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Monday, February 15, 2010

Spotlight Author with Gerri Russell

This weeks Spotlight Author interview is with Gerri Russell. After writing romance for seventeen years and completing five books, she caught her first break in 2007, with her book, THE WARRIOR TRAINER. Since then she has continued her success and is proud to introduce her fourth book SEDUCING THE KNIGHT.



Last October when I attended The Emerald City Romance Writers Conference, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting this beautiful and very intelligent woman. She was a great source of help and information while I was preparing to pitch to the editor of Harlequin. I am convinced that it was with her help that I was asked to submit my first three chapters to Harlequin. Thank you, Gerri for everything that you have done. With that said let’s get down to business.



Micole* Gerri tell us a little bit about your up coming title, SEDUCING THE KNIGHT.



Gerri* SEDUCING THE KNIGHT is book two in The Brotherhood of the Scottish Templars series. Each of the books in the series focuses on a group of ten knights that existed in Scottish history. These men were ten of the best warriors in the land, hand-selected to be King Robert the Bruce to fight at his side. These knights were entrusted with a task for the king. When he died they were to cut his heart out of his chest and take it on crusade with them to Jerusalem and bury it in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


But things did not go as planned. These knights made it as far as Teba, Spain when they were attacked and crushed by the Moors. Their mission failed. Five of the ten knights died, along with hundreds of foot soldiers.


Each of the three books in the series focuses on one of those knights who survived, and how they put their lives back together after such a painful experience.


SEDUCING THE KNIGHT takes us on a journey to Jerusalem where the hero must honor a promise he made to his king to find the Ark of the Covenant and bring it safely back to Scotland. Along the way, he is joined by a princess determined to see her own prophesy through. Together they face storms, treachery, and an army of assassins. Yet these two soon realize that they thrive on adventure as much as they thrill to the pleasure they find in each other’s arms.


Micole* What influenced you to write about Scottish Knights?


Gerri* I love all things Scottish. While I was trying to find my place in the writing world, I kept coming back to Great Britain. I love castles, men in armor, and the strength it took for people to survive and thrive during the Medieval age. While researching, I happened upon a story about a female warrior who trained the male warrior’s of Scotland to fight . . . and that was it. That one gem lead to the development of my first book that sold, THE WARRIOR TRAINER, and that’s what started my career.



Micole* If you had to pick one character from your books, who would be your favorite and why?



Gerri* Your characters are like your children…you love them all, and for very different reasons. But if I had to pick one character that stands out above the others it would be Scotia, the heroine from my first book. I love her strength and her vulnerability, and I am so grateful to her that she helped launch my writing career.



Micole* What do Gerri Russell fans have to look forward to in 2010?



Gerri* I’m really excited about my releases this year. First SEDUCING THE KNIGHT will hit bookstore shelves May of 2010. Then in October 2010 THE BETROTHAL, a Christmas Anthology, that I’m doing with one of my favorite authors, Mary Balogh, and a bright new star in romance, Trish Albright.

My story in the anthology involves one of the knights featured in TO TEMPT A KNIGHT, Lucius Carr, who is forced to leave the Templars and return home to assume the family’s earldom, little expecting he would also be inheriting the BORDER LORD’S BRIDE.

I’m really had a lot of fun writing both these project, and I hope readers enjoy them as well.



Micole* How long was your road to publication?



Gerri* My road to publication was long. I wrote six full manuscripts and several partials over the course of the thirteen years it took me to sell. And then to sell, I had to go through the American Title contest. The contest was a bit like Survivor and American Idol all rolled up together. It was a grueling experience, but I’m so grateful to Dorchester Publishing and Romantic Times Magazine for that opportunity to grow. The contest helped me become the writer I am today.


Micole* What’s one thing that you know now that you wished you knew when you started your journey as a writer? Advice for aspiring authors?



Gerri* My advice for aspiring writers is simple: persevere and appreciate your talent. It’s one moment of time, a breath and a heartbeat, between when you are unpublished and published. As writers we have to remember that what we do is very special. We’re so often surrounded by other writers that we forget how special our talents are. We create characters, places and stories from our imaginations. Even if we never get published, what we do is magical and special, and we should never forget that. Remember there’s a whole big world out there of people who've always wanted to write a book and never did.



