Yay!! She’s here!! She’s here!! I’d love to welcome Gayle Ann Williams to my blog today. As you know I’m a big fan of her book (and character) “Tsunami Blue”, and have been so excited at the opportunity of having her visit. She has answered some questions, and will continue to answer comments and questions throughout the day. And guess what!? She will be giving away two Tsunami Blue books and four pair of earrings with cover flats!
To enter for your chance at getting in on the goods, just leave a comment about the interview, or a question for Gayle, and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win!
So without further ado, I’d like to welcome Gayle to “my island”
Hi Maryse, and first let me say thank you so much for having me here today. I love hanging out with you on your great blog, lol. And now for some questions. . . I will try to be interesting, I promise.
I know you would like a bit of background on the writing and inspiration of TSUNAMI BLUE. And your readers might find this interesting too. . .
On Christmas night, in 2004 I boarded a plane out of Seattle and flew right into the Southeast Asia Tsunami. In the air when the deadly wave hit, I knew that if I had arrived a few hours earlier, I might have been a statistic. As I continued to travel in the region over the next few months, I encountered a great deal of sadness. I listened and observed, hugged and cried, and yet through all the pain and misery something else emerged. Something stronger. It was hope. The resilience of the human spirit surfaced and along with it, hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better future. I did not know this at the time, but this experience, this life changing adventure, would become the foundation for my novel Tsunami Blue.
1) Will TSUNAMI BLUE be a series? How many books are you hoping to include in the series? And can you give us any insight as to what the next one will be about?
GW) Right now, I’m so happy to say, there is a book two set in the TSUNAMI BLUE world. Due out in March of 2011, the second book will take place in the same tsunami ravaged landscape. (My home islands of the San Juan’s in Washington State.) Six years have passed, the world has evolved some. . .but still, danger is everywhere. I will introduce two new characters (but don’t be surprised to see an appearance of Blue and Gabriel), and even though I can’t tell you much yet, I can tell you this.
The deadly tsunamis have calmed. . .but the winds are starting to whisper.
Will there be a third book? I’ll let you know where this “world” is taking me. . . just as soon as I know, lol.
2) This book is pedal to the metal throughout, what helped keep the plot line taut?
GW) They (whoever “they” are, lol) often say write what you know. . .and what you love. And I just LOVE a fast-paced novel. Like many writers, I “see” the scenes play out in my head. I can smell the sea air, taste the salt on the mist off the ocean, see saturated colors of greens and reds and browns after a storm. I imagine an image or images and they run through my mind in full blown color. Then I write it down.
This breakneck speed may not be for everyone, but I love it. I’ve had readers tell me those wonderful words, “I couldn’t put it down.” Or, “I finished it two days!” Or just yesterday a reader wrote to say she was “up all night,” with TSUNAMI BLUE in hand. I write what I love. And these type of novels that race along, that grab you by the throat and don’t let go, are just as they say, “my cup of tea.” Or in my case, “my cup of espresso.”
3) This book played out almost like a movie (and wow what a movie it would be). If you could see any actor play Gabriel or Blue, who would they be?
GW) This is a fun and wild question. And thank you!
I would answer it this way. By not answering it, lol. And I’ll tell you why. I have a very distinct image of Gabriel Black in my mind. And I hope the readers have formulated their “image” of Gabriel too. If I were to mention this amazing dark-haired actor, or that hunky amazing one, it may totally be wrong for someone else. Why mess with the fantasy of who this man is for each one of us? Now if Hollywood came calling, then I would RUN to your readers and ask for suggestions. . . RUN.
And as for BLUE? I think Dorchester did a find job with her image on the cover. My editor looked very hard for the “right” girl. She is very pretty, petite, and even though she is tough as nails, she is vulnerable. And I think that shows on the cover. But it would be fun to get your readers input on Blue. Who do they see in that role?
4) Did any person influence the way the characters were written? Or were they based off of anyone?
