Gail W Olmsted – Author Interview

portrait Gail Ward OlmstedInterviewing Gail Olmsted, author of Second Guessing

  • What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
    • I love to read!! I enjoy contemporary romance, popular fiction, chick lit, mysteries and thrillers. My favorite authors are Dennis Lehane, Elin Hilderbrand, Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben. I honestly don’t pattern myself after any authors in particular, but after reading Claire Cook’s The Wildwater Walking Club several years ago, I remember thinking…I can write a book. I can finish this story that I’ve been telling myself for several years. And I did!
  • Tell us a little about all the books you have written so far…
    • My first book JEEP TOUR was self-published in 2014. It is the story of Jackie Sullivan and her search for a happy ever after. Recently divorced, she loses her job and after a chance meeting with a sexy tour guide, decides to start over among the red rocks of Sedona, AZ. The first time I travelled to Sedona on a family vacation, I remember thinking- ‘Wow, if you ever needed a do-over, this would be the place to do it.’ Jackie faces some bumps along the way but ultimately finds more than she ever dared to dream in her new life.
      Guessing at Normal was my second book published by Booktrope in 2015. Jill Griffin is working behind the front desk of a seedy motel when up and coming rocker James Sheridan and his band check in while on tour. There is an immediate connection between Jill and James and within a few weeks, she joins the tour. Building a ‘normal’ life together under the glare of the media is challenging and further complicated by constant touring, groupies, James’ partying and the mixed signals Jill gets from James’ twin brother Alex. When Jill’s poems and journal ramblings become the songs on James’ best-selling solo album, she has to step out of her comfort zone and figure out how to live her life in a spotlight all her own. As her professional success threatens her relationship with James, Jill questions whether she can make a living writing love songs without the love of her life.
      My third book Driving on the Left was published in 2016. I had never planned to write a sequel to JEEP TOUR. Shortly after it was released, my daughter and I took a trip to Ireland to celebrate her college graduation. For part of our trip, we took a guided tour off the beaten track with a small group of other tourists. When the topic of my book came up, our tour guide jokingly suggested that I write a sequel featuring a sexy Irish tour guide. My first thought was ‘no way’ but the idea took hold and soon I was writing Driving, a standalone novel featuring JT’s Jackie Sullivan as the mother of a young woman experiencing the joys and heartbreak of first love.
  • What do you think of your first book JEEP TOUR now?
    • I still love the story and the main characters very much. I think that everyone deserves a second, or even a third chance, at a happy life. When I was writing it, I really wasn’t sure till I was 2/3 of the way through before I figured out the ending- would Jackie be with Rick-the hot tour guide or Rob- the ex-husband who she still loved or someone new? Or would she be blissfully single? As soon as I knew how it had to end, the rest of the story just poured out. The ending rocks! That being said, I could easily go through the entire manuscript and tweak and edit like crazy. I’ve learned so much since I wrote JT.
  • Which was the most challenging to write; then again, which was the most fun to write?
    • Driving on the Left was the most challenging for me. It is told from two points of view- Jackie, a mature mom facing a crisis back home and her 21 year old daughter Becca who is deep in the throes of her first true love. Barbara, one of my wonderful betas, read the first draft and put me on the spot. She read me a passage from the manuscript and asked- who’s speaking- Jackie or Becca? I had to guess and I was wrong! It was a real wakeup call for me. I rewrote the entire book several times until I was certain that I had created two distinct characters, each with their own voice. I’ve received a good amount of positive feedback on the dual POV.
      Second Guessing was the most fun to write. I was thrilled to provide songwriter Jill Griffin with another chance at a happy ever after. I just adore her love interest Ben! He’s vacating his role as lead singer of a world famous boy band in search of a solo career and he’s got a secret from his past that he would prefer stays hidden. He’s perfect for Jill, but it takes her a little while to realize it for herself!
  • We’re featuring Second Guessing – may you explain how it relates to Guessing at Normal?
    • I wrote Second Guessing as a standalone novel, however Jill Griffin, the main charater, was first introduced in Guessing at Normal back in 2015. Jill is now a successful songwriter and single mom to a teenage daughter. She has just about given up hope for a love story of her own, when she meets Ben. He’s determined to win over Jill, but she’s got trust issues and wonders if Ben is just too good to be true!
  • What part/s of Second Guessing were the most delightful to write?
    • First off, let me say that I love Jill and was delighted to see her head over heels in love with pop star Ben, who is 14 years her junior. But naturally, there are complications in their path! Jill’s been burned by the media before and wants to keep their relationship a secret until after the tribute concert featuring her late husband’s platinum selling album. News that the ‘rock widow’ is involved with the young headliner of the charity event could negatively impact ticket sales and the future of the record label. On the personal front, Jill is fairly certain that her 18 year old daughter will be less than thrilled that her mom is sleeping with the former boy band singer that she had a major fan crush on just a few years earlier. Add in a crazed stalker fan and a tabloid journalist determined to expose their romance as well as secrets from Ben’s past and you’ve got a love story that may not be able to go the distance. I think readers will enjoy the snappy dialogue, plot twists and the sizzling chemistry between Jill and Ben!!

