Gayle!

Nynke said...

ah, no win - must hurry over to Amazon, then :)

Gwen said...

Gayle! Your story is very inspiring. I had no idea so much real life inspired the idea. Can't wait to go and pick up my copy of BLUE. See you Friday! *hugs*


Gayle Ann Williams said...

Emily, thank you so much for having me on your wonderful blog, was really a lot of fun.

~hugs~ to Gina and Gwen
Aw, thanks to Nynke. :)
And Glynis, thank you for the excitment and loving my boots, lol

All the best,

Gayle Ann Williams said...

Librarypat, thank you for your interest. And right you are. . .the best way to enjoy a story like this is to just go along for the ride. Or in this case, wave, lol. Thanks for stopping by. :)

And Stacey, no not yet. . .but boy do I have stories. ;)

And drum roll. . .congratulations to Laurie and Pat! Please contact me right away and I'll send TSUNAMI BLUE your way. Can't wait to see what you think. Fun!

Emily? ~hugs~ What fun! And a big thank you for inviting me.

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks for visiting with us, Gayle! Your TSUNAMI BLUE sounds fantastic!