image: header
image: gownflare

Monday, November 12, 2007

Spotlight on Writing the Christian Romance and Gail Gaymer Martin

Today is a special day. I know I normally only feature fiction books and authors here, and this author *does* write fiction. However, her book today is not fiction; rather, it's *about* writing fiction...about writing the Christian romance novel, to be precise. So, for anyone out there who would like to know more about this sometimes-shunned profession, this book's for you!

Gail will be giving away a copy of her August release, In His Dreams, for those who leave a comment and are entered in the drawing.


Growing up in Michigan and still living there with her husband Bob, award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin, writes Christian women's fiction, romance and suspense for Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Selling her first novel in 1998 after writing fiction for one year, she has now signed forty fiction contracts with over one million books in print. Gail writes non-fiction worship resource books and and presently writes for the ezine, The Spirit-Led Writer. Gail is the author of Writer's Digest's, Writing The Christian Romance.

Gail's books have been awarded a National Readers Choice Award, two Booksellers Best, two Holt Medallions, a Winter Rose, ACFW 2002 Book of the Year for Short Inspirational, and the 2002 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award.

Gail is a cofounder of American Christian Romance Writers and a member of the advisory board. A popular inspirational keynote speaker and workshop presenter, Gail has spoken at libraries and writer's conference across the country and in England, as well as a keynote speaker at women's business, civic and groups. Visit Gail's web site and click on her Speaker and For Writers pages. You can also check out her blog as well.

By Gail Gaymer Martin


1. This isn't your first foray into the realm of nonfiction, but this time you've got a book about writing romance, something a lot of fiction writers and readers would love to know. What inspired the idea for this book?

Yes, I've written 23 worship material books – which includes programs, plays, skits, with explanations to use them so this isn't my first non-fiction book, but it *is* the first book I've written on writing – and probably my last, but then who knows.

The idea was suggested to me by the editor of The Christian Communicator when I was writing a Christian romance column for the magazine. I had thought about writing this book briefly, but when Lyn Johnson suggested the idea, it made the idea doable. When mentoring writers, I looked for quality books on writing Christian romance and found none. Books are available on writing romance and on writing Christian fiction, but no book focuses totally on the Christian romance genre. I love mentoring new writers and because I don't have a lot of time to be involved in one on one mentoring, providing a book that would answer all of their questions seemed a great alternative. We all need to learn more about our genre, and I learned while writing the book.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced the content of this book?

I've taught writing at most of the major writing conferences across the country so naturally the content of my workshops gave me material to begin the writing of this book, but writing a lengthy book is much more challenging than presenting an hour workshop. My purpose for this book was to explain the differences between secular and Christian romance, but I also wanted to provide excellent examples to explain the concepts and I also wanted to provide quality "how-to" information to not only illustrate the differences but show how to write Christian romance effectively. Since I've written forty Christian romances, I was able to use my own expertise in the field as well as gathering ideas from other well-known Christian authors.

3. What sorts of topics are featured in your book? How can the advice and "how-to's" help an aspiring romance writer? An experienced or published one?

The book is broken into eleven chapters, dealing with understand the romance genre, creating characters, developing the hero and heroine whether Christian or non-Christian, understanding a variety of POV and how to use them effectively, creating real emotion and using the senses to enhance emotions and characterization, understanding the differences between sexuality and sensuality in Christian romance, techniques to present spirituality in Christian romance, dialogue, introspection, and preparing a book proposal. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises to help the writer practice what was learned.

These chapters provide all of the information new writers ask. As well it provides examples and instructions on how to accomplish it so an aspiring writer can gain valuable information and a published author who is writing outside the genre will learn what's expected in Christian romance. Even a published author can benefit by gaining some new insights into aspects of their writing that they want to more fully develop or change.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The most difficult part of writing the book is what information comes first. Each part seems to depend on another so deciding the order of the information took a great deal of time and thought. As well the "how-to" is complicated and took much time to present the techniques into understandable steps using the best language and examples possible.

The favorite part was having so many well-known Christian novelists volunteer to provide excerpts from the own writing so that I could have a variety of examples and explanatory quotes other than my own. I was very grateful for their participation.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next novel is And Baby Makes Five, a Barbour Heartsong Presents book, and the first in a series set in the Monterey Peninsula. It was released in mid-October of this year. This book is set in Salinas and Corral de Tierra, California, a lush valley between Salinas and Monterey. This story revolves around a widowed and pregnant migrant worker and the wealthy owner of the lettuce ranch who's trying to raise two rambunctious twin daughters on his own, following the death of his wife. The story illustrates how power, poverty, wealth, or prejudice cannot destroy true love when it's blessed by God. The book can be ordered from It will hit the bookstores in a couple of months. My next Steeple Hill Love Inspired, Family In His Heart, will be released in January 2008. It's the last of the Michigan Island books.

* * * * *

Thank you, Gail, for being in the spotlight. Readers, leave a comment for your chance to be entered in the drawing for a FREE, autographed copy of Gail's August Steeple Hill Love Inspired - In His Dreams, Top Pick in Romantic Times. If you don't wish to be entered, but still wish to comment, say so when you post. This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Kim said...

This sounds like a useful writing tool! I'll have to look into this! Thanks for the insight! Also enter my name for the book drawing.


ChristyJan said...

I enjoyed the interview with Gail.

Please enter me to win a copy of her book In His Dreams.

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Thanks for doing this interview, Tiff. It's always nice to have a venue for sharing info with readers and writers.

Kim, I hope the book is just what you need. The editors were thrilled with the materials and so many Christian authors jumped in to provide me with great examples. Robin Lee Hatcher endorsed the book with great comments.



Anonymous said...

I have eagerly awaited the release of this book. Gail really knows her stuff when it comes to romance. This will be a valuable tool for everyone who even hints at romance in their books. Please enter my name in the drawing. Louise M. Gouge

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I'm on Gail's email newsletter list and have been planning to get this book as soon as it's released.

Rose Ross Zediker

Mindy Obenhaus said...

I can't wait to get my hands on this book, Gail. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I think it'll be a great success.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I will be glad when And Baby Makes Five and Family In His Heart are in the stories in my area.Please enter my name in the drawing. Thank you.

Angela said...

I would actually love to win this as a christmas gift for my friend who writes for a hobby. She would love it. :) Thanks Gail & Tiffany

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

For some reason this won't allow me to leave the total link so I'll try again. If it doesn't work, please visit and order if from their. This should end after the equal sign with 1582974772

There we go.
Blessings and thanks,

tetewa said...

Please enter me for this one!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

I know I'm quite a bit late with this, but time just zipped away from me and evaded my notice. I'm getting caught up today, though, and the winner of this drawing is:


Louise, I've sent your information to Gail, and you should be getting your book soon.

Everyone else, look at the past 8 interviews/spotlights from November 12th forward to see if you've won!

Another spotlight this week!