Today I'd like to introduce a new feature of this blog where I snuggle up with other authors, ply them with wine and chocolate and get them to reveal all their deepest, darkest secrets.... okay maybe not all. Mystery is important in this business!
Our first, and very brave author, is Lilly Gayle, author of OUT OF THE DARKNESS. Please show her some love and say hi!
Welcome to Under the Covers with Lynne, Lilly. I’ll scoot over *pats mattress* I promise not to bite, well, unless you ask nicely.
First important question. Silk, satin, cotton, flannel. What is your sheet of choice?
Cotton. Preferably Egyptian Cotton…but who can afford that. Right?
They're certainly worth it! It’s three o’clock in the morning. What are you wearing?
If it’s cold, flannel pajama bottoms and a cami. If it’s hot, one of my husband’s t-shirts. If it’s a Saturday night and we have the house or camper at the beach to ourselves, I’m usually snuggled up to hubby wrapped in a sheet.
A sheet? Now that sounds hot! Okay, it’s a slumber party! Calories don’t count. What snacks will we be munching on at midnight?
Well, there must be wine or some really girly cocktail like a Cosmopolitan. There’ll be chips and hot white cheese and salsa and maybe cheesecake.
I’ve been craving cheesecake! A girl after my own heart… only I’d have to bring some chocolate. ; )
Okay, comfy? Let's get to some serious questions. How would you describe your writing style?
I plot by the seat of my pants. Seriously, I wish I were more of a plotter but my characters tend to run amok and do things that aren’t in my outline. And when I try to just sit and write by the seat of my pants, I end up writing myself into a corner and the editing process takes forever. So, I bought a writing program called “Write it Now.” When an idea first hits me, I plot out GMC, names and details of all the major players and the most important plot points. I try to put together a brief outline of the story from start to finish. But it’s the middle of the story that usually gives me trouble. Because somewhere between the beginning and the end, other ideas come to me or my characters start doing their own thing. I used to try rewriting to keep my characters in line. Now, I turn them loose to see where they’ll take me.
Turning your characters loose can create some interesting situations! I’m a pantser by nature too. Plotting things out before writing is difficult! What is the best piece of advice on writing you’ve ever received?
Actually, I think it’s a line from a movie. And I think Whoopie Goldberg said it about singing instead of writing. But it applied to me. “You know you’re a writer when writing is the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing you think about before you go to bed.” It wasn’t until I got to that point in my career, a point where I actually sat at my computer and wrote something everyday and thought about my writing everyday that I actually saw progress. I just don’t think you’ll ever get anywhere if you just write sometimes and occasionally submit “stuff.” That’s what I was doing before I decided that yes, I was a writer and I wanted to get published.
The other piece of advice. Never stop writing. Persistent pays off.
Very, very true. What kind of goals to you set for yourself when writing? Word count? Page count?
I have one goal. Write everyday. It doesn’t matter if it’s editing for a submission or working on something new. I write a half hour every morning before I go to work and for about 2 hours before supper. I’m off on Fridays and on those days, I write for as long as the creative juices flow. On weekends, I write at night after everyone else has gone to bed.
Do you listen to music while you write?
I tried it once or twice but found myself singing along and losing my concentration. Then I tried classical music. No words. Right? But my head kept trying to make some up to go with the music. Now, I like to listen to the hum of the ceiling fan.
I can listen to music before I’m writing for inspiration, not during… usually. Where were you when you heard your first book was contracted. What did you do?
I’d just come home from having lunch at my parent’s house. It was Mother’s Day and we got home about four o’clock and I was going to spend the rest of the evening doing nothing but writing. I opened my email and found a response to the full I’d sent in three months before. The Wild Rose Press was offering me a contract! You probably heard me scream at your house.
So that’s what that noise was! Tell us about your newest release.
Out of The Darkness is a paranormal vampire romance that was released May 28, 2010 from The Wild Rose Press. It’s available in print and e-format from the Wild Rose Press
I have a soft spot for TWRP authors! : ) Out of the Darkness sounds good! Do you have anything in the works?
I have a historical under consideration with The Wild Rose Press and another historical under consideration with another publisher. I’m also working on the sequel to Out of the Darkness. I’m hoping to finish Into the Light this year so I can submit it to my editor.
Good luck with that! Do you write full or part time?
I can only afford to write part time. I’m a registered radiologic technologist with a certification in mammography. During the day, I work as a mammographer in a local hospital.
