Monday, July 25, 2016

Interview with Norma Gail, LAND OF MY DREAMS

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Land of My Dreams is a contemporary Christian romance set in Scotland and New Mexico. When Bonny Bryant cannot face the recent deaths of both parents and the break-up of her engagement, she accepts a position teaching American history and literature at a small Christian college in Scotland. Fleeing a broken heart, romance is the last thing on her mind until she meets Kieran MacDonell, a part-time math professor and full-time sheep farmer dealing with his own devastating loss.

Land of My Dreams spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains to Loch Garry, in the misty Scottish Highlands, with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

It is my debut novel and I am working on a sequel.

Do you have a favorite character?
Though the main character is Bonny Bryant, my favorite character is Kieran MacDonell. He is such a man’s man, a farmer, teacher, outdoorsman, athlete, tender, loving man. He is a stereotypical, Scot, big, with reddish-blond hair, and accent, and a kilt. He is compassionate, loving, and romantic. He is flawed but well-meaning, the kind of man it’s easy to admire.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I am traditionally published by a small Christian publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. I wanted the security of a publisher who knew what they were doing behind me and the confidence that someone other than a few friends and myself believed in my book.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
Land of My Dreams is my first novel. At my first writer’s conference in 2011, I received encouragement that my book was publishable material as well as some rejections. I was offered contract for the same book following my second writer’s conference 2012. Because I am with such a small publisher, I do not have an agent.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I do not outline. I sit down and write. On the second time through, I look at where things are going and if events flow in a logical order. I don’t actually outline unless I get stuck somewhere. I write in layers, going deeper each time, fleshing out the characters, improving on the setting and character descriptions, deepening the conflict. Each day, I read what I wrote the day before and edit it before moving on.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I did not hire an editor before submitting my book the first time. As a result, much that an editor would have caught and polished before we began the official editing for publication was not. Therefore, it took longer. For the sequel, I have already had one edit that I paid for myself, and will have another before submitting it. Now, my publisher is recommending that writers have their own edit prior to submission.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, Facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I have my own blog where I write devotionals on Mondays and interview authors two Fridays a month. I have a Facebook author’s page where fans can find me. I am active on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. I guest blog for other authors whenever I can to reach new audiences. On Facebook, I joined a lot of pages which allow authors to post about their books and work hard at keeping information out there.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
When I’m marketing I want to be writing and when I write I think I need to be marketing. It keeps me frustrated and busy. No matter what I’m doing, I feel as if I’m not doing enough.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I was a women’s Bible study leader for 21 years. I gave it up recently due to health issues and cut back my blogging schedule as well. I miss it and still study on my own. I love family history research. I could get involved in that and forget everything else. It is a rich source of information for an historical series I want to write. I love travel and visiting areas where my ancestors live. Through my research, I have reunited a branch of the family that had lost touch to the point they didn’t even know each other existed. Now the descendants of my mother’s 8 siblings know where their family members are and keep in touch. I also love research in general. A contemporary novel like Land of My Dreams took almost as much research as a historical would because it was set in another country.

What’s next for you?
I am working on my sequel. I am finishing a novella. I have some opportunities to go deeper in my family research, which will help with a historical document I want to finish by 2018. There is not enough time in a day.

Alone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated.

Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny’s former fiancĂ© reenters her life, Kieran’s loneliness draws him to a former student.

How will Bonny decide between her rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future, or will it drive them apart?

Land of My Dreams, Christian Romance Novel, spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

Book Links:
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore:

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Norma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.
Connect with Norma:

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