Is there a story behind Stopped Cold?
As a young adult I saw lots of heartache in several instances when someone wasn’t number one. Sadly, the drive pushed some of them to destructive behavior. I could only imagine the pain they must have gone through and how their God-given talents were wasted simply because they weren’t “the best.” The fact that God gave us all a gift or gifts to use for Him kept rattling around in my head until I decided to write about it. When I thought of being number one, even though we can win everything from a pie-tasting contest to a spelling bee, sports came to mind. As a young person I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and wanted to write a mystery. I pondered how to connect a sports story and a mystery and steroids came to mind. When I researched steroid use, one of the main reasons given for taking them was a desire to excel in athletics. This rounded out the plan for my book.
Did you have a specific theme in mind as you wrote Stopped Cold? Did a theme pop out as you finished the book? Did the theme change?
I wanted to show that we all are worthwhile in God’s eyes, and that He doesn’t expect us to always be the best. As I wrote I recalled man’s purpose stated in The Westminster Shorter Catechism----“Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Eventually, what I now consider the theme came to life. We don’t have to be number one for God to love us.
Who is the most fun character you ever created?
Burly Man, also known as Noble is such a fun character. He’s the giant in Mountain of Love and Danger, a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. He has kidnapped Jack’s true love, Gwenie, and holds her atop a mountain accessible only by helicopter. He works for some real bad guys who’ve ordered him to shoot down anyone trying to land atop the mountain and enter the shack. Jack has to get up the steep grade, rescue Gwenie and get her to safety. Burly Man has a bit to say about this.
If your stories are more character driven, what events kick off a change or growth in the character?
Usually, a crisis that gives life more meaning and makes the character grow personally, and often spiritually, kicks off a change in him or her.
How much research do you have to do for the genre in which you write?
I write mystery with romance and do quite a bit of research. I need it to support my police theories and the activities of the main characters. In Stopped Cold I studied steroids. When I read about Winstrol V, the steroid Sean took, it was available only for animals. Now, humans can take it, but it must be prescribed and supervised by a physician, so it’s still illegal to take it or sell it without a prescription. I interviewed a narcotics policeman as well as an undercover detective about the police work in Stopped Cold, and one of them read through all of the law enforcement scenes. For Mountain of Love and Danger I had to learn about mountain and rock climbing. An athlete who’s a mountain / rock climber verified those scenes for me.
How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Two -- both for Prism Book Group. I’m editing Barely above Water, a contemporary romance, with a Prism editor and writing a new novella. The novella’s part of Prism’s new series based on statements about love from I Corinthians 13. My book will focus on “love isn’t easily angered.”
Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write your first draft?
Yes and no. The fewer mistakes I make initially the easier re-writing will be, but at the same time, I don’t want to stop my train of thought to correct spelling and grammar. I also tend to leave out words when I’m writing a first draft. Every once in a while I add them, and later I wonder what I was thinking.
How do people react when they find out you write?
It depends on the setting. If I’m at a book signing, people are usually interested in how and why I became a writer. They generally ask what I’ve written other than the book or books I have with me. If I’m in a social setting, quite often those I meet ask me about other authors or tell me about their favorite authors.
What or who is the biggest influence on your writing?
My spiritual journey has been the biggest influence on my writing.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I’m excited about my next book, Barely above Water. Even though no release date has been set, we’re moving along with the editing. In the book an illness comes out of nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. She turns to a renowned alternative doctor in
, and takes a job coaching
a county-sponsored summer league swim team. She’s determined to turn the fun,
sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her
belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts
romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but must overcome his fear of losing
someone close then regain Suzie’s trust. She relies on her Destin,
Florida Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the
disease, financial burdens without permanent employment, and heartbreak in this
Back Cover Blurb
Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful
. Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back
Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging
out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from
taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at
her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns
inside her to make the criminals pay. Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and
her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue
sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug
dealers discuss Sean. Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come
face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from
investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate
inside, and open her heart to love. Mistville, North
To buy Gail's book:
Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, mother, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s been a Sunday school teacher, a swim-team coordinator and an after-school literary instructor. A former regional writer of the year for American
Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. A Grace Awards finalist,
she’s been a best-selling author on All Romance eBooks and in Amazon’s paid Kindle
store. Her credits include three published books, two short stories, and about
two hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are
To connect with Gail:
Gail Pallota is giving away a copy of Stopped Cold. The giveaway is only available to
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Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart