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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Monday, December 21, 2009


Gail McFarland is the published author of more than 100 short romantic confessions and stories and seven novels including: SUMMERWIND (BET/Arabesque), WHEN LOVE CALLS (BET/Arabesque), BOUQUET (with Roberta Gayle and Anna Laurence, BET/Arabesque), LADY KILLER (LULU Books), and ALL FOR LOVE (LULU Books).

A dedicated wellness/fitness advocate, Ms. McFarland is currently an active fitness instructor and consultant. She happily admits that DREAM RUNNER (ISBN: 1585713171) is the first of her novels to combine her love of sports and fitness with the passion of romance. DREAM KEEPER, the sequel to this well received novel, is slated for December, 2009. Also in 2009, Ms. McFarland will be returning to her romantic roots with short stories and confessions, in conjunction with Lady Leo Publications.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. McFarland now makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia.

What would you like readers to take away from your book?

When they turn that last page, I want them to hold the book, smile, sigh, and refuse to ever lend it to anyone. Seriously, I want readers to be completely satisfied with the characters and the story, and willing to believe that love is real and worth the challenges and changes we go through to hold on to it.

Why did you choose to write this book?

These characters kind of snuck up on me. Rissa and Dench were secondary characters in DREAM RUNNER, and they became my friends as I wrote. Their connection, humor, and passion were irresistible, and they were married by the epilogue – but nobody knew any details. So I HAD to write their story.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned a lot about the causes and responses to infertility and had to challenge my writing skills by keeping the information relevant in a romantic setting. I also learned a lot about the challenges of writing a sequel. My previous books have all been single titles with unrelated stories, but this time, I had to maintain timelines, relationships, physical characteristics, and environments for a whole cast of characters.

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?

I absolutely loved the passion shared by the couples in DREAM KEEPER, and writing the love scenes was a lot of fun, but without giving away the story, there is an emotional breakdown that stands out for me. One of the characters has lost a baby and has to deal with the fact that life goes on in spite of her anger at herself and God. My only regret in writing this scene is that a red velvet cake was sacrificed, but I love the mood, the intensity, the language, and the resolution of this scene.

What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers would understand?

That writing takes more than a decision to sit down and put words on paper. Completing a novel takes skill, commitment, process orientation, and loads of patience. Bringing a book to completion is a lot harder than it looks, but being able to tell a good story and share it with others is so very worth it in the end.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

To tell a good story, and I think this quote sums it up quite nicely.

“…try to leave out the parts that people skip.” ~ Elmore Leonard

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

My dad has had some serious health challenges lately, and they have seriously impacted my time. Writing on a deadline, time has been of the essence, so everything else about the writing/editing/publishing process was compressed. The test has been to work hard and fast, and turn out a book that I could be proud of and that readers would enjoy.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry?

That every rejection is not final. A manuscript may be rejected for many different reasons, and sometimes the writer can’t see it at first glance. If you believe in the story, reevaluate the manuscript, fix the problems, and resubmit it somewhere else. I read that in a Writers Digest article back in 1994 and never forgot it. The worst? Honestly, I don’t have a ready answer for this one.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

DO pay attention to deadlines, contracts, and other commitments.

DON’T think that every word you write is golden. Books and stories can benefit significantly from editing.

I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?

This is a really good question. When I write, my characters are very active in my head. I would love to see what they do in movies. So my fantasy is to see my books as feature films.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I work in Wellness/Fitness so most people are not surprised that I teach aerobics, but they might be a little surprised to learn that I have recently tried pole dancing, and I liked it!

Five questions about books:

One book that you have read more than once.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES (Charles Dickens). This was a school assignment, and I am so glad I did my homework. I know that it is a political commentary, but the idea of a man who would die so that the woman he loves might live – and with another man – thrills me to this day.

One book you would want on a desert island.

The latest entry in the J.D. Robb “IN DEATH” (Nora Roberts) series. Eve Dallas is smart and just hard enough to make you nod your head, and her husband, Roarke makes you wish you could say one word about him: Mine.

One book that made you laugh.

FRANKLY, MY DEAR (Sandra Hill). This is the funniest romance in the western world! I recommend it highly.

One book that made you cry.

NIGHT (Elie Wiesel). The eloquence and simplicity of this true story is painful and haunts my heart.

One book you wish you'd written.

THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD (Zora Neale Hurston). I can still close my eyes and see Janie walking down that road in overalls…

Oh, oh, and can I have just one more? It would have to be THE HAND I FAN WITH (Tina McElroy Ansa). Herman… need I say more?

Our theme for this month is Children Books. Can you recommend three books for children?

TAR BEACH (Faith Ringgold) offers beautiful illustrations and a lovely stretch of imagination.

STONE SOUP (Kit Schorsch) an old fairytale wonderfully told.

MRS. PIGGLE WIGGLE (Betty MacDonald) I loved this series when I was a child, and still enjoy reading them to others.

Oprah has--as one of her magazine columns--a section where she talks about what she knows for sure. What do you know for sure?

I know for sure that God don’t make junk, and good health is worth the effort it takes to maintain it.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

I would love to!

Readers met Bianca Coltrane in DREAM RUNNER, and she was a very bad girl. But even bad girls can find redemption and have dreams. Now, romance with the wrong man has taught her what she wants in the right one.

Haru “Harry”Jordan has always been the best at everything he’s tried – except finding the right woman.

Stepping out on faith is a task neither of them ever saw coming, but if Bianca is ever to be free of the entanglements of her past, faith and Harry may be all she has.

Offering her the honesty and sensual integrity no other man has ever deemed her worthy of, Harry steps to the side of a woman in charge of herself. Accepting a man who has never stepped out of perfection to be only a man is not an easy task for an imperfect woman like Bianca Coltrane, but it is the only right thing for a woman with wayward dreams to do.

Readers can look for WAYWARD DREAMS in June, 2010.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Mailing Address: P.O.Box 56782 / Atlanta, GA 30343

Email: the_fitwryter@yahoo.com

Website: http://fitwryter.tripod.com/

Booksite: http://fitwryter.tripod.com/books/


It took a lot for Rissa and Dench Traylor to get friends and family on the right track, but they did and found each other in the process. Now, what about their own marriage? Will a baby ever make three? A series of miscarriages forces them to make some hard decisions, decisions that place a strain on their marriage. As the tension grows, Rissa must remember that Dench married her because he loved her, not because he loved the prospect of kids.

Leave a question for a chance to win a copy of DREAM KEEPER.

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