Tina Gabrielle and I met two years ago in July, when the two of us had the honor of being presented with ‘first-sale’ flowers at New Jersey Romance Writers! It was so nice to share that oh-so-special moment with someone else and to still feel connected for a reason so simple. Not sure even Tina knows this but short, casual discussions along the way also helped me get my website off the ground. (Thanks for those tips, Tina!)
Aren’t we cute? Almost twins, lol! 🙂
Like most authors, Tina continues to wear many hats along and somehow works ‘writer’ in there quite well. (You’ll see as you read.) Here’s a little background: Tina is an attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of romance novels helped her get through years of academia. She often picked up a romance and let her fantasies of knights in shining armor and lords and ladies carry her away. After multi-publishing for a prestigious law journal, she has finally fulfilled her dream of writing fiction. She lives in New Jersey and loves to hear from readers. Visit her website at www.tinagabrielle.com.
You have quite an interesting backdrop to your writing aspirations and accomplishments, Tina. Tell us about your writing roots: what got you started and what gave you the confidence to persevere? I have always been a writer! I can’t put a date on when I penned my first story. I wrote as a teen, but I didn’t really consider publication until I joined Romance Writers of America about six years ago. It was never a question of perseverance, writing was something I had to do, something I was born to do, and I stubbornly refused to give up!
How has your writing impacted other aspects of your life? As an attorney and former mechanical engineer, I was trained to write clearly and succinctly. I have published numerous non-fiction articles for a law journal, but writing fiction has shown me how to write creatively. I have learned how to hone my skills by ‘showing and not telling,’ and to do it while entertaining my readers. The creative outlet has made me a happier person, and has impacted and enriched my life in a positive way!
Talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your dream novel? I write historical romance. My first book, LADY OF SCANDAL, is a Regency-set historical which was released by Kensington/Zebra Books in September 2009. Romantic Times Book Reviews gave it 4 Stars, calling it a “tantalizing debut,” and recently nominated it as one of the best first historical romances of 2009.
Here’s a quick blurb: The heroine, Victoria Ashton, is an anonymous investor in the London Stock Exchange whose hopes of independence are shattered when her father’s enemy, Blake Mallorey, assumes the family debts and presents her with a stark choice: live with him as his mistress for one year, or condemn her family to bankruptcy. Scoundrel he may be, but Blake will not force anyone into his bed. He intends to seduce Victoria, one wicked kiss at a time. But with a woman as spirited and sensual as Victoria, seduction works both ways—and a plan rooted in revenge can blossom into a scandalous passion. (Read an excerpt: http://www.tinagabrielle.com/excerpt.html).
The second book in the series, A PERFECT SCANDAL, will be released on October 5, 2010. Aspiring artist Lady Isabel Cameron knows what she wants and an arranged marriage to an elderly dominating husband is not in her plans. When her father pressures her to marry, she plans a scandal to escape a loveless match. What better way to ruin a lady’s reputation than to seek the aid of her childhood infatuation and former rogue, Marcus Hawksley?
Marcus Hawksley cares naught for society’s cruel opinions. As the unwanted younger son of a powerful earl, he had been snubbed by the ton years ago when he dared to enter commerce. It mattered naught that he was now an influential art collector and prosperous stockbroker of the London Stock Market. The last thing Marcus expects is the appearance of Lady Isabel at an estate sale. Boldly unchaperoned, she seeks him out in a room full of erotic art and surprises him with an outrageous proposition: she seeks a salacious affair to ruin her reputation. At first Marcus refuses—despite his attraction to the lady—but Isabel kisses him and ignites a sizzling attraction that takes both of them by surprise. But when they’re unwittingly caught together and a priceless painting disappears, Marcus is the lead suspect—and Isabel his only alibi. A hasty marriage of convenience forges an unlikely alliance, and they must learn to trust their hearts before a mysterious enemy with murderous plans ends their burgeoning love before it begins…
I’m currently working on a three-book Regency-set series involving barristers who share the same chambers at the Inns of Court in London. I can’t resist writing about lawyers! I also love paranormal romance and have an idea for a series that I would like to try out one day. More information can be found on my website!
Please tell readers how you juggle work, time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc.). I know many authors who have set writing schedules, but my days vary. Life oftentimes gets in the way of a rigid schedule. As well as my own family, I cared for two sick parents and recently lost my father to cancer. I have learned to take it day by day. Some days I am able to write multiple chapters and others I stare at the computer screen in frustration. I have learned to be flexible—to grab time and use it when I can. I often write late at night and on weekends. That being said, I do have a publishing contract with Kensington which requires me to complete a 100,000 word manuscript in less than a year.
My heartfelt condolences to you and your family, Tina. I remember taking care of my father—a stressful and difficult time. Nothing, too, like pressure from a contract—wonderful as that may be—looming in the back of your mind in addition to everything else you have going on in your day. Now, with some hindsight since being a published author, is there anything you’d do differently? I’d have an author website and a Facebook page, and I’d learn how to be more techno savvy.
Please share three ways you find or believe most effective to promote your work. An author website, networking with agents, editors and other authors by going to writer’s group meetings and conferences, and doing whatever you find enjoyable. If you enjoy book signings, then do them. If you like giving workshops at meetings, conferences or at your local library, then offer them. But don’t get bogged down with promotion and forget the most important thing: the best way a writer can promote herself is by continuing to write good books!
Well said, Tina! Definitely an important reminder for me and many, I’m sure! Best of luck with your upcoming release, meeting all your deadlines and getting that paranormal series off the ground. Maybe you’ll join us again in the fall and give us an update?
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Until next time,