Meet A.B. Gayle!
A.B. Gayle is the author of Caught and Leather & Lace and others listed below.
To get to know A.B. Gayle a little better, the author agreed to an interview. Look for the interview below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.
Unlike many authors, I haven’t been writing stories all my life. Instead I’ve been living life.
My travels have taken me from the fjords of Norway to the southern tip of New Zealand. In between, I’ve worked (and am still working) in so many different towns I’ve lost count. I’ve shoveled shit in cow yards, mustered sheep, been polite to customers, and traded insults with politicians.
Bored with traditional romances, I discovered M/M romance, where the story is about life and all its complexities, not just the ring, the wedding, and the babies. It’s also about people who until now were if not ignored then downright victimised. Writing about gay men finding love and happiness hopefully will help make that concept the norm and celebrated by everyone.
You can contact/follow A.B. Gayle at:
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115721863331777496940/posts
M/M Romance published by Dreamspinner Press:
“Red+Blue”(Opposites Attract #1) and the Italian translation “Rosso e Grigio”
“Leather+Lace”(Opposites Attract #2)
“Isolation” by Totally Bound (m/f)
“Leather+Lace” is about BDSM but I wouldn’t describe it as BDSM
“Isolation” is futuristic scifi – m/f
Contests and Giveaways:
1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you, A.B. Gayle) is an eBook copy the reader’s choice of anything from my backlist mentioned above. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find the Hunt “word or phrase” in bold green . Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.
Hint: Add a point if you know which well known singer is the drag persona of Steve from Leather+Lace!
Q. When did you start writing?
Back in 2009 when I attended an Australian Romance Reader’s conference and discovered writers were just ordinary people like myself. I figured if they could write down the videos playing in their head, so could I. My first book was a traditional sci-fi romance (m/f)
Q. Were you a reader as a child?
Yes. Obsessively so. I remember an aunt giving me “The Incredible Journey” when I was 7 and not believing I had finished it when I gave it back an hour later. She quizzed me on it. I read in class under the desk. In bed under the sheets by the light of a torch. I hate to admit that I had a distinct aversion to “good” books and read my elder sisters’ adult level books when they weren’t looking. And I read every mystery/spy thriller that I could find.
Q. What books as a child has the most impact on you?
“Lord of the Rings”. I skipped some of the long boring sections about lore. The Australian release date was always a few months after the rest of the world, so I was desperate for my friend (who had been sent them by her family in the UK) to finish each one so I could read it. Then Georgette Heyer as I grew older.
Q. Did that impression carry over into adulthood when you started writing?
Probably, from Tolkien I learned not to include too much backstory! And Heyer has the best secondary characters, plus sparkling dialogue. But I didn’t really think about the craft of writing until I went to the ARRA conference. This was also around the time the eBook revolution began, so I discovered writers whose books had never made it to Australia (or only to libraries with savvy librarians) Regency romances by people like Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, sci-fi by people like Linnea Sinclair. I followed her blogs and did a few writing courses with her. She’s great. I learnt a lot about pacing, conflict and characterisation. I’m still learning though. I envy all these writers who have been writing forever and the words just seem to flow.
Q. Where do you draw inspiration from?
Everywhere. People. Situations. As said in my bio, I’ve been lucky to travel and I am a watcher. I see something or someone and say to myself: Why did they do or say that? (Why was my first word) and that leads to the rest.
Q. Favorite genres to write in and why?
MM obviously. I like contemporary as there are so many issues I like to explore in my writing. I try to have a theme for each book. A reason for writing it. And include settings or professions or ideas that are different from the norm. Actuarians, canoeing, BDSM gone wrong, the global financial crisis.
Q. Title or characters or plot? Which comes first?
Plot usually. Character names are often last and who they are tends to change as they progress through the plot. I know this is arse about. Most writers start with fully formed characters. I often have to go back and change something early on because I realize I didn’t really know the character well enough. Probably this is why I am not a prolific writer.
Q. Do you have a favorite character that you have written?
Like a good mother, I can safely say that I love them all equally. Even the ones in my head in the half plotted books that may one day get finished.
Q. Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source)?
It’s actually from a novella that’s gone out of contract. I should extend it and resubmit it elsewhere for publication
“It’s the groups that can’t accept diversity that hate and fear us the most. They should celebrate diversity, not just accept it.” ― A.B. Gayle, Mardi Gras
Q. Favorite book/story you have read as an adult?
I’m a fickle child. I’ve just found a new favourite author, John Wiltshire, and I think his latest book “This Other Country” is fabulous. Judging it both as a reader and as a writer.
