Author Spotlight

 

This month, I had an opportunity to chat a wonderful author who took time out of her busy schedule to chat me. So, without further delay, letís hear from

Gwen Masters

When did you begin writing and did you always know you would be a writer?
I began writing as a teenager, and was published pretty young. That was the first indication that what I was putting down on paper might turn into a career. By the time I was off to college, I was certain this is what I would do for the rest of my life. Iím fortunate to be able to do it full-time now.

Tell us some of your favorites (i.e. foods, authors, books, movies, music, colors, and any others you would like to share.)
Oh, my goodness, a favorites list! I could go on and on. Iím always a big fan of Mexican food, but Chinese is good, too. The latest book Iíve really loved is Open House by Elizabeth Berg. I donít watch many movies, but the latest to really get my attention was Michael Clayton. I do watch all the episodes of House, M.D. on Fox. Iím always listening to country music, but I like the harder-edged stuff, like Gary Allan and Jack Ingram. My favorite car is the Aston Martin, my favorite season is autumn, and my first choice for a good drink is always the Lemondrop Martini with extra sugar on the rim.

When writing, do you have a schedule that you follow?
My schedule has become much more streamlined since I got married. Now I try to work in the early mornings, stopping for a while to get the kids off to school, then working until two or so in the afternoon. Once the husband or the kids get home, Iím done. Itís impossible to work with such a boisterous family anyway!

I read you like to take road trips. Where is your favorite place to visit?
So far, my favorite road trip has been through the Appalachian Mountains. Our honeymoon took us through Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. But we also love ManhattanÖand New OrleansÖand the Natchez Trace ParkwayÖand the Pacific Coast HighwayÖyou get the picture.

How do your stories develop? Do you stories start with just an idea of do you know the whole story from the start?
My short stories almost always begin with a flash of inspiration. I usually donít know where they are going until at least halfway through. The books take a bit of planning, but I still let the story take me where it wants to go. I canít tell you how many outlines have been completely decimated by one random idea that said the book should go in another direction!

What do you consider to be one of the most interesting things about yourself?
Hardly anybody knows thisÖIím really handy around the house. My toolbox gets a lot of use! I can do everything from hang drywall to shingle a roof to fix a leaky sink. From the time I was old enough to have a memory, I remember tagging along after my grandfather while he built something, and I guess thatís where it began. Anything that requires elbow grease, tools and concentration is fun for me.

Do you believe in happily ever after and have you found yours?
I absolutely do believe in it. I think there are certain people who come into your life to guide you toward that, and Iíve been so fortunate to have those people around me. Iím at a point in my life where happiness is the rule, contentment is constant, and every day is exciting, fresh and new. Every now and then I think, ďit canít get better than this,Ē and then it does. If thatís not happily ever after, I donít know what is!

How do you promote your work?
Any way possible? Iím reading a fantastic book right now: The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Itís filled with so many ideas for promotion, I donít know where to start! I thought I was doing all I could do, but Iíve been educated on that point. Now Iím gearing up to promote half a dozen novels in the next few years, and Iím trying all sorts of new things.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? What was the most invaluable piece of advice that you received when starting out?
What Iíve learned over the years is to just keep going Ė keep writing. Write about anything and everything. Write what makes you happy, what makes you sad, and especially what makes you nervous. The more you write, the more you learn, the better your writing will be.

A big piece of advice I got from the very beginning: Build a reputation. Always be professional, always deliver as promised, and never balk at making adjustments. Treat deadlines like your entire career depends on them. People talk, and potential publishers and editors will have heard of you long before you get around to contacting them about that novel you want to publish! Make sure that first impression is the right one.

I read you have a few other jobsÖweb editor and that you write an online columnÖhow did you get involved in this?
I serve as the web editor for Clean Sheets, and I love every minute of it. Iíve always wanted to be involved with them, but I didnít know how to go about it Ė I finally just sent an email to the Editor-in-Chief and said I was interested. Luckily, they had a position that was perfect, and Iíve been there forÖthree years? Four? Time flies when youíre having fun!

I also write a monthly column at For the Girls, which is just so much fun. I approached the Editor there with a proposal for a feature story, which she rejectedÖbut she said, ďThereís something elseÖĒ and I jumped at the chance.

Itís funny how it all worked out. One of my goals was to be involved with Clean Sheets, and another goal was to write a monthly column. Iím so happy I got the chance to do those things, and to work with such great people along the way. Iíd be happy to be working with them all ten years from now.

How would you spend a perfect day?
My husband and I love to travel, and we love antiques. A road trip to find antiques is perfect! Just thinking about it makes me smile. We love to go to places off the beaten path, find great deals, then eat somewhere nice and get a hotel room wherever we happen to end up. Sleep late, then take all our antiques home. That feels like the perfect getaway for us.

Is your family supportive of your writing and do they read your work?
Absolutely, yes. My family has been supportive from day one. At first I was worried about what my mother would think, but she surprised me with her enthusiasm. Now sheís my go-to person for bouncing ideas around, or clearing up a plot that doesnít seem to work. My husband listens to my ideas and encourages my work. Itís great to have such a support system.

I will say this: my grandmother was the toughest one to convince, because she automatically thought ďeroticaĒ was synonymous with ďporn.Ē But then she read one of my books and called me up to say, ďItís not just about the bedroom. Itís about the emotion, too. I think thatís beautiful.Ē She became my strongest supporter.

Do you have a favorite genre that you write in and is there one that you would like to try?
Iíve written erotic romance for a long time, but I do write other things. I also write in the contemporary romance genre, and I am working on a crime novel right now, a kind of mystery that has nothing at all to do with romance. As a ghostwriter, Iíve worked on everything from a cookbook to an autobiography. 

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
I love talking to my readers! My email address is gwenmasters@yahoo.com, and itís always open for questions and comments. You can also leave a comment on my blog at www.gwenmasters.blogspot.com.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Any current or upcoming releases?
My current release is One Breath at a Time, published by Black Lace. It is the story of a woman who embarks on a journey of Dominance and submission, and the man who encourages her. Itís on the shelves now at your favorite bookstore, so get out and get a copy! If youíre in the Nashville area, some bookstores will have autographed copies. I hope you enjoy it!

 

     

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