Sunday, September 13, 2020

Pulling Back the Curtain

These days escaping into another world with a great book can be very relaxing.  It's why I am always looking for another book to read.  Today's guest in My Writing Corner is Gabbi Grey Black. She tells us that even though she is a firm believer in happy endings, she makes her characters work for it in every romance she writes, no matter what the genre. From contemporary to BDSM, she tells us that they are created late at night in her home on a beautiful British Columbia mountain surrounded by magnificent trees and every conceivable woodland creature—including bears. She also writes gay romances as Gabbi Grey.

 As someone who has been traveling to beautiful BC every few years for the past 35 years,  I am totally envious of where she lives and enjoyed hearing about her work. 

What are some of the challenges of being a writer?

Although I’m an introvert, I like being out and interacting with people. I’ve haunted restaurants and cafés for years with my laptop. I sit and watch the world go by. As of late, of course, that hasn’t been possible. I used to go to Starbucks three days a week with my therapy dog and my computer, sitting down and writing for hours. As those days are gone, I’ve learned to adapt. Now I sit at home and knuckle down. I try to ignore distractions, and only take a break when the dog needs a run outside. I’ve written two novellas since the beginning of the pandemic so I think I’m doing okay.

Tell us about your road to publication.

I wrote Amber Eyes in 2014. I entered it in contests and received plenty of feedback. Once I felt it was ready, I sent it off to publishers. One editor who had expressed interest left her job soon after receiving my manuscript – I’m quite sure the one has nothing to do with the other - but I didn’t have any other contacts at the publisher. I tried another publisher who had expressed interest, but that editor was no longer reading in the genre. Although she passed my manuscript to someone else, I lost the personal connection. Finally, I submitted the book to an editor at The Wild Rose Press who passed it on to someone else. I almost pulled the manuscript from consideration because I had begun to lose faith. I didn’t, though, and that was the best decision of my career. The editor read the book, loved it, and offered me a contact. We spent a long time getting the book ready for publication, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. I’m even happier it is now in readers’ hands.

How do you come up with your characters?

I had a vision of a woman in a BDSM club. She was alone. I started asking questions. Why was she alone? Was she a voyeur or did she want to participate? Had she done things in the past? And, most importantly, who would be her hero? I started writing with just that in my mind, and within three months I had a completed trilogy and over a quarter of a million words.

How do you come up with plots?

I start with characters and they direct me. I’m what is termed a pantser – someone who writes by the seat of her pants. I don’t know any other way to do it. Anytime I try to write to a plotted book, the final product looks nothing like the plan and I wind up feeling I wasted time preparing the plan. I am a romantic at heart so my stories start out with two main characters. I know for sure they’re going to get their happy ending. How that happens is often a surprise to me.

Tell us about your latest book. What made you write it?

Amber Eyes is the story of a newly-released slave and the man who falls in love with her. I use ‘slave’ in the BDSM context. Master/slave is an intense power exchange where one partner surrenders completely, while the other controls completely. These relationships should develop over time, with months of negotiation and with the consent of both parties. The intensity can be rewarding, to be sure. I have several friends living this lifestyle and they are some of the happiest most well-adjusted people I know. I also have personal experience with BDSM and can say some of my experiences are in the book. Shh. My parents don’t know.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?

Keep writing. While waiting to hear back about the first book I sent out on submission, I wrote the next book. And the next. That rejection was a long time in coming, but by then I was getting a handle on this writing thing. I have never looked back. The route to publication has taken much longer, but the rewards have been worth the perseverance.

What’s your next project? 

I have two subsequent books that make up part of my In Their Eyes trilogy of which Amber Eyes is the first. I’m hopeful the publisher will contract the books. Beyond that I have several projects vying for my attention including some short stories in that world about secondary characters. I love the city of Vancouver, and will continue to write about life there. And, to be blunt, I can’t not write. So, pandemic or not, I will keep going.

Let's take a closer look at that new book, Amber Eyes

 School principal Gage Clayton is still grieving the death of his wife and submissive, yet he can't ignore his Dominant needs. As he enters Club Kink, he's inexplicably drawn to a newly released sub with an intriguing proposition and the most captivating amber eyes. But she has disturbing baggage and her expectations prove quite a challenge, one that would necessitate a commitment he's not ready for.

Rielle Reid needs a Dom while she waits for her former Master to return. When she invites a handsome stranger to her home dungeon for a night of play, she's surprised at his gentle dominance—and her response to it. But in the light of day, his demand for equal footing confounds her. After living four years as a twenty-four/seven slave, she has no concept of how to be anything other than property.

Gage must find a way to master Rielle to free them both from the shackles of the past.

She needs a firm hand.

He needs a challenge.

Sounds like a fun read.  

If you would like to read more, here are the links to get in touch with Gabbi and for the book. 

Buy links:

 Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3jf4oJd

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2CasIeT

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amber-eyes-gabbi-black/1137343876

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Gabbi_Black_Amber_Eyes?id=g-33DwAAQBAJ

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/amber-eyes-11

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/amber-eyes/id1526064524?

Publisher: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/amber-eyes

Add it to GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54920296-amber-eyes

 And if you would like to get in touch with Gabbi, here are her personal links:

Website:  http://gabbiblack.com/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/2763198834

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorgabbiblack/

Facebook (page): https://www.facebook.com/Author-Gabbi-Black-106666354460589/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/authorgabbiblack/boards/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabbiAuthor

 Thank you, Gabbi, for being my guest this week. Any comments or questions for Gabbi?

1 comment:

Pulling Back the Curtain

These days escaping into another world with a great book can be very relaxing.  It's why I am always looking for another book to read.  ...