"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

A brief interlude and long post while I try to catch up

 Hi, there! Long time no post, eh?

My apologies. For being enormously busy, I've felt like there wasn't much for me to talk about, until now. So let's get down to it...what's happening?

This Saturday, I'm having a Very Peri Sale online. That's right, my Peri Minneopa Mysteries are on sale. The first book in the series, Freezer Burn, is yours to grab for free. The other four books (yes, ALL FOUR) are 99 cents apiece. Five books for $3.96! I'm pretty sure you can't order anything from Starbucks for under $4, unless it's a coffee, plain and tall.

But that's not all in the online world...

I'm performing an experiment with IngramSpark. I'm packaging all of the Dragon Shadows Trilogy as one e-book, PLUS adding a bonus short story with it, for $7.99. I know what you're thinking. Those books are currently 99 cents on Amazon for Kindle. Why would anyone pay almost $8 for all three, even if there is an exclusive short story included?

I'm going to tell you a secret: I'm planning to raise the Amazon prices. That 99-cent-deal was to try to hook as many readers and get as many online "deals of the day" as I could. Now it's time to up the price and charge what they're worth.

The plan is to release the trilogy on May 16, but we'll see if I get the short story completed.

Here in the physical realm, things are happening, too.

On Friday, May 19th, I will be the breakfast speaker at the California Federation of Women's Clubs Convention, being held at the Doubletree by Hilton by the OC Airport. I'm honing my speech (in my head) every 20 minutes or so. I hardly ever speak from notes--I find that even when I write them all out, I don't look down at them.

Once I am finished speaking and selling books, I hop in my car, pick up my horse trainer and drive to Scottsdale, AZ where I compete at the AQHA Level 1 West Championships. Dhani will already be there. We get there on Friday, ride Saturday, drive home on Sunday. This gives me about a half-a-day to prepare my house for my guests to arrive and spend a week going to Disneyland. They will be here from Monday until Saturday, where the hubby will take them to the airport because I'll be...

In Yorba Linda, at the Expressions event. Music, a food truck, and vendors--and I'm the only author. I usually sell anywhere from 12 to 24 books in this 4-hour block of time. Why do you need to buy your paperback directly from me? Because I discount it and autograph it. There, you have no more arguments.

But I'm not done. In June, I'm at the Placentia Shop Small Boutique at the Placentia Round Table Women's Club. I did this event in December, had a lot of fun, and sold a lot of books. I'm looking forward to it!

If all that sounds busy, it is. I have lists of lists, to check off what to do on what day to keep me organized for each thing. In the meantime, there's been one extra item added to my calendar:

I have to get a biopsy.

I've had dots in my left breast for a couple of years now. The doctors monitor them every 6 months. At my last mammogram, the tech said if they still haven't grown, I can go back to yearly mammograms. She left the room to consult with the radiologist.

You know it's not good when the radiologist follows her back into your exam room. My dots had grown.

There's a large probability that they are benign. If they are not, there's a 99.99% probability that it's completely curable. I'm currently waiting for them to call and schedule the biopsy which doesn't sound like fun but they promise me will be "almost" painless. I do wish one of the shots they'll give me is bourbon. I feel like I have Schrodinger's breast. Until the biopsy is done and results are in, I have cancer and I don't have cancer. No one ever asked the cat how he liked being in that box, but I know how he feels.

I wasn't going to mention the whole biopsy thing at all, but you're going to hear about it one way or another, as in, "Whew, I dodged a bullet," or "Hey, could you just take a deep breath with me and tell me it's all okay." I might as well let you know that if you're talking to me and I look distracted, I might be picturing myself in a box with a cat.

At the moment, I can't worry about it. I got too much to do.

If you're in the area, come by and see me at my booth. If you're far away, do check out my online happenings. And take good care of yourself.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

A brief diversion on writing

 I was oh-so-honored recently to be one of the guest speakers at the Southern California Writers Conference, held over President's Day weekend in San Diego. I did my best to interest and inspire the crowd, and they seemed to like me.


