Recent Release: A Town Called Valentine
Describe your current release in two sentences?
After her marriage falls apart, leaving Emily penniless and heartsick, she returns to Valentine Valley to find a new direction for her life, and instead has a steamy encounter with handsome rancher Nate, not the fresh start she intended. But as they begin working side-by-side to restore her time-worn building, and old family secrets change Emily's perception of herself, both are about to learn how difficult it is to hide from love in a place known far and wide for romance, family ties, and happily-ever-afters: a town called Valentine.
What was your childhood ambition?
I read a lot of science fiction as a kid, so I always wanted to be an astronaut! I started writing at a young age, but in high school, I was torn between writing and being an aerospace engineer. I majored in engineering for a few years in college, but it wasn't for me. Writing still had a hold on me.
Please describe your writing environment.
I work in a small office in my home with a window that overlooks our street and the trees in the park. My desk is U-shaped, with a wall of books to my left. I work on a laptop, because I like to be able to move it aside and spread out my index cards or research books when I need to.
What is your favorite TV show?
I've always been a fan of the unusual--from science fiction to paranormal. I grew up on Star Trek, and even raised my kids on the newer versions. I was a devoted fan of Lost, and still miss it. But I find that Fringe takes its place pretty well. There are so many layers in there: backstories of each character, the mythology of the world they've created--and its alternate universes!--as well as a complete story in each episode. Great writing!
What are you working on?
I'm very excited that my first contemporary romance, A Town Called Valentine, is being published! It's getting some great reviews, and you can read an excerpt on my website: http://www.EmmaCane.com I'm hard at work on the second book in the series, which doesn't yet have a title.
What career fields have you worked in?
I've been writing my entire adult life, but had to pay the bills in different ways before I sold my first book. I was a fitness instructor for a few years, and then I programmed and ran computer-controlled machines. Now I'm a writer--none of those fields even sound related! ;)
Where do you want to travel?
I love Europe. Writing as Gayle Callen, I set all my historical romances in England. I've traveled there several times, but I'm dying to return, rent a car, and just drive all over the country, stopping wherever I want. (driving on the left side of the road isn't as hard as I thought it would be!)
How was your road to publication? Have you every had to deal with rejection letters?
My road to publication was a long one, but I never gave up. It took me thirteen years and three complete manuscripts before I sold my first historical romance (written as Gayle Callen) to Avon Books in 1998. There were a lot of rejection letters in those years, but I learned from each of them and never gave up.Which is a good thing, because rejection still happens. The proposal for my first contemporary, A Town Called Valentine, was originally rejected--they loved the town idea, but not where it was set, nor the occupations of the characters. I disected their rejection, altered the proposal--and it sold!
What has been the best way for you to engage readers? Face to Face / Chatting Online / Twitter / Facebook / Blogging
Social media has opened up a whole new way to communicate between authors and readers. I love the interaction, the ability to gauge reaction to every story. You can find me on both Facebook and Twitter, where I love to answer questions, tell you about my day, or discuss fun topics!
What is the best thing about being an author?
I love knowing that at the end of a long day, a reader can pick up my book and get away from the stresses of real life. I really enjoying entertaining people. Also, there are benefits to being self-employed--the ability to set my own schedule being the best part. And we can't forget the freedom to wear comfy, casual clothes. ;)
If you could live in a world created by an author, which book / world would you jump into?
I think I'd live in Susan Elizabeth Phillips' world. I love her romances with professional football players: strong alpha men and women who are more than their match. My favorite is Nobody's Baby But Mine, where a lady scientist desperately wants a dumb jock to father her child and make the kid normal. Wonderful!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about writing, and my new book A Town Called Valentine. I've really enjoyed my foray into contemporary romance, and I hope all of you do, too!