Saturday, February 20, 2010

Welcome Gail Pallotta

Why Write a Romance?

People have been asking me, “Why did you write a romance?” That question made me start thinking, Why do people write romance? A brief answer might be that it’s part of life. But, I think there’s more to it. When I was five yeas old, for the first time I saw a house burning. When my parents and I rode by it, my father slowed down. We all gazed out the window at the horrifying sight, and my mother made statements such as “I hope the firemen can save something.” But I got a sick feeling in my stomach and wondered if the fire had killed the children’s pet or burned their favorite toys.

I believe as writers we ponder such truths as loss, happiness, faith, human nature and the presence of good and evil. Viewing the world as our kaleidoscope, we zoom in on one picture and make it sharper, so others can see it more clearly. Why not choose love? Love, possibly more than any other emotion, can lower us to the deepest depths of despair or raise us to the loftiest heights of ecstasy. Not only that, when two people try to come to terms with different backgrounds, society’s demands and dissimilar hopes for tomorrow, their lives drift into a tornado of twists and turns.

Say someone has loved and lost or never found love. She trudges through life in a day to day grind, feeling like she’s drifting alone on a raft in a sea filled with sharks without even a glass of clean water. After days, months, maybe even years of feeling as though she’s all alone in a cruel world, she’s miserable. In a romance she can meet a handsome man, and her perspective changes. The two of them travel to their own little paradise filled with bluebirds, magnolias and blue hyacinths.

Of course, that’s just when they first meet and realize they’re not alone anymore. Maybe one night while walking through their enchanted land, they stop at an ice cream parlor and discover that she likes pineapple-orange. He only eats chocolate chip, and they have enough money for one cone. For a while the difference places them back on separate rafts in the shark-filled ocean. But wait! He asks if they can get one bowl of ice cream with two flavors. The waitress agrees, and once again the lovers are in their own little cosmos, where paradise lasts until they discover another impasse to conquer.

Cammie O’Shea, the main character in my first romance, Love Turns the Tide, is drifting alone, and she feels betrayed. Right after she suffers a traumatic split-up with her fiancé she relocates to Destin, Florida, to take a new job. Heartbroken, she wants no relationships with anyone, because she never wants to experience the pain and deception her engagement caused. A Christian, she turns to her faith. When she picks up her Bible right after she moves, it falls open at a bookmark to Romans 8: 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him….” In her heart she knows the words are true, but she can’t imagine how a move to Destin possibly can be good for her.

Her main source of angst is Vic Deleona, the influential real estate developer she has to write about to generate interest in the newspaper. However, after her friend has a break-in at her condo someone vandalizes Cammie’s unit, and Vic comes to their rescue. He even tries to solve the crime. Just as Cammie gets to know him better she has an offer to return home. She has decisions to make, and Vic complicates her life, but she is no longer miserable. And, that’s why I wrote a romance.

Why do you like to write or read romance? As a reader do you prefer it to other genres? And why?


Be sure to leave a comment, Gail will be choosing two winners today (each will receive a CD copy of Gail's debut novel Love Turns the Tide). And don't forget to visit Gail at for news, pictures, and a excerpt from her novel. Gail also blogs at


Janet said...

Good morning, Gail, and welcome to The Prairies!

Not only that, when two people try to come to terms with different backgrounds, society’s demands and dissimilar hopes for tomorrow, their lives drift into a tornado of twists and turns.

I love this quote from your post - so very, very true. And, as romance writers, the conflicts that emerge are endless. And I think that's why I love sequels so much - getting a chance to see a previous couple that had their HEA ending and see if they are continuing to grow as a couple. Because we all know HEA is not guareenteed and couples have to work at a marriage.

Your debut novel sounds great - best of luck with it :)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Janet,

Thanks so much for having me on Prairie Chicks and for stopping by. I agree that people certainly do have to work at a marriage. I imagine that's partly because life is constantly changing and people react to the changes in different ways.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Gail - love the conflict example with the simple ice cream analogy.

