Monday, August 29, 2016


Welcome back to this weeks Author Interview. Today, I am with Janelle Gabay and we are so glad to have her here with us. So, are you ready to meet this Author? Let's go........


Most of my favorite authors are indie or self­pubbed, what made you decide to go that route?

Let me start by saying my husband and I own a printing company but don’t think that made it easy.  No way!  Publishing a book is entirely different than printing brochures and flyers.  I wanted an agent and set out to find one.  I went to a conference in Atlanta with my completed manuscript in hand.  I quickly discovered I had a lot of work to do.  I also began to realize that every agent or editor at the conference had a different opinion.  I reworked my novel cutting 130 pages of 'backstory' off the front and went to the next conference and the next.  Again, I met with and received advice from various agents and editors, all of which was different, and some contradictory.  Walking in circles and not able to please everyone or anyone, I joined a critique group. One of the member's daughters loved First Born.  Her praise and encouragement plus a loving shove from my husband gave me the courage to slap some paper on the printing press and go for it!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

It surprised me that my characters had a mind of their own, and I had to release my hold on them to allow them to lead me down the path of a good story.

Which of your characters are you most like? Least like?

Honestly, I think there’s a little bit of me in all the characters.  I can be questioning like Tarian, demanding like Audrey, hyper and ditzy like Piper and orderly like Eleanor.  I guess I’m least like Zachary.  He’s too rigid.

Do you have a particular writing habit?

​I like to get up before everyone else, sit at my laptop with a steaming cup of coffee and write in pure silence.  I also don’t stop once I start.  I write straight through to almost the conclusion, then I return to the beginning and rewrite through to the end.  Then, of course, the editing begins.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?  

Deborah Harkness the author of the “All Souls” Trilogy.  Of course, I can think of five more, but I’d choose Deborah Harkness.  In Book 2 ​ Shadow of Night a brief mention of a lost colony peaks my interest.  I did some investigating and found the origin of my immortals the Guardians of Dare.  The Roanoke Colony vanished after settling in the new world in 1587.  To this day several theories have been made, but it’s still a mystery.  In my story, the colony disappeared on purpose to escape the brutality imposed upon magical beings during the time of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.  Also before her trilogy, I had read vampire books and books about witches but never a story containing more than one magical species (I know other books existed with multiple fantasy figures, I just hadn’t read them yet).  I liked this idea and incorporated it into my book as well.  I also admire her historical fiction and hope to take my immortals back in time as successfully as she took Matthew and Diana.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, I met James R. Hannibal at BEA.  He’s the author of the upcoming middle­grade book The Lost Property Office.  He was wandering around to different booths.  My book cover captured his attention, and once he learned I was an air force brat, we began talking in depth as he was an air force pilot.  I had no idea he was the ‘it’ guy at the Expo.  We just had a friendly conversation and swapped books.  I fell in love with his main character Jack and ​ The Lost Property Office.  It’s a bright idea that shines a light on an unusual birth defect called synesthesia.

What is the hardest part of your writing? ​

Finding time. Writing actually comes easy.  The characters live in my head, and I love to see where the keyboard will take them.  It’s an adventure for me.  The problem is I only have one, maybe two, hour windows of time which are not enough to follow through with a good story line.  Unfortunately, backtracking becomes a necessity. It’s a distraction and pain.  Proofreading is also hard.  Trying to find the ‘to’s to replace with the ‘too’s, etc. Ugh!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Join a critique group hopefully one with a wide variety of people.  Stick with it and find your comrades and your enemies and listen to the advice of both.  Take it all in with a grain of salt and don’t be afraid to disagree.  When you find several people commenting negatively about one area of your book or writing, then you know you need to rework that area.  The same goes for the positives in your writing, latch on to the areas people like and run away with it.

Describe yourself in three words.

Understanding, determined and silly!

I know characters are like children but if you could chose, who’s your favorite from your books?

Piper because she’s fun, caring and strange.  Her role is small in this book, but the reader will soon find out she’s a lot more powerful than people give her credit.

Any song or songs that could basically sum up the overall mood of your writing?

I have an eclectic taste in music.  I guess I’d have to say for writing the Guardians of Dare Chronicles the music would have an edge like “Not Afraid” by Eminem.  And my writing in music would be alternative rock.  It would rock with a symphony of sound and meaning like “Viva La Vida,” Long Live Life seems fitting for immortals, don’t you think?

