MFRW Author Gail Ward Olmsted stops by for a short & sweet interview about her newest book.
Gail Ward Olmsted is a professor in the School of Business & Information Technology at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MA. She was the recipient of the 2011 Deliso Endowed Chair Award and was recently recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Department of Higher Education as one of “29 Who Shine”.
Olmsted’s first visit to Sedona, AZ prompted her to start writing JEEP TOUR, her first novel. A few years later, her second visit provided the incentive to complete it. A return trip is being planned! A hopeless romantic, she is married to the love of her life, is mom to two young adults, and enjoys reading, music and travel.
What Genre is your book?
Contemporary Women's Fiction w/ a romantic twist
Before I started writing, I knew I had a socially awkward, recently divorced woman as my main character and a sexy tour guide as her love interest. The adorable ex-husband, annoying best friend, mysterious new friend and a curmudgeon of a landlord came later. The characters developed into “real” people as I started to explore their relationships and writing dialogue.
What motivated the story?
I started writing with a very basic premise: what would happen if you gave in to a sudden urge to uproot your life and start over? What would you do and how far would you go when you lost just about everything you ever had? I wanted Jackie to be wary but resilient and ultimately victorious. I wanted Rick to be attractive but flawed. I really had no idea just how their relationship would evolve.
Where do you do your research?
Research about Sedona was done primarily on location, with some help from a couple of online resources. I also consulted with my nephew and a female pal of his, in order to get a more accurate sense of what it was like to come of age in the late 80’s vs my experiences in the mid-70’s.
What is your writing routine?
I wrote each of the 27 chapters with a very basic idea of what I wanted to see included: i.e. certain conversations, introduction of new characters, plot twists, flashbacks, main character development etc. The title of each chapter is actually a favorite song title or a phrase from pop culture. Most of my writing involved the use of Dragon voice-activated software, a gift from my thoughtful husband. I’m a slow typist with horrible handwriting so the only way this story would get told was if I had some help. The software kept up with the rapid-fire dialogue which raced through my brain and recorded my questions (should she tell him now or wait??) so I could go back and answer them later.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
In the romance genre, favorites are Claire Cook and Elin Hildebrand. I love everything ever written by Dennis Lehane and Harlan Coben.
What do you do to relax and unwind?
I love to read, travel, listen to rock and roll and go to the movies, although not all at the same time.
While you write, does your family leave you to the task?
My family does not understand not to bother me when I'm writing. My son is talking to me as I fill out this form!
Check Out Gail's Book...
JEEP TOUR, Contemporary Romance, released April 10, 2014
Jackie Sullivan was drawn to the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona after a failed marriage and an out-of-the-blue job loss. But did she move cross country to chase a dream or a dreamy tour guide?
She had it all – the husband, the house, the job…but that’s in the past. A chance encounter with Rick, a sexy tour guide, gets her dreaming of a new life in Sedona. Jackie’s efforts to re-invent herself in the tight-knit desert community are, well … complicated. Sedona is terrific, but as the locals note, ‘it’s not for everyone.’
Does Rick want a relationship or just a friend with benefits? And in the case of her ex-husband..is it her imagination or is Rob even more amazing than ever? What happens when you hit a bump in the road?
Buckle Up- time for JEEP TOUR!
5.0 out of 5 stars "Mid-life fantasy fulfillment!" -Greta (Los Angeles), Amazon Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars "Who hasn't been tempted to run away and start all over?" -Betsy Bertuzzi, Amazon Verified Purchase