Saturday, March 14, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: G.V. Trent


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hello, Gayle (spelled the right way!!).  Welcome to The Gal.  Let's start this interview off with something easy: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

G.V. Trent:
I'm a mystery writer living in Virginia.  I typically write cozy mysteries, but I departed from that genre to write In Her Blood, a psychological thriller.  I write the cozies as Gayle Trent and Amanda Lee; and I'll have a new series coming out soon under the name Gayle Leeson (which is kind of a combination of the two names).  When you write for different publishers, you end up with more names than Sybil.  (Do any of you remember the movie about the girl who had multiple personalities?  I can only remember it vaguely, but I do know it scared the dickens out of me.)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

G.V. Trent:
  1. I once rescued a baby possum and took it to a "possum whisperer" who raised sugar gliders.
  2. I can float on my back but I cant' swim because I can't bear to have my face in the water.
  3. I once owned and operated a small press.
  4. When I worked in a judicial office, I had to act as bailiff on a few occasions.  It's not as much fun as it sounds.
  5. I have boy/girl twins.
The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

G.V. Trent:
I remember reading a book in first grade about Sandy and Bing.  If memory serves, Sandy was a golden retriever and Bing was a tabby cat; and the world I had the most trouble with on our spelling tests from the book was tomorrow.  I wanted to put two ms in there.  I also remember carrying books around before I could read and begging my parents and my older brother to read to me.  If they didn't, I said I'd read it myself and I made up stories based on the pictures.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

G.V. Trent:
I just finished The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, and I haven't decided which book from my TBR stacks to read next.  It's always such a hard choice!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

G.V. Trent:
I first started writing when I was in high school.  I had two wonderful creative writing classes my junior and senior years.  During the junior year, we'd read a short story and then write one in the same genre.  In the senior year class, we did a lot of improvisational work.  Those classes were so much fun.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

G.V. Trent:
I usually write at my desk in the living room.  If it's not quiet there - say, the kids are home - I go to my bedroom.  I have a love seat in there, and I can shut out the world and dive into the one I've created for a little while.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

G.V. Trent:
I outline my chapters just before writing them.  If possible, I outline the chapter right after completing the previous character so I have a handle on what should take place.  I use the outline as a starting point for the next day's work.  I don't always stick to the outline, but at least I have an idea of where the characters need to go in the upcoming chapter.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where do the ideas for your books come from?

G.V. Trent:
Everywhere.  For instance, I got the idea for In Her Blood while we were on vacation in Savannah.  Our family took a ghost tour and heard the story of Alice Riley.  When I found that she was pregnant and allowed to have the baby before she was hanged, I wanted to know what happened to the baby.  The tour guide said that she didn't know but that the baby probably died.  That was the seed that began this book.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?

G.V. Trent:
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux, Coffin Dancer by Jeffrey Deaver, Watchers by Dean Koontz, The Ring by Danielle Steel, and Where are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

G.V. Trent:
I sometimes forget my reader can't see into my head.  I get so caught up in plot and dialogue that, when I go back and reread, I realize I didn't tell readers what someone looked like or anything about the heroine's house.  And I'll put in the margins of my outlines notes like, "Describe Sarah more fully" so I'll remember to go back and add it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

G.V. Trent:
I think that if readers can identify with the characters - if the characters (the good guys anyway) are people you'd like to know, and the villains are people you can somewhat understand - then it's a good story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

G.V. Trent:
I'm going to say Marcy Singer.  I've come to know her so well over the course of writing the embroidery mystery series.  She's funny and a little goofy; she has great friends; and she leads a really interesting life.  Maybe Marcy is the character I'd most like to be! :)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why did you pick your particular genre?

G.V. Trent:
I've always loved mysteries.  I started with The Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton when I was in elementary school.  From The Secret Seven, I went to Encyclopedia Brown and then Nancy Drew.  Finally, I discovered Victoria Holt and Mary Higgins Clark.  I just truly loved the genre.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

G.V. Trent:
I think In Her Blood is different from other psychological thrillers because the main character begins to question her own sanity.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

G.V. Trent:
I'm continuing to work on the embroidery mystery series, the cake decorating series (I hope to have a new book out in that series later this year), and the Myrtle Crumb series (another book in which I hope to have a new release this year).  I'v contracted for a new series - Southern Cafe mystery series - written under the name Gayle Leeson; and hopefully, the first book in that series will be out later this year or early next year.  And, I might even write another standalone.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks for stopping by, Gayle!!  It's been great having you and I'm going to have to give your mysteries a read, since I love how you write.
            One more thing before you go: Where can we find you?

G.V. Trent:

About the book:
Alexandra McCormick's great-grandmother was a brutal serial killer in the early 1900's.  With her mother currently serving time in prison for murdering Alexandra's stepfather, Alexandra decides to do her college research paper on whether or not the tendency to commit murder or other violent crimes may be passed on genetically. 

2 comments:

Gram said...

Out of my usual reading but I just might give this one a try. Thanks.

Meghan H said...

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did :)