Do you plot out your books or just freely write them and let the characters tell you what to do next? ​

Book 1 started with an idea that I ran with and wrote freely.  Then I rewrote it over and over again.  Book 2 I had an outline and a complete plot set up, but the characters took over, and I had to bend.  Book 2 ended up in South America, which I did not plan but am delighted with the results.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider the biggest influence in your writing?

​I won’t repeat what I said about Deborah Harkness’ influence in the previous question. Instead, I added other authors.  I studied the first Harry Potter book to see why this young man, and the discovery that he is the ‘chosen one,’ interests so many readers.  Tarian has a similar path he just finds it later in life.  I also love Maggie Stiefvater’s style.  She has a way with description.  It’s incredible, and it captured my ear in the Raven Cycle books.

What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’ll share chapter four of Book 2.  It ​ doesn’t have too many spoilers for book 1 ​First Born. Teresa, Tarian’s sister, plays a significant role in book 2.  In this chapter, you learn of her capabilities and secret love affair.

Teresa’s Secret
Teresa bound up three flights of stairs to the residences.  She scanned the hallway, found it empty, and proceeded to Patrick’s apartment.  The door recognized her and let her inside.

“Good morning,” she called out as she rounded the corner to enter the kitchen.
“What are you doing here?” Patrick sat at the bar sipping coffee and browsing the news.  “Teresa, we have to be careful.”

“Relax, no one was in the hall, and I just ran into my brother downstairs.  He’s in a council meeting.  Can’t I surprise my boyfriend,” she wrapped her arms around him.

“Of course.”  He returned her hug then slipped away into the bathroom.

“You don’t have to do that,” Teresa called after him.  “I love your black irises.”

“You’re weird.  They’re enormous and soulless.”  Patrick emerged from the bathroom with evergreen irises and brilliant white scaleras.  He grabbed her and kissed her.  “Council meeting, huh.”

“That’s right.  Should give us thirty minutes.”  Teresa kissed him with teenage lust and dug her hands under his shirt.

“No, baby.”  Patrick tucked his shirt back into his pants and held her at a distance. “You’re too young.”

“In a month, I’ll be seventeen.”  She tempted him again with a passionate kiss.

“You’re killing me, but I’ve waited centuries so what’s another couple of…”

“If you say years, I’ll kill you,” Teresa said, her lip jetted out into a pout.

“Months,” he continued with a grin.  “Plus, I’m not cured yet.  If I ever hurt you, I’d never forgive myself.”

“You’re fine!  It’s been years since Dad woke you up.”  She heard the whine in her voice and hated it when she sounded her age, but she longed to be with him.  Just looking at his youthful face and strong masculine chest made her stomach twist, her heart pound and her body melt.  “You’re not like the other Awakened.”

“I know.  I’m probably fine, but this is still a new discovery.”  He lifted her hands from his waist and placed them on her own.  He walked around the counter. Reaching for the coffee maker, he asked, “Coffee?”

She nodded. He poured her a cup added honey and cream then put a lid on it. “Let’s go.”

“Chamber or infirmary?” She said in a huffy breath, dejected yet again.

“Baby, you know I love you.”  He tucked an amber strand of hair behind her ear. “Let’s go check on Hope.”

She smiled up at him.  He was achingly beautiful, and although he was centuries old, he had the body of a nineteen ­yea ­old.  Stone shoulders of a Roman statue, eyes set symmetrical across a bone structure that angled and leveled in all the best spaces over his face.

She had first met him when she apprenticed for Eleanor.  She, along with the rest of her family, had been brought to the Guardian village for safety after her father’s supposed death and her brother’s discovery that he had immortal DNA.  Her life had been uprooted. As a teenager in high school, it had been the end of the world.  No more cute boys, no more friends, no more Salem High.  But Eleanor sensed she was special and quickly put her to work in the lab alongside Patrick.  It was the best thing that ever happened to her; it was the beginning of her destiny as a healer.

When they reached the infirmary, Patrick held the door open for her.  The once empty room now overflowed with patients.  Beds lined the halls separated by magical barriers to give adequate privacy and prevent the spread of disease.

“I can’t believe this is the place where I fell in love with you,” Patrick whispered.

Teresa winked at him, “Such a romantic.”  She had already told him that she had fallen head over heels for him the first day she saw him.

