Monday, December 01, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays with Debra Parmley and Gerri Russell

Welcome to Make-Believe Mondays! Every so often I look back over the interviews from the past and think about how far we've come. I've been doing these interviews since Jan. 9th 2006 and coming up soon on the three year anniversary. (Which I will be celebrating...more on that later.)

What started it all was the American Title II contest, when I needed a website and then a blog, before I was even published. Make-Believe Mondays was born and it has been a great joy in my life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Today I thought I would re-visit one of the earlier interviews with my dear friend, Gerri Russel. This is from January 1st, 2007. What a difference a year can make in the life of an author. More on that after the interview.
Jan. 1, 2007

First I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year! It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since I started Make-believe Mondays. Your response has been so strong that I have decided to continue this blog for many years to come. Monday is always a difficult day of the week, returning to work after an enjoyable weekend and it is my hope that this blog brings a smile and a good start to your work week. Thank you for making us a part of your Monday.

Today is also a very special Monday because today my friend and ATII sister Gerri Russell, winner of the American Title II contest is here with us on Make-believe Mondays. This is a day all the ATII sisters have been waiting for and I'm thrilled to be able to announce that Gerri's book The Warrior Trainer hits the bookstores tomorrow!

Gerri, for some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Gerri: The kind of dreams that play a role in creating fiction for me are not the kind you have while you're asleep. I'm an active dreamer. One thing I have always been grateful for is that my mother, and other very influential people in my life, never set limits for me. I was never told I had to be any certain thing--only my own dreams could hold me back. So I grew up dreaming big dreams. And definitely one of those dreams was to become an author.

I feel that it is our dreams that give our lives focus and drive. I've had the desire to become an author for so many years, and have actively pursued that goal for the past thirteen. Finally seeing that dream become reality with the publication of my first book, The Warrior Trainer, has been one of the most amazing moments of my life.

Many people have asked me lately, "where will you go from here? What's your next dream?" I would have to say, the next big dream is to have a career as an author and to keep writing stories that touch people's hearts, fill their lives with joy, or bring them hope during difficult situations.

Debra: Gerri, you're an inspiration. You've achieved a dream and your story will motivate hundreds of authors to follow their dreams of being an author. I'm sure you'll achieve every one of your goals.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Gerri: I grew up reading everything and anything I could get my hands on. Favorites of mine will always be the classics: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, but also when I was younger I used to devour mysteries featuring Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I'd say my reading tastes now are very eclectic at best! I'll read science fiction, and romance, and murder mysteries, and autobiographies with the same passion.

Debra: If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Gerri: If there were no rules but those dictated by the imagination, I'd probably be writing what it is I write now. As a writer, I've evolved over the years to write about characters who are trying to figure out who they are. Mix that with a bit of the mystical and a bit of legend and a bit of fantasy, and that's the kind of story you'll get from me.

Debra: And that is a story I can't wait to read. I'll be first in line at my local independant book store tomorrow!

Gerri, thank you for visiting us here on Make-believe Mondays to share a bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

You can find Gerri on the web at or at

Debra's News/Debra is watching:

What a difference a year can make. Gerri now has three books out in her series. The Warrior Trainer, Warrior's Bride and Warrior's Lady (which is available now as a pre-order)

I am also thrilled to announce that my first novel, A Desperate Journey is now available to pre-order the print edition!

click here to pre-order A Desperate Journey

I've been burning daylight and candlelight to finish my novella in time for the Dec. 1st deadline today! I had to have 24,000 words along with a 2 to 5 page synopsis. Samhain issued a call for westerns for an anthology so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to write one. There is just something about a cowboy, isn't there? ;-)

Today I submitted my novella to Samhain with fingers crossed that they like it enough to buy it. It's the first time I ever wrote a novella and I found I enjoyed it very much. I got my start in fiction writing short stories. This falls somewhere in the middle and is a totally different feel than writing a novel or a short story.

Murphy's Law being what it is that everything shall happen at once, it is also my turn to blog over on Title Wave and that blog will be up shortly, once this one is posted.

This week I plan to catch up on some much needed sleep, as well as other things I got behind on in order to get the novella done. There are the Christmas decorations to put up, the house to be cleaned (and I am told there is not much food in the house) and I am looking forward to relaxing each evening with a good book.

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