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Gaelen Foley Intervewed By celticreign

CSM: Please help me welcome Award Winning Historical Romance Author, Gaelen Foley to Romantic Crush Junkies. Gaelen, My readers and I are so psyched that one of my go-to authors has dropped to spend time with us. Thanks so much!

GF: Thank you for the invitation, Christine! I’m honored to be here. Just a quick FYI before we dive in that I will be here in the afternoons/evenings because I’m on deadline and I need to get my pages written before I jump on the internet. But I look forward to hanging out with you this week! Thanks for having me.

CSM: Tell us more about yourself. Readers love learning new and interesting things about an author, and this would give you a chance to make them feel close.

GF: Ok, let’s see…I have written 14 Regency Historicals of the dark-suspensy variety as opposed to the light-funny style. I’m married to my college sweetheart, Eric, who is also my critique partner. I have a BA in English Literature and a minor in Philosophy from SUNY Fredonia, which is in the Snow Belt in Upstate New York.

I majored in Lit because I felt that I had a burning, white-hot calling to become a writer and I wanted to study how the greatest writers who ever lived put their masterpieces together. And I minored in Philosophy because I wanted to find the answers to all of the “Eternal Questions” of existence.

Of course, in hindsight, I could have saved myself a great deal of angst if I had simply watched Don Juan de Marco, (one of my favorite movies), where it says something like, “There are only four questions of value, Don Ottavio. Where do we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? Of what is the spirit made? The answer to them all is Love.”

When I finally realized that, I became a romance writer.

What else? I have a darling little Bichon Frise named Bingley who is my substitute child, *g* And I live on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the city where I was born.


CSM: If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?

GF: I would like to go see the new Harry Potter movie! Because J.K. Rowling is an amazing storyteller and I could get Snow Caps. *g*


CSM: What kind of books do you love to read? Why?

GF: I really love reading motivational non-fiction because it helps me keep a positive attitude and stay focused on making a difference in other people’s lives to the best of my ability. Lately I’ve been reading Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life as well as Joel Osteen’s Become a Better You. I have to ration my fiction reading so I don’t inadvertently pick up other authors’ writing styles.

CSM: What type of music do you relax to?

GF: My tastes are pretty eclectic depending on my mood. I like to put on vintage jazz while my husband and I cook dinner together. Anything with Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, or Louie Armstrong really makes me happy. OR I also like listening to Celtic music, which feeds me Irish soul. I love ancient music and classical music and flamenco (really), anything that’s got some funk and attitude, and one of my newest interests is Gospel music. It doesn’t get much better than “Walking Around in Heaven” or soulful praise by grand dames of the genre like Dottie Peoples, who I think of as kind of like the Ella Fitzgerald of Gospel (though she’s a lot younger).

BTW, one of my favorite atmospheric CDs is Sting’s “Songs from the Labyrinth.” You should give it a listen if you like ancient music! With accompaniment by a Russian lute-player whose name I can’t spell, Sting performs gorgeous music of the 16th century English composer, John Dowland. One of the songs on the Sting CD was partly what inspired me for the Inferno Club, a piece called (I think) “Lamentation.” Here are some lyrics:

“Hark! You shadows
that in darkness dwell,
learn to condemn light...
Happy, happy, they that in Hell
Fear not the world’s despite.”

And I thought Nine Inch Nails was dark. (The archaic usage of “despite” here means “spite” in the modern idiom.)

CSM: Besides being a total book junkie I’m also a music junkie. When I’m writing I have a sound track playing either in my mind or in my cd player. What’s your sound track? What type of music is on it?

GF: Me, too, Christine! I once told my husband that if I were a song I would be the Poco Allegretto movement (iii) from Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F, Opus 90. If you listen to that melody, that’s as close I can express to what it feels like being in my brain. :/ ITunes has a performance of it by conductor Daniel Harding if you’re interested. (Brace yourself.)

CSM: What is your favorite stress reliever?

GF: The PG-Rated answer: Going to a day spa. *g*

CSM: What is your favorite food?

GF: Mom’s homemade meatloaf! I’m a traditional down home girl at heart.

CSM: Describe yourself in one word?

GF: Survivor. (interesting, would love to know the meaning behind this)

CSM: What’s your biggest regret in life?

GF: You know what, I don’t really regret anything. Even my mistakes, which have been many, have all been part of the path that I’ve been on, and anyway, your mistakes are usually what teach you the most in life.

CSM: What is the adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

GF: Oh, wow. Let’s see…let me not get myself into trouble here. LOL. I would say the most adventurous thing I’ve done was to put all my eggs in my one basket in pursuing my dream of becoming a writer. I guess you could say I deliberately burned my bridges to leave myself no other option but success.

I refused to arrange anything to “fall back on.” This gave me the motivation I needed to work like my hair was on fire. Disclaimer: I don’t recommend this approach for any but the most foolhardy! *g*


CSM: How would readers find out more about you?

GF: They could visit my website at http://www.gaelenfoley.com/.

CSM: When did you write your first book?

GF: In the mid-90’s. It sold in 1997. It’s called The Pirate Prince, and it was released in 1998 by Ballantine. It’s still in print and selling well, which is one of the nice things about historicals. They usually age better than contemporaries because they don’t have trendy modern references.

CSM: How long did it take you to write it?

GF: I worked on it off and on for about four years.

CSM: Did you encounter any obstacles in writing?