GW) Certainly not any “one” person. But an accumulation of many. Both fictional, and real life flesh and blood folks. I knew I wanted my characters to be honorable and heroic, even in the most challenging of circumstances. And what could be more challenging than a post-apocalyptic world where “survival of the fittest” and the most “brutal” seems to be the law of the land. What land is left that is. I wanted them to be flawed, not perfect, because really? Who of us are? But in the end, I wanted them to find a way to do the right thing. . .to survive, and ultimately find each other.
5) Was there a personal “music” soundtrack that you listened to while writing, that inspired you and helped set the mood for certain scenes?
GW) I have an iPod full on music, and iPhone that is loaded. . . I always have music on in the car and house. . .but- I’m one of those writers who must write in silence. Like a “pin drop” kind of silence. It allows me to “see” the work, if that doesn’t sound too strange. And if I listen to music, I just want to sing along or get up and dance, lol. (And trust me, none of us wants that, lol.) Listening to music for me is not the best while I’m writing, but music so inspires. I did think of the Stones, PAINT IT BLACK” a lot and all my dark, atmospheric, Blues CD’s played a role too. Oh. And one song in particular by the Dresden Dolls. . .MISTER, MISTER. . .
6) Did you experience any difficulties writing this book?
GW) There are always “issues” in writing a book, whether it be from conception, to editing, to copy editing, to pacing, to characterization, and on and on. But for me, TSUNAMI BLUE was a very straight forward stream of writing for me. Oh there was lots of polishing, and scene changes, but the story from conception to end never changed. And it all started with a vision of a lone girl sitting on the beach listening to the water. . .
7) When you wrote this first book, did you write it preparing it for a series? Do you write a book thinking only of it, and then continue into a series/story or do you go into it, writing and preparing it knowing it will be an ongoing thing?
GW) TSUNAMI BLUE was unusual in that it was a contest win, complete with contract, advance, and royalties. All the usual suspects. Dorchester Publishing in New York, was looking for another author for their SHOMI line, which might help explain the “edginess” and “urban” feel to TSUNAMI BLUE. Shomi has now been folded into Dorchester’s regular lines, and you can find this sort of “different” story being written there. Chosen as the winner by the editors, I wrote TSUNAMI BLUE as a stand alone single title, but I knew just a few chapters in there could and should be a second book. Luckily for me that has come to pass. But my other projects include an ongoing series. I have found a cast of characters that need to span more than one book. Their story is just that large.
8 ) What is your favorite part of the book?
GW) Well, I have many actually, lol. The kids in the book, Nick and Alec and Aubrey are my real life nephews and niece. (And yes, the boys really are identical twins.) So of course for me, that was great fun. And Max, Tsunami Blue’s dog, is the real life, “Beans,” and yes that is his real name. I met Beans at a party and he won my heart. . .and a role in my book. But one of my favorite parts is the opening of Chapter Three, where Blue awakes from a dream of her mother. Having lost my own mother, I often wonder if that longing on the page isn’t my own.
9) What are some of your favorite books? Anything you’d like to recommend in particular?
GW) I read fast and furious because time is always a factor. In fact, I often have three of four books going all the time. And I always remember exactly where I left off and I never have to refresh the back story. Crazy I know. I read anything and everything. Right now, this minute I’m on a YA kick, because I so enjoy the books. I’m reading INCARCERON, by Catherine Fisher, a futuristic fantasy about a vast prison, that seems to be alive. . . I’m just loving it. I highly recommend. . .
Thank you so much Maryse, for having me on your blog. . . this was fun! I told you I liked hanging out with you. And a big thank you to your readers for coming by.
So guys! What did you think? Do you have any questions for Gayle? Don’t be shy! Leave a comment (scroll down to the bottom of the interview for the comment box).
(also don’t forget, I’m still giving away Tsunami Blue bookmarks/collector card sets for comments left on my Tsunami Blue review found here):