An Interview with Gina Drayer
AW: Which author wasn’t your greatest inspiration, but did make you think, “Maybe I could be an author”?
GD: Charlaine Harris. I thoroughly enjoyed her Southern Vampire mysteries. The series wasn’t perfect. BUT that didn’t take away from my enjoyment. I devoured every novel and anxiously awaited the finale. I realized that books don’t have to be the “great american novel” to be loved by fans. Unfortunately, that series didn’t end on a high note. A lot of the die hard fans were disappointed, and I started to think about how I would have changed things. This is the part of the story where most authors would talk about joining the fanfiction community as their first experiences with writing. No me. While I do love a good FanFic story, I felt like those characters belonged to Charlaine and ended up exactly where they needed to be. But those story ideas sparked more, and before I knew it, I had a rough outline to my own story.
AW: Tell me about the first time you thought, “Wow. I’m a real author!”
GD: The first time I had a fan dreamcast one of my books I felt like a real author.
AW: What’s the oddest part about your routine that you simply must do in order to sit down and write?
GD: I can write almost anywhere, but I’ve got a routine for when I’m going to lay down some serious words. Get a glass of whiskey to sip, light some candles, turn down the lights, and turn on some guitar music. I know, it sounds like I’m setting the stage for a seduction. Hey, I’m a romance author, sometimes that’s exactly what I’m doing.
AW: What is your biggest writing obstacle?
GD: Emotions. There are some writers out there that can write no matter what’s going on in their life. Some use writing as an escape. My emotions tend to bleed into my writing. If I’m stressed, my characters are stressed. If I’m sad, my stories get depressing. This is a problem for a girl who writes romantic comedies. A while back, I was dealing with some stressful work and family issues. I made it 90% through the book I was writing before I realized the dark turn it had taken. My main character had crippling anxiety. An emotionally abusive ex. Her mother was in the late stages of alzheimer’s, and her father wanted to put the mom in a home so he could move in his longtime mistress. While it was and interesting story, it wasn’t my brand of light hearted romances. I scraped the entire book and started from scratch.
AW: How do you prefer to network, and what impact do you think those avenues have had on your sales?
GD: I prefer to network online because I’m a true introvert. Thankfully, there’s an active and robust online author and reader community. How do I think it impacts my sales? Honestly, at times, I think it’s just a way to procrastinate. But honestly, I’ve met some great people that have really helped my career by promoting my work. And while it’s not directly related to sales, having a support network of people who understand the struggles of writing helps keep me on track. They know when my issues are real and when I’m bullshitting myself, and they aren’t afraid to kick me in the butt when I need it.
AW: What is one mistake you’ve made in your publishing career that you’d like to warn other authors off of?
GD: I’m made them all. I’d like to say that was a joke, but it’s not. Pick a mistake you’ve heard about and I guarantee you I’ve made it. The one thing I’d like to warn other writers about is know who you are doing business with. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or look at their past work. Anyone can call themselves a cover designer or editor. If you’re going to spend money, make sure you’re getting value.
AW: Is there any advice you’d like to give to a new writer?
GD: Start a mailing list yesterday. Build a list of reader—YOUR readers. Care for that list like it’s your own child because it you treat it well, that list will become one of your best marketing tools.
AW: What are you currently reading?GD: I’ve got few books I’m reading right now. Lauren Blakely—always a favorite of mine—on audio. Kylie Scott, paperback. And Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (for the fifth time) with the family on audio.
AW: Have any super fans found you yet, and if so, what sort of things have they done that seem surreal to you!
GD: I have a few super fans. I’ve had dreamcasts made for my books. Photos with my books and pets. I even had a fan drive to Kentucky to meet me. In my opinion, readers are the best people in the world!
AW: When people read your books, what do you want their greatest take-away to be?
GD: I want my readers to be entertained. The world can be a very dark and lonely place. I hope that someone picks up one of my books and falls in love. I hope that they see themselves in my characters. Above all, I hope I bring my readers joy.Gina’s newest book is coming out this week:
Owner, Adriel Wiggins Author Services and Consulting
Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.
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