Thursday, August 29, 2013

Interview with author, Gail Morgan McRae. Updated Feb 2014.

Since my interview with Gail back in August 2013, she has released her first novel, Creedor, book trailer, and launched a new website. So I thought I'd just add the links, and below is the interview with Gail, hope you enjoy it.

Creedor - Kindle Edition 
The official book trailer for the science fiction novel, Creedor  
Gail's New Website  

I would like to welcome author Gail Morgan McRae to my blog. 
  Gail is the author of the soon to be released
 Creedor 1, due out November 22, 2013.

Daniel Kaye - Where were you born, and where do you call home?
Gail Morgan McRae - I was born in Lumberton, Robeson County, North Carolina, USA, but I have called Laurinburg, Scotland County, North Carolina home for the past 34 years.

DK - What is the name of your most recent book or WIP and if you had to sum it up in 30 words or less, what would you say?
Gail - My most recent books are Creedor 1, due out November 22, 2013, and Creedor 2, just submitted for editing. My WIP is working titled Hellritch 1. We see how descendants of Earth whose ancestors left for other life-sustaining planets survive. Wizards, changelings, military coups, and the slaughtering of innocents weave the threads of this intricate tapestry.

DK - If you gave one of your main characters the opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say about you?
Gail - I imagine that several of my characters would like to have a word with me, most of them via an in-my-face confrontation for the things that either they do or that happen to them. If I could have those conversations, I would point out that they did it to themselves – I just wrote it down for them. I think that Dr. Simon Slogar would want to know why he’s portrayed as an obese, alcoholic who has been tasked with the saving the Creedorian people from the plague that is devastating them daily.

DK - Do you have plans for a new book, and is this book part of a series?
Gail - Yes, I currently have two books completed and four more in the works as part of the Reglon Empire Series. I also have ideas for a couple of companion books to supplement the series.

DK - Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Gail - I write most often in my overstuffed recliner in my den. I prefer writing in the morning and again in the afternoon and into evening.

DK - Laptop, desktop or pen for writing? 
Gail - I prefer a laptop. It’s easier on my wrists than pen and paper. It’s also nice to lean back in my recliner instead of sitting at a computer station.

DK - Who designed the cover of your book?
Gail - Gentry Publishing arranged the cover design.

DK - Do you have a book trailer?
Gail - No.

DK - What are your thoughts on book trailers?
Gail - I think they’re a great publicity tool. I just haven’t had time to put much thought into one, and I personally think that successful book trailers require a great deal of planning.

DK - Do you have any advice for other writers?
Gail - Yes. Just write. Don’t worry about making every sentence perfect before going on. Get the story down, and then go back with fresh eyes. Also don’t think that good books just drip from the pen or ooze from the keyboard. It just doesn’t happen that way. Good writers have talent, but they should understand that writing is also a skill that must be developed. Frustrating though it may be, the proofreading and editing processes are vital to a clean, professional finished product.
DK - Great writing tips.

DK - Is your book in Print, eBook or both?
Gail - I believe that they will be in both formats.

DK - Have you self-published and if so how would you describe the experience?
Gail - I did self-publish once. I think that if I had known then what I know now, I would have gone the free self-publishing route instead of buying the publishing package. I would have gotten a finished copy for myself, but I wouldn’t make it available for others. The process of getting a self-published book ready is a great experience and overall, worth the effort.

DK - What books have influenced your writing?
Gail - It’s hard to say. When I was younger, I worked in a small-town library and was tasked with reading the Children’s Library collection, some 2,000 books. I found the books of Lloyd Alexander, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Rudyard Kipling the most fascinating. I think that’s when my love of science fiction/fantasy began. In the worlds they created, anything was possible. What a revelation for me as young woman who grew up in a four-room house without benefit of indoor plumbing, television, telephone, or automobile! 

DK - Is there an author that you would really like to meet?
Gail - I would love to meet J.K. Rowling.

DK - Do you have an e-reader, and do you prefer it to traditional published novels?
Gail - I have a Kindle Fire HD, but I still prefer the good old book in my hand when I read.