I read and write romance. If I had the choice of a dozen best selling books which the critics and book clubs are raving about, and I was offered a simple romance instead, I'd pick the romance every time. Yes, I've read non-romances but I don't get that satisfying feeling when it's finished. Only books ending in an HEA seem to be finished in my eyes - and heart.

Congrats on your debut release of Love Turns the Tide. It sounds like a good romance. :)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Anita,
Good luck with your writing. I like happy endings too. They leave you with a hopeful feeling. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Prairie Chicks Write Romance said...

Hi Gail,
Welcome to the prairies! We're happy to have you here.

I love the cover of your book. Makes me want to find a nice warm beach somewhere. Although the weather on the prairies has been pretty nice of late, it's not exactly beach weather! More like snowmobiling weather.

I have to agree with Anita. I read a lot of books aside from romances but nothing makes me as happy as a romance novel. I love the satisfying feeling of two people overcoming obstacles to fall in love. A happy ending gets me every time.


Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Jana,
Thank you so much for having me.I love being an Honorary Chick. And thank you for stopping by.

Karyn Good said...

Hi there, Gail. Congratulations on your debut release and welcome to The Prairies.

I need variety in my reading but romances hold a special place in my heart because I love happily ever after endings the best. I believe in love and the power it possesses and that's why I love to write love stories.

Again, best of luck with Love Turns the Tide.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Karyn,
Good luck with writing your love stories. Thank you for your kind words and good wishes. Thanks for stopping by.

Vince said...

Hi Gail:

I enjoy books from almost any genre – especially the best books from each genre. What I don’t like as much are hybrid genre books like, suspense-romances or SF-romances. Also very problematic for me are three-genre-combos like Inspirational-Suspense-Romance.

Usually you are better off with a specialist. If I want a suspense story, I can get a better one from a top suspense writer. If I want a SF story, I can get a better one from a top SF writer. The same goes for romance. I don’t look to Louis L’Amour for a great cowboy romance story. No one beats a dedicated romance writer in producing great romance stories.

BTW, I don’t consider a historical romance a hybrid unless the writer is much more interested in writing history than fiction.

I think my opinion has been shaped by reading so many books in so many different genres over the years.

How do you fell about hybrid genres?

I hope “LOVE TURNS THE TIDE” isn’t a mystery-romance after all I’ve written here. : )

BTW: I love books on CD. With CDs I can make the type as large as I need and my computer won’t eat my only downloaded copy.


Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Vince,
Love Turns the Tide is definitely a romance. But Cammie, the main character, goes to the newspaper office where she works, so it includes information about being a feature writer. There's vandalism in Cammie's friend's home and hers, so trying to solve that problem creates a bit of suspense. There's also Christianity, because Cammie turns to her faith to help her heal from her broken engagement. I see these things as part of her life just as I see my husband, my daughter, my friends, my faith and things that happen around me as part of my life. I'm not sure if you would see these things going on in the book as events that make it a hybrid or not. But, Love Turns the Tide is a love story about a person who learns how to find love that lasts after being deeply hurt.

Thanks for reading about Love Turns the Tide, and thanks for stopping by.

Vince said...

Hi Gail:

By hybrid I mean the book meets publisher guidelines as an advertised Suspense/Mystery/Fantasy/SF/Paranormal Romance. In these books it’s possible for there to be very little romance and thus very little time to develop a meaningful relationship.

For many of these books, the suspense action takes up so much of the book that the HEA often seems forced and not very convincing. Your book sounds like a total romance to me.

My sister-in-law lives part of the year in Pensacola. (She's in the Navy.) I think that is near the action in your book. I’ll tell her about your book.

Thanks for your answer and post.


Gail Pallotta said...

Hello Again, Vince,
Thanks for clarifying and for telling your sister about Love Turns the Tide. Pensacola isn't far from Destin. Some folks in that area have remarked that they enjoyed the setting.