Micole* You give writing workshops on maintaining a positive attitude. Please share your best tips.



Gerri* The best tips I can offer are these:



1. Act like/believe you have already achieved what it is you want.


2. Surround yourself with the positive: friends, other writers, motivational speakers, uplifting songs, movies, books, phrases, quotes. Be a magnet for positive things.


3. Be open to opportunities that present themselves. Every person you meet and every event in your life has the potential to be that next open door you need.


4. Do things outside your writing life that bring you satisfaction. It might mean finding an exercise class that you excel in, learning to paint, volunteering at your local hospital, whatever it is that you can control and find gratifying.



Micole* Is there anything special to your writing process? Pictures? Music? Any tricks of the trade?



Gerri* What works for me, works for me. Every writer has to discover their own writing process through trial and error. The very best piece of advice I can give is this: Believe in yourself and your dreams. I am a big believer in dreams--the kind of dreams that embody your highest hopes and visions. Through the eye of your dreams you see a world that may be possible. Your dreams are not there to tease you with visions of what you do not have. The pain you feel when you're prevented from following your dreams has the same purpose as any other pain. It is meant to get your attention and encourage you to correct the situation. The joy you feel when following a dream is also there for a reason. That joy serves to keep you in pursuit of that dream. So no matter what happens in your writing career, keep your eye on your dreams and go for it!



Micole* When you’re not Gerri Russell the multi-published author, who are you? What do you do in your down time?


Gerri* Downtime is something I’ll have in the future. I hope. Right now life is pretty full. I’m a full-time mom, full-time writer, and I have a full-time job. My time seems to revolve around what’s most important…now. I write everyday. I try to have a clean house, most days. I tame the laundry into submission occasionally. I manage to squeeze in some exercise while trying to work out the next plot point. When all that’s done as well as writing pages, then the day is a success. But I really can’t complain. I wouldn’t trade where I am right now in my writing career for anything in the world.



Micole* Are you ready for your FAST-FIVE???


MB* Puppies or kittens-

GR* I have four cats. Enough said.

MB*Love letters or roses-

GR* Definitely roses. Love them!

MB* Milk or dark chocolate-

GR* I don’t actually like chocolate! However, I have a terrible weakness for red Swedish fish.

MB* Night Own or Early Bird-

GR* I’m an early bird. My best writing is done first thing in the morning just fresh from sleep.

MB* What’s downloaded in your i-Pod right at this very moment-

GR* 1. Every Item We Touch, by Cascada

2. Here Comes the Sun, by The Beetles

3. Such Great Heights, by The Postal Service

4. Viva La Vida, by Coldplay

5. Rooftops (a Liberation


Gerri, thank you for stopping by and letting me interview you. It’s been a pleasure having you here at Micole Writes Romance.



Micole, thanks for having me. Best of luck to you in your writing!

Thank you Gerri, I need all of the luck I can get! (wink) Readers don’t forget to look for Gerri’s books at www.GerriRussell.net . Thank you for stopping by, Micole Writes Romance, we would love to hear from you so please leave a comment to let us know you were here. Until next time, big cyber hugs!

Micole Black


24 comments:

April Rickard said...

Great interview, Micole! and, thanks for your inspirational tips, Gerri.

One of the uplifting things I enjoy is the movie Moulin Rouge. I don't think it was intended to be uplifting, but after I watch it, I am inspired to truly live (even while I'm crying!).

Gina Robinson said...

Fun interview, Micole!

Gerri--I didn't know you love Swedish fish! And here we've been bringing you chocolate for years :-) I've enjoyed all your books and am looking forward to your upcoming 2010 releases.

News From the Holmestead said...

I have NEVER known anyone who didn't care for chocolate! All these years I've known you, Gerri, and I didn't know that! I shall have to consume a chocolate bar this very instant to recover from the shock! (And I guess I'll have to look up Swedish fish--something I've never heard of!)

Loved the interview. You are always so giving to the writing community, Gerri. You give back so much, and have always been supportive of fledgling writers. May you always have that generosity of spirit. Best of luck for 2010. With two books out this year, it sounds like you're setting fire to the ol' keyboard!

Wendy Delaney said...