In the Q&A portion of the program, my buddy Rick Ochocki asked about my writing style/voice, saying that within the many genres I've written, my voice seems different for each one. It's true--my humor books are light and conversational, my mysteries are more excited and driving, and Rick pointed out that my fantasy trilogy is sensual in style.

I thought I was writing in the dreamy style of the fairy tales of my youth, but sure.

My answer was that I read across genres, and I learn to recognize and incorporate the style of whatever genre I am writing.

But I started to look at what Rick called "sensual writing," and here's what I believe: when I write any kind of romantic/dreamy book or scene, I'm looking at tension. Many people are hooked into a story when there is tension of any kind, from the tension building in a chase scene to the tension building between two people as they fall in love. Or at least in lust. 

The best tension in the world is that moment, that breath, before the next thing happens. The lovers are so close, they can feel each other's heartbeat--you know they will kiss. The hero raises the bomb's wire to cut--is it the right one?--you know it will be. The moment is a microsecond.

Imagine your favorite food. You raise the fork to your mouth. The aroma fills your olfactory sense. The fork full of lobster/chocolate/etc. touches your tongue lightly, barely brushing your tastebuds. You know how it will taste, but this small slice of time divides your life into before and after. Before you experienced deliciousness and after you indulged in it.


And it is only a microsecond, a breath, half a heartbeat. You can't hold the fork up without biting down eventually. You can't make that moment last.

That's what I try to write, from that breath to the next. I'm not interested in the mechanics of bodies, and I'm too clinical to enjoy flowery euphemisms. I want to know how each character feels in that moment before they indulge...in anything.

So, Rick, that's a more complete answer. Hope it helps.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Just one week

 This is the end of a long road. Who knew that I'd be telling one story across three books, for three hundred thousand words? Give me just a moment to say, "I'm amazed."

Join me next Friday for the release! In the meantime, pre-order your copy here:


Sunday, January 8, 2023

What's new, Pussycats?

Well, 2023, for one, right?

I'm hoping your new year has gotten off to a boffo start. If I use "boffo" enough, can I bring it back into fashion?

My fantasy trilogy, Dragon Shadows, is coming down the home stretch and I couldn't be more excited! You can pre-order your copy of the last book NEW DRAGON SOARING here:


Or you can wait until its release on Friday, February 10th and buy it then.

"But Gayle, I don't want to wait," you plead.

I know, and I aim to please. NEW DRAGON SOARING is complete and copies are on the way to my humble abode. Join with me in praying that they arrive by January 27th because on January 28th, I will be at the "Handmade with Love" festival presented by the Yorba Linda Arts Alliance Foundation from noon to 4 pm at the Yorba Linda Town Center.

Here's the flyer:

If you're local (or local enough) I hope to see you there!

If, for some insane reason, you haven't gotten 'round to getting the first two books, here are those links (or contact me to get your own autographed copies):



Otherwise, my next adventure will be in February at the Southern California Writers Conference in San Diego, where I shall have more copies available.

Life is delicious, Peeps. Savor it.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

A brief diversion -- and a Very Merry Christmas to you!

 When I began writing the annual Christmas letter, it bugged me that it was a separate piece of paper stuffed into the card. Maybe I've got a quirk or two, but I wanted my cards to be all-encompassing. After searching about online, I decided to do a tri-fold brochure style, photos on the outside and the letter on the inside. This had the added benefit of keeping my yuletide ramblings to a single page. I bought the blank brochure stock, then found out my printer didn't like it. To my dismay, neither did Staples. They told me I'd have to take it to a printer, who wanted to print a minimum of 500 copies at an exorbitant price.

Enter VistaPrint. All I had to do was put my handiwork into two .jpg files and format it in their brochure template. The first few years were rocky, because I kept getting the letter upside down, which of course bothered me immensely. I at last got it right, and right it shall remain.

This year's cards have been properly mailed out, so I will share my good wishes here. (PS. If you want a physical copy, just email me your address and I shall send one off!)

Proud Member of ALA!

I support fair and equitable library access to ebooks and so should you.