Gayle Carline is an author of mysteries and humor. Her popular Peri Minneopa Mystery Series features a 50-year old former housecleaner, now a private investigator. Gayle’s latest book, From the Horse’s Mouth, is a departure from her normal genre, but not from her upbeat style of telling stories that are upbeat and uplifting.
What inspires you to write?
Originally, my grandmother taught me the art of storytelling. When I began writing for publication, my first horse became my muse. Learning to ride her opened me up to so much more in life.
Tell us about your writing process.
In my novels, I usually start out with a rough outline. I may not stick to it by the end, but I at least begin on a path. I just use an Excel file. It contains sheets for the outline, plus the character names and brief descriptions, plus a word count and schedule. I schedule the days I know I can write and aim for at least 2,000 words each day.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Mostly I listen. I’ve tried talking, but they don’t want to hear it. My favorite and most useful activity, prior to starting the novel, is to write a journal for all the major characters. It allows me to know their backstory and gets me into the groove of their voices. Once I start writing the story, I can sort of picture them in my head, living through the circumstances I’ve thrown at them.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. Sit your butt in the chair and tell the story. It doesn’t matter if it’s a crappy story. You aren’t wasting time, even if you have to toss it all and begin again. It’s called practice.
You also need to read a lot, if nothing else than to see what’s out there in your genre. But read because you’re a writer and words are beautiful and other writers can take your breath away.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first book, Freezer Burn, was published by a traditional publisher. I branched out into self-publishing with my first book of humor columns. It was easy and earned money, so I kept following that path. I really like the amount of control I have over my cover art, formatting, marketing, etc.
Each author must choose their own path with each book. I think every author needs to have the heart of an artist and the head of a CEO. When it comes time for choosing traditional or self-publishing, you have to think about what the publisher is offering you versus what you are willing to do yourself. What’s in it for you?
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There is so much to read out there, we just need to continue to keep raising children to be readers!
I’d love to see ebooks become a multi-media experience. As you run your hand across a description, a picture of the actual place pops up. A soundtrack accompanies each chapter. You can build avatars of characters and play out the story interactively. You know, stuff like that.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Mystery, Humor, General Fiction (Horse)
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print