Readers can find out more on my website: www.GailOlmsted.com
on my Amazon page: www.Amazon.com/author/gailolmsted
by following me on Facebook www.facebook.com/gsilolmstedauthor
or Twitter @gwolmsted
or Instagram: gwolmsted
Plus, I can be reached at gwolmsted@gmail.com

Three Reasons I Avoid Writing Book Reviews — Sharon Hughson, Author, Reposted

I read tons of books. And I enjoy reading them. Even if I don’t end up liking the book all that much, reading has the potential to make me a better writer of stories. And even though I track all my books on Goodreads, I’ve stopped writing reviews for many of the books I read.…

via Three Reasons I Avoid Writing Book Reviews — Sharon Hughson, Author

Kathy Sutcliffe Bonanza

At Saturday’s meeting on Rotorua Writers Group, we were graced by our guest author, New Zealnd’s Kathy Sutcliffe. 

She delighted us with her back-story of the origins of her three novels… Write My Face and When Romeo Kissed Mercutio, both published 2012, and Moon Boy published 2017. She read an extract from the latter, which held us engrossed. 

I bought a copy of all three, so you can expect a set of reviews later…

Second Guessing, by Gail W Olmsted

Second Guessing, a contemporary romance by 2018-02-05_Gail Olmsted_Second Guessing
Gail Ward Olmsted,  was released on January 5th to much acclaim.

Second Guessing is the love story of Jill and Ben, who are so wrong for each other that they may actually be right!

 


Jill Griffin & Ben Fein are meant to be together… said no one ever!

Jill has built a successful career writing romantic ballads for many of today’s top performers. Since the tragic end of her marriage a couple years back, the 40-something single mom has all but abandoned hope for a love story of her own.

Ben is a brash, young boy-band singer seeking a solo career who hires Jill to write for him. He’s got a dark secret from his past that he wants to keep hidden.

The attraction between the two is red-hot, and when Ben falls hard for Jill, he doesn’t care who knows it. Jill’s been burned before and wants to take things slow, keeping their relationship out of the glare of the media. After a gossip columnist exposes their affair, she’s forced to decide if she can risk letting go of her past in order to build a life with Ben.

When Ben’s past makes headlines, Jill begins to wonder how well she really knows him. But as Ben climbs to the top of the pop charts, he’s determined to succeed…  at convincing Jill to take a second chance on love.

Published by Roane Publishing, 2017;


About the Author

“Gail is a professor of marketing. She has taught at the college level for twenty years.  A hopeless romantic, she is married to the love of her life. She is a mom to two young adults and two cats and enjoy reading, music and travel.”
(Paraphrased from her website)

Her other books include Guessing at Normal, Driving on the Left, and Jeep Tour, all of which are on sale at Amazon, and via her website’s links.

Mythos – Greek Myths Retold, by Stephen Fry

FRY S_Mythos CoverIn his retelling of the myths of the ancient Greeks, Fry offers his own interpretation, conveyed in his wonderfully cheeky way, while covering in depth and breadth all the myths we’ve heard of–and some I’d not known of.

Starting with the creation of the Gods’ world, our world, and mankind, he puts each stage of the build in its logical place in terms of time and location. All is told in Fry’s inimitable style, bringing the classics to new life:

“Everything around him glinted and glittered, gleamed and glimmered with a gorgeous gaudy golden glow but his heart was as grim and grey as granite.” No prizes for guessing about whom Fry is writing here.

Perhaps if I’d been able to read this a certain number of years ago I may have taken the challenge of university study of the classics. Certainly, anyone purchasing for a senior school or tertiary library should put this into their 2018 budget.

Family trees of the first Orders of the gods are included. Fry’s footnotes include the lexicography of our modern English language derived from the people and places of the gods and their creations.

The book also includes maps, and coloured plate illustrations.

Paperback published by Penguin – Random House, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-718-18874-0

Copies (hard-book, paperback, ebook) and audio CD) can be purchased at

Amazon book store link
Click icon to buy

About the author:

Stephen Fry is an actor, a comedian, a writer, a presenter (quiz master for BBC’s QI) and an activist. His TV shows include QIJeeves and WoosterA Bit of Fry & LaurieMORE.

He can be found on Twitter and at his website

Reviews Coming Soon

I love christmas, if only because people give me books. Or money or vouchers to buy books. So you may expect reviews soon of some or all of these…

“Mythos – The Greek Myths Retold” by Stephen Fry

“The QI Book of the Dead – Lives of the Justly Famous & the Undeservedly Obscure”, by John Lloyd (CBE) & John Mitchinson

“Now We Are Dead”, by Stuart MacBride

“The 45% Hangover, by Stuart MacBride

“Lutapolii” by Virginnia De Parte

“Scavengers” by Sheryl [Surname to come]

A lovely mix!

