Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Author Spotlight and Book Tour: Misty Gatlin

Today at the blog I'm interviewing Misty Gatlin, author of A Princess Broken, as part of her book tour!

1.  Welcome, Misty! Can you tell us a little about A Princess Broken? What’s it about? What kind of readers will enjoy it?

Sarah defines herself as many things: broken, damaged, addicted, and hopeless.  Hurt at an early age by someone dear to her, she retaliates by living a life filled with destruction.  Her past has finally caught up with her, and she's ready to call it quits.  Her story unfolds when she meets a compassionate stranger who helps her realize past decisions don’t define who she is, and what she thought was the end of her story is only the beginning.  A life-changing decision is placed in front of her, and she's forced to face it head on.  What will she choose, and where will that path lead her?

Although there is definitely a Christian undertone in this book, it’s not what one would consider “Christian Fiction.”  I wrote this book in such a way that the reader, whether he or she believes in God or not, doesn’t feel uncomfortable when such topics are brought out.  This book was written with everyone in mind, and it doesn’t push any specific belief on the reader.

2. Is this your first book? How long did it take you to write it?

This is my first fiction book and my first published book.  It’s funny how this book came to be.   I had never written fiction, but I had this idea stirring inside of me to write a fiction series on my blog, and A Princess Broken was it.

I believe I began writing in October and finished in early January.  Of course, I had to spend several more weeks writing after I received the first round of comments from my editor.  I think I ended up writing another 100 pages or so after that first round.  I think that’s when Sarah and Kate really developed into real, relatable, and memorable people.

3. It often takes me half the first draft to flesh out my characters, too. Sometimes you have to write it to find it! 

What do you think is the hardest part of writing? The easiest?

Let me start with the easiest thing about writing.  The easiest thing, for me, is just the fact that I absolutely love writing.  I love testing the boundaries on my writing.  My non-fiction writing is almost totally faith based, but it’s never pushy, and it’s truly different than most typical faith-based writing.  I talk about topics most people are afraid to talk about, and I did that very thing in this book.  Let’s face it, life is not all rainbows and butterflies, and I feel like that’s what most Christian writing tries to show.  So many movies and books depict Christians and Christian living as perfect or like it’s easier to overcome everyday obstacles when that’s just not reality.

Today, our teenagers and young adults are faced with drugs, sex, alcohol, death, abandonment, a need for relationships, and the list can go on.  It doesn’t matter what they believe, they are faced with difficult issues.  Some choose to go down a path that leads them to a place that isn’t pretty.  Too often, they feel like there’s no turning back, so they have no hope in getting out of a life they hate.

The easiest part of writing is knowing that I touch on topics others tiptoe around, and I use my writing to provide hope to those readers who may feel hopeless.  In this book, Sarah is at a point in her life where she doesn’t think it can get any better.  She can’t forgive herself for some of the things she’s done and doesn’t believe anyone could ever forgive or love her if they knew.   I hope this book speaks to someone who feels similar to what she does and realizes there’s more to life, and it’s never too late to turn around.

The most difficult thing about writing is making sure I keep it interesting for my readers.  I write what’s interesting to me, so I don’t know if others will find it as interesting as I do, and I try to keep that in mind.  When I write, I take myself to the place of the character so I can feel and see everything she feels and sees.  Then I write what it is I’m experiencing.  This book was difficult because of the intensity in some of the scenes.  I felt like I was experiencing them, and sometimes it took me a few days to recuperate before I could continue writing.

I’m currently writing A Warrior Wounded, which has a male as the main character.  My current readers are mostly female, and I want to broaden my audience with this book.  It’s much easier to get inside the head of a female because I know how they react for the most part in certain situations.  I’m nervous about being able to portray a male realistically.  That’s definitely difficult for me.

4. I recently read an article that said something along the lines of "Art has to show the shadows and the light, or it doesn't give a real picture of life." Sounds like you're committed to that idea, too. 

Now, Misty, tell me a little about yourself... What’s one fun or interesting fact about you that most people don’t know?  

Oh my!  I don’t know that there’s much fun or interesting about me.  I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’re probably two of the most boring people you could meet.  We’re both from a teeny little town that’s so small it doesn’t even have a known population (maybe 100 or so?)  Everyone knows everyone, and the whole town is like a close-knit family.  Somehow, though, my husband and I were dating for a while before I realized he lived less than a mile from me

5. That sounds so fun, though! I live in a big, impersonal city and sometimes I wish I lived in a small town where everybody knew everybody.

Do you have any other projects or books you’re working on right now?

I’m currently working on A Warrior Wounded, which follows Michael Johnson through his junior year of high school and on into college.  Like A Princess Broken, this book will have a few surprises that I believe will keep the reader turning the pages.

I’m always adding posts to my blog as well.  Many of my ideas come from things I’ve written in my blog or things I’ve experienced or witnessed in life.  I have several book ideas floating around, so I believe I’ll have many more projects to come.

6. Where can readers connect with you to learn more about A Princess Broken and your other projects?

I can be found on:
Twitter:  @mistygatlin
Facebook:  Misty Gatlin (Author)

A Princess Broken can be purchased on my website or through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  It is also available as an eBook for most eReaders.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Misty!

Below, you can view the book trailer:

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