Teresa heard the patients request her by name as she tread down the aisles assessing the faces of the injured.  A busy day lay ahead, and as much as she wanted to help them all, she itched to be in the Chamber where the real work awaited.

She trotted into Hope’s shelter delighted to see her sitting up and scarfing down pancakes dripping with syrup.

“Wow, you look well,” Teresa said.  When Hope’s treatment began several weeks ago, she was an unconscious mess.

“I feel amazing.  Whatever that goo was that you rubbed on my wound not only healed it but I also slept a full eight hours.  My chest pain is gone too.”  Hope shoved a heaping amount of food into her mouth.

Teresa’s concoctions of herbs combined with her touch elicited miracles, especially with the young.  She didn’t know how or why.  She simply had the gift, and she used it on every victim.  Eleanor had schooled Teresa in many areas of medicine, but Teresa’s gift to heal came naturally.  Teresa thought of Eleanor every day and missed her mentor.

“And I see your appetite is back.”  Teresa reviewed Hope’s charts.  “Where’s your mother?”

“She has a surprise for you.  She left to get it after I woke up.  I told her you loved and missed her apple pie, so she went straight to the bakery to bake one for you.”

“She didn’t have to do that.”

“She wanted to.  She misses it.  Ever since she closed the bakery, she’s been miserable.  I think she may open it back up for just a couple of hours a day.  Other people have said the attacks only happen after sunset.”  Hope spoke between bites.

“Yes, that’s true,” Teresa said.

“I wish them all dead.  I want your brother to get all of them.  I heard there’s only twelve left.”

“He’s doing his best.”  Teresa gave Hope her best smile.  It wasn’t genuine, but it looked as if it was.  She wished after Audrey and her father figured out how to prevent the sleepers from turning into bloodthirsty Awakened; it wouldn’t be too late to change the villagers’ opinions of the Death Serum victims.

“He’s so cute,” Hope teased, after catching Teresa gaze at Patrick, who stood on the opposite side of the room.

“Who? Patrick?” Teresa turned to face Hope.  Nervous butterflies fluttered up from her gut choking her throat.

“Yes,” Hope rolled her eyes and huffed.  “It’s so obvi that he likes you.”

“No,” Teresa shook her head, but she realized she wasn’t fooling this young girl.

How many other people had seen her casual flirting?  Patrick was right; her foolish behavior had to stop.  She promised to keep her eyes away from his direction.  Nips of anguish ate away at her flesh from this decision, but she had to be strong.  Loving and kind Patrick showed no signs of violence like the others.  If the High Council ever learned of his secret and ordered him dead, Teresa’s life would be over.

Thank you, Janelle, for stopping by and allowing me to pick your brain!! It's been a lot of fun!!


Fantasy/Contemporary/Adventure/Young Adult

At nineteen-years-old, Tarian Prescott is under attack for the immortal DNA he didn’t know he possessed. Audrey, his Cadet Sergeant, rescues him from an air strike on the Entente Military Academy. She takes him to the magical Guardians of Dare village, where he discovers his true identity. It is here that he learns about the secret society of immortals that run the government and keep the Entente of Nations safe. But the immortals are mysteriously dying, and Tarian’s miraculous birth nineteen years ago may be the link to their survival. Being the first immortal to be born in over five hundred years, his DNA holds the answer to the reproduction of his kind. But in the wrong hands, his existence may lead to something far more destructive. 

While his superiors debate over his role as the First Born, he seeks only revenge. His father was the first immortal killed by Death Serum. Now that Tarian knows the truth about himself and his dad, he will find the murderous traitor and bring him to justice. But Tarian is young, and his immortal gifts have not matured. With the help and guidance of Audrey, he may have a chance.

Tarian’s journey is both a physical challenge as well as an emotional coming of age enlightenment. His path of self-identity braids through the mortal and immortal world. With breath catching character revelations turning enemies into friends and friends into enemies, he must fight to save his loved ones and secure the two worlds he has come to love. 

First Born mixes fantasy with action adventure set in a near-future North America on the brink of a Border War offering a unique twist on an immortal tale. Interesting historical facts weave cleverly throughout the narrative providing extensive character background and playful speculation. Combining romantic fantasy with aggressive action think the All Souls trilogy meets the Divergent Trilogy.

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