Q. Do you have a certain regimen that you follow as a writer?
No, I should. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t published anything new for ages! With my current workload, when I don’t know where I’ll be from one week to the next, I’m loath to start, because I need to know I will have an uninterrupted few weeks before I start.
Q. What inspired you to write your first book?
My kids spending all their time behind closed doors in their bedrooms, playing computer games. Outsiders saw them as isolated, but they were actually interacting with people all over the globe. I used that premise in my sci-fi aptly entitled “Isolation”.
Q. Do you have a specific writing style?
Providing too much information? I have it on good authority that all my characters sound like fifty year old English professors. 😦 So I need to actively edit the books when I finish to better reflect their characters. Maybe I should write a series of books, starring a fifty year old English professor who lives in Australia now (because I always get into trouble from beta readers for including Aussie slang). Maybe I could just make him South Australian. They talk weird down there!
Q. What’s the hardest part of writing your books?
Starting and Finishing them!
Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book?
Yes! Heaps. I should have shown more scenes that I only told and ensure there was more quality time between the two main characters. Hardly anyone has bought and read it, which is probably a good thing.
Q. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor or has the biggest influence on you?
Linnea Sinclair and Josh Lanyon without a doubt. I paid the latter to critique Red+Blue (and Mardi Gras) and the critique ended up being a quasi writing course. As I said before, Linnea’s courses also helped me in the very early stages. I think we can always improve and I need different guidance now.
Q. What book are you reading now?
I’m re-reading the “More Heat from the Sun” series by John Wiltshire. I’m a speed reader so I galloped through them. Now I’m going back and appreciating the way he has threaded the emotional arc through the whole series. Phrases, incidents happen in the early books that don’t really bear fruit until later.
Q. How do you think books written from authors in Australia or New Zealand differ in style, language, and culture?
I think we are more aware of factors like isolation. The universe doesn’t revolve around us and I think our characters reflect that. We are perhaps more self-deprecating than we should be and we also offer more humour than many readers expect. Most Aussies have a good sense of the ridiculous and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Q. My first impression of AUS/NZ was from stories and novels like Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds or Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as well as from movies like The Man from Snowy River, The Dish, Rabbit Proof Fence, Strictly Ballroom, and yes, Crocodile Dundee! There are so many out there. What is your favorite AUS/NZ stories and favorite Australian/New Zealand movies?
I think we have some of the best MM writers. N.R. Walker, Lisa Henry, Isabelle Rowan, John Wiltshire (although he’s really a ring-in), Barry Lowe etc etc. I was never a Thorn Birds fan, but the other movies I love. Also check out Priscilla Queen of the Desert (gay classic), Muriel’s Wedding, The Sapphires, Mad Max, Babe, Paperback Hero and Red Dog is possibly my favourite. We have some brilliant directors down here and the actors…. Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth….. hmmmm
Q. If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?
Everywhere. My job is currently taking me all over the place. Remote rural communities. Beachside holiday destinations. But for things that are special, the beaches first and foremost.
I’ve travelled extensively overseas, and I have yet to see a coastline that is the equal. Not just the things like Bondi Beach, but Noosa Headland, even the tiny town of Robe in South Australia (pictured below). The Ocean Road in Victoria (mentioned in “Leather+Lace”) is spectacular, Sydney Harbour is beautiful, The Barrier Reef is a must see. As is Uluhru. But I love the little towns that I often end up working in. But you have to stay there for a while to appreciate them. Dry, dusty open spaces have a different type of beauty. Robe
Q. What’s your favorite spot to visit in your own country?
This is the view from a ten minute from my front door. The Georges River in southern Sydney
And what makes it so special to you? The park is a lovely remnant of natural bush and I can walk through it and pretend I’m miles away from the city.
Q. What are your current projects?
“Give+Take” the sequel to “Red+Blue”. “Bound” the sequel to “Caught” to make a novel length book, “Caught+Bound”. Extending my out-of-print “Mardi Gras” and renaming it “Pride+Prejudices” A novel of town and country called “Home+Away” and a thriller “Truth+Lies” All have been plotted to varying degrees, it’s just a question of allowing the muse out.
Q What’s next up for you?
Until my work situation changes, I’m concentrating on my in-depth author interviews. http://www.abgayle.com/interviews.html
I think you’ve probably heard enough from me. Thanks so much for giving us a chance to be seen and heard. Travel to the UK and Europe takes so long and is so expensive that most readers will never venture this far. Please let us know if you are coming. We have a very active group of authors and readers spread right across the country, who are always looking for an excuse to get together, even if it’s only for a cup of coffee and a chat. If we do get overseas and you see one of us at a convention or conference, please come up and say hello. We don’t bite even if our spiders and snakes do. Look out for me at the 2015 UK LGBT meet in Bristol in September.