PSA Regarding Amazon Guidelines for Reviews

Woah! Do people Still not realise this? Here’s a reminder…

Shotgun Logic

Amazon-Logo_Feature

PSA to reviewers and authors/publishers regarding Amazon’s revised review guidelines.

This little bit here is super important to observe:

“Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.”

This means that technically speaking, an author/publisher should not require a review in exchange for a book. Instead, offer the book for consideration. In my experience, that is the approach most industry professionals take anyway, so no major change there for most.

More importantly, it means that reviewers need to drop language such as the following from their reviews: “I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.” As far as Amazon is concerned, this means you were paid for a review and they will yank your review. Even more importantly, if they…

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Review: Irish in the Blood, by Marie Gray

Pic20171207_05.jpgA Family History – an oldie but a goodie, rediscovered

This is the story of a family before and after emigrating to New Zealand in 1887, and is the answer to the question Marie and indeed her uncles and aunts often asked her grandfather (their uncle), to which the answer was an infuriating “Tell you one day.”

After his passing, Marie’s husband encouraged her to travel back to Ireland to find answers. She did so, and more. After receiving only hints of knowledge during her visit, she returned to New Zealand and began a full journey of research, aided by her grandmother’s journal, kept whilst travelling on the powered steamer Cuzco under Captain Murdoch.

Husband and wife Patrick Magill and Mary-Jane Pic20171207_07
(née Campbell) sailed with their children James (Jim), Mary, Robert (Bob) and Annie, heading to South Africa (Capetown), then east to Australia (Melbourne). There they took the Governor Arthur up the Yarrow River, to visit with Uncle Jack, who had travelled out some years before to try his luck at the gold fields. After losing his friend, he settled to the land, now a flourishing homestead.

The Magills shipped to New Zealand aboard the Arawata, arriving in the Hawke Bay Ahuriri port close to Napier.

Gray relates the events as she saw and heard them, and those of ancestors she has cleverly written as a narrative built from tales told by family members back in the old country. Her place in the genealogy of the family is included.

A delightful story,  told with both regret and wit, and you may have trouble getting your hands on a copy. But if there’s any Irish in you, you’ll find it.

Published 1997, by Hodder Moa Beckett Publishers Limited, Auckland, NZ
ISBN: 1-86958-481-3


 

Extract:

Tuesday, 3rd February, 1931, was different. Even before it happened, the air had a hot, sticky feel to it, a sort of a gasp before a coughing fit.

“There’s something eerie going on,” mumbled Pat Scott mysteriously. “You wait! Look at the clouds coming over from Raglan Harbour.”

Jess ignored her prattle.

“There’s someone riding along the road for Te Akau. It’s not Len or Mr Magill either, Pat Scott yelled. She crossed herself devoutly.

The figure became clearer. “It’s the police from Ngaruawahia. Holy Mary Mother of God. What’s happened?”

“A message came through from Napier, Pat. Have you got the Magills staying here?” said the policeman.

Pat Scott flopped into a chair sideways, legs sprawled over the arm rests.

Jess came forward with her chin up.

“What is it Sergeant? I’m Jessie Magill.”

“Sorry to tell you, ma’am, but there’s been a mighty big earthquake in Napier. The town’s in ruins and the whole place is on fire. We got this message from Naval Headquarters. There’s no electricity or gas. They’re cut off completely. Here’s your telegram.

RETURN IMMEDIATELY. DREADFUL DISASTER. GARRATT.

“By the way, ma’am, two ships are on their way down the coast with supplies and a medical team aboard.”

“Thank you, Sergeant,” Jess said mechanically. “Are there many casualties?”

“Afraid so, ma’am, but we can’t give numbers yet. I;ll go and find the men.”

Da went white and started blowing his nose. “It sounds desperate. We’d better get going….”

 

Guest Review: Caught Up in Time

Final Front Cover_Caught U I TimeWriter Mollie Smith provides her review of Caught Up in Time, by Paora Panadelo.

(Red Penn edited this NZ historical fiction)

Paora Panadelo

Paora Panadelo, aka Paul Baker, has written a book which immediately appealed to my love of history with Caught Up in Time.

The book, based on actual events and people, takes you on a trip through roughly forty raucous, witty, racy, and occasionally poignant years with interwoven stories, songs, and photographs to accompany.

We tend to see the past through rose-coloured glasses, but this book is a no-holds barred look at life in post-WWII New Zealand from the 40s to the 70s, and Panadelo tackles issues which we didn’t want to admit to having back then (just as we don’t want to admit having them now).

Easy to read and highly entertaining

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Mollie Smith

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