Great tips, Gerri. And it sounds like your Templar series will be fabulous! But red Swedish fish? What kind of vice is that? :-)
Loved the interview, Micole. Thanks! ~ Wendy

Jacquie Rogers said...

Gerri, congrats on your new release! Confession: I don't care for chocolate, either. So Sherrie, you now know two people with this affliction.

Micole, you have a terrific blog!

Jacquie

Ann Charles said...

Hey, Gerri--I love your four tips. Great guidelines to stick with and follow. Thanks for giving such a great interview. Four cats??? One is all I can handle. She's soooo mouthy. :)

Ann Charles
www.anncharles.com

Judith said...

Thanks, Micole, for the opportunity to hear what Gerri has to say. She's always inspiring and upbeat. Great interview, Gerri! Thanks for the tips--things we all need to remember.

Trish Albright said...

Gerri, I loved your comment that "dreams are not there to tease you with visions of what you do not have." That's so true. They are a reminder of what's in our heart. Some people struggle to figure out what really is in their heart to do, so having the clarity of a dream is real blessing. Great interview!

Micole Black said...

Good morning ladies. i want to thank all of you who have stopped by my blog whether you've left a comment or not. Thank you for stopping by, but I especially want to thank those of you who have commented!!!! It sounds like you all know Gerri well. Thank you for stopping by to show a little love.

And Swedish Fish are yummy!!!! If you haven't tried them by all means go find them!:-)

Hugs

Micole

Gerri Russell said...

April,

Thanks for stopping by! I've never particularly thought of Moulin Rouge as "uplifting". I'm going to have to watch it again to find out!

Gerri Russell said...

Gina, As you know just because I'm not so fond of chocolate doesn't mean I haven't eaten it! I have appreciated all the chocolate you've shared over the years.

Gerri Russell said...

Gina and Sherrie, Just because I'm not so fond of chocolate doesn't mean I haven't eaten it!

I have appreciated all the chocolate you've both shared over the years.

Gerri Russell said...

Wendy,

Vices are never logical, are they? Here's a question...do you eat the tail of the Swedish fish or the head first?

Now that says something about a person. :-)

Gerri Russell said...

Wendy,

Vices are never logical, are they? Here's a question...do you eat the tail of the Swedish fish or the head first?

Now that says something about a person. :-)

Gerri Russell said...

Jacquie,

I always knew there was something special about you, my friend!

Gerri Russell said...

Ann,

Yes, I have four cats. One is seventeen years old. He's a little crabby at times and meows like a peacock. We have a six year old who is a hunter of all things creepy and crawly. Then two babies...well, they are a year and a half, but they will always be kittens to me. Adorable and snuggly.

Gerri Russell said...

Judy, So great to see you here! ~You~ are always an inspiration to me. :-)

Gerri Russell said...

Trish, I truly believe that our dreams really aren't meant to torture us. We have them because we also have the skills and abilities to see them come true! Thanks for stopping by this morning!

Can't wait to read "True North", your story in our October 2010 anthology THE BETROTHAL.

Gerri Russell said...

Micole,

What a sweetheart you are to host me on your blog today. May your blog be just one step forward in a very long and successful writing career.

Sarah Simas said...

HI Gerri and Micole!

Fun interview! I loved your advice about staying positive. lol Some days I feel like I need to tatoo those two words on my forehead!Sheesh!

I'm so glad I got to know a little more about you, Gerri! :)



LOL Micole, you switched it up on me! LOL I'm a day late!! Doh!

オテモヤン said...
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Nancy said...

Hi, Micole and Gerri--Great interview!

I think you've hit on one of the hardest parts of being unpublished, perseverance. It's hard when "no, no, no" keeps coming at you. Gerri is one of my role models when it comes to that.

I LOVE these Templar books, but you forgot to say they have terrific action sequences as well as heart-wrenching romances. :-)

Gerri Russell said...

Micole,

Thank you so much for having me on your blog this week! I wish you all the best with your writing and look forward to the opportunity to "feature" you and your first book on my blog someday soon.

Always, Gerri

News From the Holmestead said...

. . . and I still don't know what Swedish Fish are! *g* (Candy? Cracker? Food of the Gods???)

~Sherrie Holmes, off to Google Swedish Fish