MarthaE said...

Good morning Gail! I liked your comments a lot! I read many genres but romances are my favorite. It is such an important part of our lives, even with the conflicts, anquish and sorrows. There can always be some joy if you have love!
Best wishes on your debut novel - it sounds lovely.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Martha,
Yes, as Karyn said, love has power. It can heal, bring joy and even make up for shortcomings. Thank you for stopping by.

Gail Pallotta said...

What a fun day! Tomorrow night I'll write down the names of all who have made comments, put them in a jar, shake them up and have my husband draw two names.

Laurean Brooks said...

I enjoyed this. Romance or "Love" is the spice of life when you think about it. Every woman needs to feel that euphoric high at least once in her life. LIke the lyrics to Ronnie Milsap's song, "Once in Every life someone comes along. And you came to was almost like a song."

Love that song! And this story sounds like my kind of romance. Please put my name in the hat. (Near the top, please. LOL)

Laurean Brooks said...

Oh, was I suppose to leave my email addy...just in case?

May God continue to bless the works of your hands.


Anne Patrick said...

Sorry I'm late in posting. Great post, Gail. I wish you the very best in with your writing.


Janet said...

Well, we got off to a slow start, Gail! Glad to see some new faces on The Prairies - and it was a pleasure having you guest blog with us today.

Since you're not putting names in the hat until tomorrow night, shall we leave the comment section open? Anyone still wishing to leave a comment will still be eligible for Gail's fabulous offer of not one, but two CD giveaways of her book Love Turns the Tide? What say you, Gail?

Again, great day - thanks for joining us :)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Laurean,
I love Ronnie Milsaps song also.
Thank you for stopping by.
And thanks to you, Anne, for your good wishes.

We will leave it open for comments. I'll check tomorrow and won't put the names in the jar until tomorrow night.

Danielle Thorne said...

Lovely piece, Gail. I think you really nailed why some people are driven to write, among other hearts. Very thoughtful.

Danielle Thorne said...

Lovely piece, Gail. I think you really nailed why some people are driven to write, among other hearts. Very thoughtful.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Danielle,
I hope I touched on some of the things that we hope to do as writers. Thank you for stopping by.

I'm off to church, back soon.

Anonymous said...

Great interview Gail. Good luck with all your books and your writing.
I like almost all genre's except Sci-Fi and Erotic. I like Historical Romance, Suspense Romance and sweetly written romance, cozy mysterys and historical, non fiction and bio's. Guess that covers about a whole room full of books ;-)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Miss Lynn,

Thanks for your good wishes. It's great that you're an avid reader.
Thanks so much for stopping by.

Helena said...

I've been reading romances for a very long time, but I read a lot of other genres as well. I like mysteries, historical fiction, suspense, with the occasional SF and fantasy thrown in for good measure. My book club chooses literary fiction occasionally as well.

I enjoy the longer romances, the length that Harlequin's SuperRomances used to be, or a single title that is longer, more complex and perhaps allows for more secondary character development.

It follows then that my first attempt at writing a romance would be for the SuperRomance category. Still working on it!

Glad you could blog with us yesterday, Gail. If I'm too late for your jar, don't worry about it, altho I would love to read your book. My day yesterday was totally taken up with my grandsons' hockey games (the regulars know all about my current stint with them) and I was nowhere near a computer all day.

hekhmk (at) sasktel (dot) net

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Helena,
It's great that you can go to your
grandson's hockey games. I well remember all the swim meets we attended with our daughter and wouldn't take anything for the experiences. It's wonderful that you know exactly what you want to write, and you're seeing it through! Good luck with the super romance. Thanks for stopping by.

Gail Pallotta said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and making this such an enjoyable two days. I wrote out the names and shook them up good. My husband is drawing them now...drum roll...
Happy Week to everybody next week.

Janet said...

Thanks for being with us, Gail. What a great weekend :)