The Writing Life

My new novel,The River Rose, released June 1, 2012. Here’s a peek at the storyline as well as a short interview on The Writing Life.

The River Rose
Life hasn’t been easy for Jeanne Bettencourt, a widow approaching thirty and struggling to provide for her eight-year-old daughter. But hope arrives in the form of the Helena Rose, a steamboat she unexpectedly inherits from a distant, departed relative. Jeanne’s father had captained a similar vessel and taught her how to pilot a steamer along the banks of Memphis. She’s looking forward to a renewed livelihood on the mighty Mississippi.

Here are a few questions readers often ask me:

How many years have you been writing novels?
I was a late bloomer, and didn’t write a novel until I was almost 50 years old.

What – or who – inspired you to begin writing novels?
I have always been a reader of novels, and while I was serving as Professor of English at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, I read a very bad novel. It came to me, “Why, I could write a better novel than that!”

So I wrote a novel, and it went to almost 50 publishers before it was accepted. Since then I’ve published 228 novels. (Sometimes I feel as if I’ve written one novel 228 times!)

How many novels per year do you write, on average?
Over the past 20 years I have written, on average, one book a month.

Do you have extensive notes?  Do you work from an outline or just start writing and watch the story unfold? What’s your process?
First the main idea! Second, make and outline of the entire book, including the description of the characters, and finally, write the book.

Do you write a draft from start-to-finish and then revise the draft?
Usually I revise as I write the book. Sometimes I go wrong, and have to make major changes, which is difficult!

For more on The Writing Life, come check out my YouTube  interview, “Gil’s Tips for Writers.”

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you see you again!


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