Please introduce yourself and your books.
Hi, I’m Gail Pallotta, a wife, mom and swimmer. Every chance I get I go bargain shopping with my daughter. We have such fun sorting through the clothes while we catch up with each other, and we’re thrilled when we find a treasure, or sometimes two or three. I’ve worked as an editor and copywriter and have published freelance articles and books. Here’s a little about my three most recent novels.
In Stopped Cold, which is a young adult sports mystery, kids and kids at heart learn why we don’t base our self-worth on winning. Stopped Cold was a Grace Awards Finalist and an Amazon Best Seller. It also finished fourth in the 16th Annual Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll.
Barely Above Water, an adult novel entertains readers with a romance and a fun kids’ swim team while educating them about Chronic Lyme Disease. Barely Above Water won a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Award.
In Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, a romantic comedy with a touch of mystery, a strong bond of friendship connects characters who accept and care about each other in spite of their differences.
What inspires your creativity?
I’m a people person, so I’m inspired by situations and events that affect people. For example, before I wrote Stopped Cold I witnessed much pain and heartache among young people who couldn’t cope with not always being “the best” whether the standards were set by parents, peers, siblings or within themselves. Some of them took drastic measures when they couldn’t measure up. Each time I witnessed this I wanted to tell them winning was fun, but it didn’t define their worth as a human being. Finally, I put it in Stopped Cold. For fun I added a sports mystery with amateur sleuths rather like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I believe I’ve picked up tips and honed my skill some by reading how-to books. Two I still refer to are Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell and The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. I’ve also attended conferences and workshops on plot and characterization.
When I first started writing books, I was fascinated with plotting and concentrated a lot on adding layers, twists and turns to my stories. Unfortunately, focusing so much on the structure of the book left my characters a little lean. The first step I took toward developing them was writing down their physical descriptions, but since storytelling is more about emotion, that wasn’t enough. I gave them some characteristics and for a while, I wrote several pages as though I was the character reacting to a situation. I used to think I polished up the plot and characters in the second draft, but now I realize I don’t. I write numerous drafts adding more action and dialogue to make the characters more alive. One of my editors believes tension is the most important aspect in a book and advised me to read Mr. Maass’s chapter on it in The Fire In Fiction. According to a workshop instructor, if a passage in a work in progress seems boring, create tension by using contradiction. This also helps bring out the characters’ personalities. I love writing books, so I continually look for ways to make mine better.
Do you tend toward personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers?
I want to write something my readers will enjoy and hopefully benefit from in some way, even if it’s only that they were entertained for a couple of hours. If they discover something or have an ah-ha moment, so much the better. I love it when a reader sees something in one of my books that hadn’t occurred to me. For instance, after Barely Above Water released, readers started calling it a book of hope. I was thrilled. I’d been so concerned with the story, the characters and the technical information I hadn’t realized hope came through.
What are your plans for future books?
I have a sequel to Hair Calamities and Hot Cash coming out soon. Cooking Up A Mystery is set in the same beautiful North Carolina Mountains in the fictitious town of Triville. The heroine, Laney Eskridge, battles insecurities, loss and a criminal who attempts to destroy her tea house and catering business. Suffering a heartbreaking divorce, she vows to never give her heart to another man. However, she delivers a meal to Eric Crider, a handsome bachelor with a broken foot and a fear of commitment. They fall for each other, but Laney must put her work first. With torn emotions she ends the relationship. Eric recalls a promise he made to Laney. When he honors it, he realizes she’s in danger and vows to protect her, but can he make a lasting promise to love her? Can she trust him? Together they must decide if an overheard threat will cause national turmoil, but who would believe them?
I’m also working on two romantic suspense novels.
Tell us a quirky fact about yourself.
I’m a craft klutz. Once a friend tried to teach me to cross-stitch. I wove the needle and thread in and out around the image following her directions as carefully as I could, and she praised me. The only thing, I sewed the picture to my blue jean leg and we had to cut it off. Unfortunately for me, when it comes to sewing, I’m a writer.
Thank you to NFReads for having me!
Read about all of my books on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Gail-Pallotta/e/B00IN9A640/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1538844223&sr=1-2-ent
In addition look for Stopped Cold and Hair Calamities and Hot Cash at the following:
Hair Calamities and Hot Cash:
I love to connect with readers. Visit my Website at https://gailpallotta.com
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorsandMore
Twitter – Gail Pallotta @Hopefulwords