That is a worthy and necessary profession. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Emerald Isle, NC. My husband and I have been vacationing on the Crystal Coast since 1982 and I’ve been dreaming of moving there ever since. I would love to have a beach house on stilts with large windows and a wrap-around porch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I can’t think of anything that would be closer to perfect! Except maybe during a hurricane. Lol!
I’m a Pacific coast girl, but my dream home is also very near the beach. There is something so peaceful and awe inspiring about the ocean. Until you get your beach house, where can we find you?
My website is http://www.lillygayle.com/ and I blog at www.lillygayleromance.blogspot.comYou can also find me on facebook at www.facebook.com/lillygayle and www.facebook.com/lillygaylebooks
Okay, no slumber party is complete without some a little truth or dare...or in this case truth or truth. Have you ever had a one-night stand?
No. Although I had some hot and heavy make out sessions before I met my husband, he’s the only man I’ve ever been with. We got married when I was 20 and just celebrated our 30th anniversary in June. He’s still the love of my life.
That is the best kind of love story! What is the craziest or most unusual place you’ve had sex?
In between two sand dunes at midnight on Carolina Beach. I do NOT recommend it. Two words. Sand fleas.
LOL. Okay, so what would you consider a romantic date?
A nice dinner in a great restaurant followed by a moonlight stroll on a beach or beside a mountain stream followed by wine and quite conversation on a balcony overlooking the ocean or a valley. Then, soft romantic music and cotton sheets.
Eygptian, of course. If you could take a date anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Italy. With a stop off in Germany. We went to Germany in 2008 to visit my daughter whose husband is stationed at the Army garrison in Grafenwoehr. I loved it and want to go back but after seeing the pictures they took while on a belated honeymoon trip to Cinque Terre, Italy, I’ve added Italy to my list of dream vacations.
I love Italy. What is the best pick-up line someone has ever tried on you? Did it work?
Me—after walking past this great looking guy sitting alone at a table fifteen minutes after I was introduced to him at the bar: “What are you doing sitting here by yourself?”
Him: “If you join me, I won’t be by myself anymore.”
Yes. It worked. I married him 18 months later.
That is so romantic! It's no wonder you started writing romance, your life is full of it!
Here's a blurb for OUT OF THE DARKNESS
Her research could cure his dark hunger if a covert government agent doesn't get to her first.
Vincent Maxwell is a vampire with a conscience seeking a cure to his dark hunger. But when a scientist looking to create vampire soldiers captures and kills a fellow vampire, Vincent seeks out Dr. Megan Harper, a beautiful research scientist who discovered a link between a genetic light sensitivity disorder and vampirism. Dr. Harper could hold a key to a cure and the answers to Gerard’s death. But getting close to the beautiful scientist could endanger both their lives.
When Megan meets Vincent, she believes he suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum, the genetic disease that killed her sister. Sensing a deep loneliness within the handsome man, Megan offers friendship and access to her research files hoping Vincent will offer her a position in his company. But they soon become more than friends and Megan learns the horrifying truth. She's entered the dark and unseen world of vampires and Vincent is her only hope of survival.
“It’s been a long night,” she said. “I’d ask you
to stay, but...” she glanced nervously up the
The knot in his gut loosened. He stepped
closer. Her shoulder pressed into his arm just
above his elbow. She tensed but didn’t move. “But
you knew I couldn’t accept?” he asked softly.
“Yeah. Something like that.” She glanced
nervously upward, finally meeting his eyes. She
looked wary. Afraid.
And oh so vulnerable.
He leaned in, his arm snaking around her
waist, pulling her closer. Her muscles strained,
but she didn’t resist as he drew her in and slowly
lowered his head. “And would you have put me in
your sister’s bed?” He raised a finger to trace the
outline of her mouth.
She trembled, her breath escaping her parted
lips in a breathy sigh. Warm air brushed his
fingertips, stirring his senses. Heating his blood.
“I don’t know.” Her breasts rose and fell with
each shuddering breath she took, her soft curves
brushing the hard wall of his chest.
She pulled her plump bottom lip between her
teeth and looked up with pleading eyes. Eyes that
begged him to make the decision for her.
Blood rushed to his groin, awakening an
insatiable hunger, but not for blood. For the taste
of her lips. Just one taste. A taste that would
haunt him in his dreams as the last one had.
And lowered his mouth to hers.
You can find more about Lilly on her website or purchase OUT OF THE DARKNESS here!