Tell us a bit about Dearly Beloved. How did you hear about it? What compelled you to submit to it?
As a TWRP author, I received the Call for Submissions for Dearly Beloved from my editor, the fabulous Maggie Johnson. I had just completed and submitted a romantic suspense (the second book in my Heart’s Desire series) and thought this would be a great change-of-pace before I embarked on writing the third book. I hadn’t written a short story, so I was up for the challenge.
A few months earlier I had read an article about high school sweethearts who reunited later in life. The first line of Father of the Bride? is almost a direct quote from the woman in the article: You are not supposed to meet the love of your life when you’re twelve. For some reason that quote stuck with me.
Is this the first time you’ve written for a series? If no, tell us about your experience with other series you’ve had.
Father of the Bride? is the first time I’ve written for a multi-author series. I’m currently working on my own series of contemporary, romantic suspenses for TWRP. I like series because of the sense of familiarity it provides to the reader. In Dearly Beloved, the focus is a wedding and the story involves and older heroine (not necessarily the bride). It’s a really great premise and so much fun to see the different stories authors come up with.
The title of your book is intriguing, particularly for this series. How did you come up with it?
Actually, the title was suggested by my editor, Maggie Johnson. I had originally submitted the manuscript under another title, a play on the name of a well-known movie. Maggie was afraid my title would give away the surprise plot twist. Since she’s usually right about these things, I agreed with her suggestion to change the title to Father of the Bride?, with the very important punctuation mark at the end.
Your cover is terrific. Is the art work of your own design or did someone else do it for you?
I wish I had some artistic talent, but I have none. I took Art in junior high school and received an A for effort and D for achievement. My cover was designed by Tina Lynn Stout. She did a wonderful job of interpreting my disordered ramblings about what I’d like to see and created a beautiful cover that incorporates the key elements of the story. The Wild Rose Press has the best covers going and I am in awe of these talented artists.
Tell us a bit about your personal background. Where are you from? Have you always been a writer or did you start out in a different profession?
I've been a writer all my life (a cliché, I know) but returned to my love of fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communications—although some might argue there is plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too. I have a Master's degree in journalism and an undergraduate degree in psychology. I am a fan of many genres, but feel drawn to contemporary romance where I enjoy creating deeply emotional stories with elements of mystery and suspense.
I live in eastern Ontario with my wonderful husband, two fabulous children, a rescued cat, two Siberian Huskies, and assorted aquatic wildlife.
Is Father of the Bride? your first ever publication or do you have a back list?
Father of the Bride? is my fourth project with TWRP. I have a contemporary romance (also under the Last Rose of Summer imprint) entitled Soldier for Love, and two contemporary romances in my Heart’s Desire series, The Hungry Heart and The Doubting Heart.
Do you have something in the works?
Right now I am finishing the third book in my Heart’s Desire series, tentative titled The Forsaken Heart.
How do you relax?
Relax? What’s that? I have two active (pre-driving-age) teenagers, so if I’m not writing I am usually chauffeuring them to their various sports and social activities. If I do manage to find some time for myself, I like to read—that’s the one thing I wish I could do more of. There are so many books out there; my to-be-read pile is enormous.
Who’s your favorite fictional character and why?
I adore Jamie Fraser, the hero of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I love how he’s fiercely independent, unrelentingly loyal, and unconditionally in love with his wife. The relationship between Jamie and Claire is one of the best-written, most emotionally satisfying in fiction. Despite their differences and all the hardships they encounter, they are devoted to one another, but more importantly, they are confident of the other’s commitment.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
There’s nothing that’s been written that couldn’t benefit from a good editor. My background in journalism and corporate communications has taught me (the hard way) that not everything I write is golden. I am blessed to work with the wonderful team at The Wild Rose Press. Together we share a passion to create the best story possible—and sometimes that takes many, many revisions.
Last but not least, where can visitors to our blog today find you?
I’m all over the web and I love to talk with readers about books (not necessarily mine) and life. You can find me via my website (www.BrendaGayle.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/BrendaGayleAuthor), Twitter (@Brenda_Gayle), and Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/BrendaGayle).
Where can they go to purchase Father of the Bride?
Thanks so much for spending time with us today, Brenda. Much luck in sales and in future works.
Kat and Veronica