Interview With Author Norma Gail
Please welcome Norma Gail to Roller Coaster Suspense! Norma, can you tell us your latest news.
I am working on the sequel to my debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams. Within Golden Bands begins right where the first book stops and all of the characters are back. I will be pitching to my publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, the end of February at a conference.
That sounds very exciting! I hope your publisher gets very excited about your sequel. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always written, from the time I was a child. I just didn’t always show it to anyone. In 2009 I was asked to write a weekly devotional for our church website. That was scary! The women in the Bible studies I led liked what I wrote and used for the opening of class, but this was really putting it out there for people to see. A few months later, I began my first devotional blog. A novel followed, and I signed my contract with LPC in September of 2012. Now I am an author. The pay is not much better, but it is a lot of fun!
It’s funny that the pay isn’t much different, but I do understand the comment. We write because we must, don’t we? Who is your favorite writer, and why?
I love the old classics, so my very favorite author of all time is Charles Dickens. I love his descriptions of characters and scenery. No one writes it like he did. You truly saw, felt, and smelled it all! As far as contemporary authors go, I would have a difficult time deciding between Michael Phillips and Liz Curtiss Higgs. They both write a lot about Scotland. They both have deep spiritual truths that are illustrated by their stories, though in very different ways. They make you feel like you know the characters and see the settings. I read their books over and over.
I love Dickens, too. Liz Curtiss Higgs is a great inspiration also. What inspired you to begin writing?
This will sound really corny, but I had a dream. I was already writing poetry and devotionals. When we were preparing for an anniversary trip to Scotland in 2006, I spent so much time planning and preparing that I dreamed of a man, standing on the side of a hill with his kilt, bagpipes, and surrounded by sheep. It never went away. I kept dreaming. I was in love with Scotland before we went. From the moment we stepped off the plane, I felt I belonged there. At the end of two weeks, I didn’t want to leave. We met an American woman who married a Scot and had lived there for twenty years. My husband and his family immigrated from The Netherlands, so I was familiar with many of the aspects of that. I kept thinking about that woman and my dream, and a story begin to form, so in 2008, when I broke my foot, it was time to write it down. The result is Land of My Dreams, the story of a two brokenhearted people, an American woman and a Scottish man who meet, fall in love, and discover there is no peace until they leave the past behind and take a step of faith.
The story sounds compelling. I’ve never been to Scotland, but imagine that it is beautiful. Dreams are funny how they haunt us and inspire us to write our stories. What is the most important thing a new writer can do to help further his/her writing
Keep honing your craft. Attend conferences, make friends with other writers, even if it has to be long-distance. You need that encouragement and feedback. It is impossible to write about life and do it well without other people and participating in life. Most of all, write what God calls you to write. It is a ministry and whether it is devotionals, poetry, fiction, or non-fiction, God has a purpose for it. Let God have your writing. It is a gift He gave you to be used for His glory and the benefit of others. If you see it as a ministry you will be blessed and the numbers won’t mean as much, only that it accomplishes His purposes.
Great advice! Thank you so much for stopping by for an interview. I know your stories will intrigue my readers!
Norma Gail’s contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, released in 2014. She is a Bible study leader, and writes devotionals for ChristianDevotions.us, StitchesthruTime blog, and “The Secret Place.” She belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is married and has two adult children.