DK - Where do you prefer to buy your books?
Gail - I buy most of my books in bookstores, mostly Barnes and Noble. I like to plunder through some of the indie bookstores, but I’m allergic to dust so my visits are short. Besides, I love the coffee shops in the B&Ns.

DK - What book would you like to read again?
Gail - When I finish the series, I’d like to read all the Harry Potter books (J.K. Rowling), Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden), The Black Cauldron (Lloyd Alexander, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams).

DK - What book are you currently reading and in what format?
Gail - Right now I’m reading the paperback titled Grace for the Journey by Beverly and George Thompson.

DK - Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad. 
Gail - I think that book reviews are good whether the reviewer likes them or not. To me, the reviews can give useful feedback, though not always. Also, writers have to develop a thick skin when it comes to their work. Trusting your publisher and editor in their assessment of your work is the best way to handle both good and bad reviews – they shoot straight so you already know where you stand. Also, if you take their editing advice, you’ll have a better chance at a good review – at least that’s my hope.

DK - Do you have a nickname?
Gail - No, I don’t have a nickname.

DK - Did you have a favourite toy as a child?
Gail - Yes. I had a worn out old teddy bear that I kept until it disintegrated from use and had to be discarded.

DK - An early childhood memory –
Gail - When I was little we lived upstairs at my grandmother’s house. I remember one cold, winter evening sitting on my daddy’s lap in a rocking chair pulled up close to the potbellied stove. I’d been begging him for a taste of his chewing tobacco and this night he gave in. My older brother came in and hung his flannel pajamas on the draft knob. Well, it wasn’t long before they caught on fire. Daddy jumped up to stomp out the fire, dumping me onto the floor. That “chaw” of tobacco went down and immediately came back up. As I recall, it was chaos for a few minutes before my mama came to the rescue. I never asked Daddy for another chaw. Oh, but those were the good old days!

DK - Any pets that you would like to tell us about?
Gail - We have a little, brown dog named Louise who’s a mix between a pit bull and a dachshund. She’s very short but very powerful and quite protective. After my husband lost his lower right leg after an accident last year, she bit someone who came into the house unannounced. She only bit his knee because she couldn’t reach anything higher – lucky for him. Then there’s our cat Tammy. When I walk Louise, Tammy walks right along with her totally unafraid of the dog. Tammy’s a grey and white American Longhair who showed up under an azalea bush when she was so small she fit in the palm of my hand. Our daughter wished for a kitty and within a week, her wish was granted. Unfortunately, our daughter was headed off to college, so we got to take care of the baby kitten.

DK - Coffee or tea?
Gail - I survive on strong coffee and lots of it.

DK - Do you have a favourite food?
Gail - I love chicken and pastry.

DK - Do you like to cook, and if so what? 
Gail - I love to cook. I try new things as often as I can, but have quite the menu of staple dishes that my family loves such as pot roast, mac and cheese, collards and cornbread with fatback, baked spaghetti, linguini with clam sauce, loads green salads with fruit and nuts added. Today for lunch, I made salmon patties with homemade tartar sauce.  

DK - What do you eat for breakfast?
Gail - Breakfast varies for us. Sometimes toast and jam or cheese toast with fruit. Sometimes the full monty with eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits, grits with lots of Smart Balance instead of butter, and juice. Sometimes it’s just cereal and fruit. It all depends on how much time we have when we get up and how hungry we are.

DK - Name three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
Gail - Driver’s license, debit card, and sunglasses.

DK - Sleep in, or get up early?
Gail - My husband and I are early risers.

DK - Your favourite gadget –
Gail - Laptop.

DK - Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit?
Gail - The UK, especially Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. My husband’s folks are of Scottish heritage and mine are primarily Irish and Welsh.

DK - One of your favourite quotes –
Gail - Matthew 22:37-40 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Jesus Christ
(I think if we all lived by those words, the world would be a better place.)

DK - List three of your favourite all time movies?
Gail - Gone with the Wind
       Dr. Zhivago
       The Passion of the Christ

My facebook page: Gail Morgan McRae - Author
Twitter: @GailMMcRae

I would like to thank Gail Morgan McRae for allowing us the chance to have a chat, and for giving us a glimpse into her writing world.

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