GF: Many, many obstacles! I still do. Every step in the process has its challenges, from research, to getting the characters to come to life, to dialogue, to pacing, to find that just-right ending line. You name it. The trick, I think, is to take it all as a puzzle that you enjoy solving. Enjoy the journey.

CSM: What do you think about editing?

GF: Editing is that stage of the process where a so-so book gets its last chance to become a wonderful book.

CSM: Where and when do you write?

GF: I write in my home office from 8:00 AM to about 3:00 PM Monday through Saturday. Keeping my same routine helps me to be productive.

CSM: What books would you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot structuring, dialogue, etc?

GF: Let me get back to you on this one later in the week, if you don’t mind. I have a good list of my recommended writing books!

CSM: What is your must-have book for writing?

GF: Dwight Swain, TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER.

CSM: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

GF: I think the number one most important thing anyone can do to achieve success in life or in writing is to ask God to show you where you can do the most good. The best success gurus in the world say that the way to succeed is to have an attitude of service. We are given our talents to contribute to others’ lives in some way, not just to provide for ourselves. Once you get a sense of what you’re supposed to do, where you’re being led, then home in on your ideal outcome, so that you know exactly what you’re aiming for and can build a sensible plan to get there. Blindly shooting into the dark without a clear target can waste years of productivity and lead nowhere. Study the path that others have taken (in their business decisions—not their story ideas!) to make it happen. Believe that if they did it, you can, too! Also, develop your voice, and be flexible because the market is constantly changing.

CSM: What genre(s) do you write?

GF: Regency Historicals.

CSM: Among that you’ve written which is your favorite book and why?

GF: There’s no way I can answer this! LOL. They are all dear to me in different ways.

CSM: Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook in case you forget?

GF: Ideas really do come from everywhere. I think they are projections in story form of what’s going on in the subconscious, like dreams. Then you work with them and shape them using craft.

When I get a new idea, I write it all down, then put it away in my Future Ideas file and let it continue simmering away on the back burner of my mind. That way, I always have plenty of ideas to choose from when I’m ready to start a new project.

CSM: Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why?

GF: Only my enemies go into my books, Christine. *g* It’s called fictional revenge. LOL. No, but seriously, I think there is a little bit of my husband in all of my heroes. I can’t help it. He’s my role model of the ideal man. =)

CSM: Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you?

GF: It just depends on which mood I’m in! I would surmise that each of my heroines (and heroes, too, truthfully) corresponds to some aspect of myself, however, it’s never my intention or my goal to write autobiographically. I don’t really like talking about myself that much! I’d rather listen to what others have to say. I’m a Scorpio, and you know, we’re supposed to be ultra-secretive, passionate, brooding introverts. (Moi??)

CSM: Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why?

GF: I think Max St. Albans, the Marquess of Rotherstone in My Wicked Marquess is my strongest, sexiest and most lovable hero because he’s highly intelligent, with a cynical sense of humor. He’s tough and courageous, and I like how wary he is. He also has a sense of his own faults. But despite his wicked reputation as a libertine, his real intentions toward his lady, Daphne are chivalrous from the start, and I just think there’s something very endearing about that.

CSM: Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters wanted to go in another direction. What did you do in such a situation?

GF: When the characters take over a story and start taking it in another direction, you have to let them go, I’ve found. I recently read a wonderful quote by online writing instructor Rob Parnell that says, “Characters hate plots that they didn’t think of.” That is so true!

CSM: Tell us more about your current release by AVON, “My Wicked Marquess: Book 1 in The Inferno Club series.

GF: Sure! Happy to say it was a Top Pick for July from Romantic Times with a K.I.S.S. Hero Award for Max, and it hit the New York Times extended list, which was wonderful. I am extremely GRATEFUL to all the readers who picked it up. Here’s the review from Kathe Robin of RT, which gives a good overview of what My Wicked Marquess is all about:
"From pirate ships to ballrooms, Foley delivers strong plots, bold characters and memorable romances. With the first title in the Inferno Club she's created her most powerful novel to date. Weaving threads of several storylines and melding intrigue and suspense into a deep and passionate love story takes talent and daring, and Foley has an abundance of both.
Max St. Albans, the Marquess of Rotherstone, is hunting for a biddable wife, but finds himself attracted to Daphne Starling, who is anything but obedient. But she's the one woman who can bring love and laughter into his dark life.
By falling in love with Max, Daphne gets caught in his dangerous world, the realm of the Inferno Club, an ancient secret society trained to fight evil around the globe. Since Napoleon's defeat, Max is prepared to marry and leave his missions behind. But when one of their foes kidnaps a member of the club, they are drawn into new dangers. As the love between Max and Daphne grows, Max will do whatever it takes to keep her safe and fulfill his mission."

CSM: Any new projects, works in progress?

GF: I’m working on Book 2 in the Inferno Club series, which will be called MY DANGEROUS DUKE. It’s slated for release in July of 2010.

CSM: I want to take this time to thank you Gaelen for stopping by and sharing with my readers and myself a little bit about yourself. This sure has been loads of fun. I hope you enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed having you.

GF: Thanks for the invite, Christine! It’s been fun and it’s an honor! =)

About celticreign

C.S. Morehouse lives in upstate New York with her four children. She loves to take long walks around the lake and mountians and feels they're a great source of inspiration for her writing. She is a constant reader and enjoys many genres. But she is most particular to romance and erotica in its many genres and sub genres.

As for now she is constantly writing for her two review blogs-- Romantic Crush Junkies and Erotic Book Junkies and loves hearing from her readers.

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