Welcome to the blog, Gabbi.
Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?
For me, it’s all about character. In my new book, Jared was an existing character in an existing world. He’s been in about 25 other books so all the fans have an impression of him. I wanted to go deeper. He puts up a front of being the friendliest guy in town – and he is – but what is that happiness hiding? What’s beneath the surface? What doesn’t he want everyone to know? And for Xander, my other hero, I started with his emotional wound. What has brought him into Jared’s sphere and what if his wound is in conflict with Jared’s need to avoid certain circumstances? How can they make it work? The story and plot were built out of my two heroes.
Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?
I write romances so I often have the beginning and the end with very little in the middle. I have my couple and how they meet and I have their happy ending. Everything else is often unknown to me when I start. I envy plotters because I like to believe they don’t get stuck quite as often. I will say that I write linearly so if I sit down at the keyboard, I’ll force myself to type the next word and the next and so on. I might wind up editing or deleting those words, but the push to move on is what keeps the story moving forward.
What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process? I always believe I’m submitting a complete and clean manuscript, but my eagle-eyed editors always find something. These days I’ve been working on expletives (the non-swear word varieties). I’m guilty of having plenty of ‘there was’, ‘there were’ and ‘it was’ in my manuscript. My editor believes (correctly) that this is lazy writing. To tighten up my sentences, she makes me go back to rework them. Also, my Canadian sometimes shows and I throw in an extra ‘u’ (neighbour, labour) or a theatre. Again, my trusty editor finds them and fixes them so the manuscripts are consistently American spelling. Guess that British ancestry is stronger than I thought.
Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).
I have a day job so my writing is in snippets, snatches, and every possible minute of vacation I can get. I also do writing sprints at 5am so I can get in some words before I start working for the day.
Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?
I do. I don’t like to be hemmed it. I think it might be my ADD. I love writing gay romances and within the genre I write contemporary – be they sweet through to spicy. I also write m/f dark erotic BDSM romances under the pen name Gabbi Black. I will be launching my indie career later this year writing contemporary romances (mid-heat, mid-angst) under the pen name Gabbi Powell.
What resources do you use for picking character names?
You’ll laugh – I primarily use baby books. I went through several and created a master list of names from various backgrounds and time periods. Sometimes when I’m stuck, I’ll use either a name generator or I’ll see which names were popular in the year my character was born. I try to make it fun for myself and I hope my readers like my choices.
Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?
I’ve a pet in my life since my early twenties and I’m now (gasp) pushing fifty. These days I have a cantankerous seventeen-year-old Himalayan Blue Point named Arabella de Bergerac (better known as Bella) and a trusty five-year-old ChinPoo named Ally. There’s a scene in my newest book that takes place in an animal shelter and I don’t want to give too much away, but I might have made readers sniff.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
I’m a firm believer in love is love. I read and write gay romances. I’m hoping readers who haven’t tried the genre before will be willing to read my book. It’s a sweet gay romance about two men falling in love. I was especially honored to be able to give Jared the awesome ending he so richly deserves and a man who will make him happy forever.
Jared Langford is a happy man. The desk clerk at the Deerbourne Inn knows everyone in his cozy town in Vermont. He is accepted and loved by the community, but he’s missing someone special in his life.
Devastating news has brought journalist Xander Fortier to Willow Springs for some much-needed rest. He’s photographed every major conflict in the world for the last ten years, but being stateside has forced him to reassess the solitary life he’s been living.
Something in Xander’s gruff demeanor calls to Jared’s caring nature. Soon the men are spending time together, but Jared’s kisses might not be enough to keep Xander from leaving. Can the men find a happily ever after if they only have today?
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3fOsviy
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/31LG1LP
A low whistle drew Jared’s attention. Since the view from his balcony over the grassy area wasn’t likely to garner much attention, the whistle had to be because of the artwork. With a grin, he headed past his kitchen and into his living room. His smart television hung on one wall across from his recliner couch. Surrounding it were ten photographs. Some were black and white, some were color. All were of landscapes and nature.
“You took these, didn’t you?”
No hint of accusation, just awe.
“Yes, I did. I’m pretty proud of them.” Proud was an understatement. He’d given them pride of place, on the wall he looked at most. Whether he watched television, curled up with a book, or simply sat and listened to a soundtrack, he’d always admire his photos. When friends came over, he was happy to show them off. He didn’t preen in public, to be sure, but sometimes a little pride was okay.
“Good goddamn you’re talented.”
He wanted to cheer at the admiration in the other man’s voice. “I… Yeah, I guess I am. Although my reject pile is massive.”
“Hey, for every great shot there are dozens of mediocre ones. I get that.” Xander placed the bags on the floor and stepped forward. “The mountain?”
“Sugar Bush.” Jared pointed to another shot. “And I took that one from the top of the mountain.”
“And I like it as well, but this one…” Xander pointed to the landscape of snow and ice. Dusk had been falling and the sky was pink and purple.
“That was quite a sunset. I lucked out. I was walking out of town when it happened. I could’ve snapped a shot from my balcony, but wires obstruct the view. Just beyond the town boundaries are some lovely fields. The view of Sugar Bush is unobstructed.”
Xander nodded. “And this one?”
“I heard the owl and it took me about five minutes to locate her. I got one shot before she flew away.”
“Well, you nailed the shot.”
Damn, Xander Fortier was complimenting his photographs. Didn’t that just beat all?
Gabbi lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black.
Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Gabbi-Grey/e/B07SJVFX1M
Facebook (page): https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGabbiGrey