6/17/2012 Feature Author Event:
Guest Web Appearance
Gayle Donnelly & Robyn MacKenzie
Hello everyone! LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews are very happy to welcome Gayle Donnelly and Robyn Mackenzie to our sites today!
Gayle and Robyn both hail from the Midwest. Writing partners as well as friends (perhaps even sisters in another life), both are married and each has two wonderful children. The similarities don’t stop there. Both earned degrees in English education, both have a profound weakness for Starbucks coffee, and both are completely captivated by the ethereal beauty found in the Pacific Northwest. Their individual passions for writing and storytelling, led them to create “Infinite Betrayal”, the first book in their INFINITY series, and have them hard at work on “Infinite Surrender”, the second of the series.
For those of you not yet familiar with Gayle and Robyn’s work, we thought we’d give you the synopsis for “Infinite Betrayal” to peak your interests a bit:
“Infinite Betrayal”, INFINITY Book #1:
Mina Roarke had always been told she was special. In what way, she never fully understood until circumstances led her down a path of adrenaline-charged danger, blazing sexual heat and ultimate betrayal.
Mathias, a warrior for a secret shifter race known as The Coteri, has been ordered to protect Mina at all costs. Although his oath to protect her is paramount, can he rein in his animal instincts long enough to not claim the one person he’s forbidden to have?
We know, it sounds amazing! Guess what? It is! You can find LITERAL ADDICTION’s 5 Skull review of “Infinite Betrayal” HERE, and Book Monster Reviews 5 Star review HERE. For now though, let’s get to the interview and learn some more about this awesome writing duo and the series…
CONTEST: Gayle & Robyn are offering up an autographed trade paperback of “Infinite Betrayal” to a winner from LITERAL ADDICTION and a winner from Book Monster Reviews.
To enter, find the Rafflecopter widget for Gayle and Robyn’s Event on our Author’s Corner page 6/17 - 6/21, follow the directions, take action, and mark as ‘Done’.
For another chance to win, go to Book Monster Reviews, make sure you’re a blog follower, and enter the contest over there also.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Gayle! Hi Robyn! We’re very happy to have you both here today. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to chat with us.
GAYLE: Anything for you, Chelle! [and Carla]!
ROBYN: We’re excited to talk to everyone!!!
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We always start by getting to know our guest authors a little bit better.
Q1): Can you tell us 3 things about yourselves (no matter how random) that we couldn’t find out easily on the Internet?
GAYLE: I am scared to death of clowns, Dillard’s shoe department is my nirvana, and you can get me to do pretty much anything if you put a Starbuck’s Mocha in front of me in the morning
ROBYN: I absolutely HATE to shop; I love scary movies; My big weakness is Diet Pepsi.
Q2): What are 3 things that always make each of you smile?
GAYLE: When my youngest daughter calls me “Momma”, looking into my oldest daughter’s room and she is reading instead of watching TV, and watching my husband do the dishes without being asked to
ROBYN: Spending quality time with my kids and husband; spending a lazy, rainy day at home; every time we return home to the Pacific Northwest area.
Q3): How long have each of you been writing?
GAYLE: About two years
Q4): What made you decide to team up and start writing as a duo?
GAYLE: Robyn and I have been friends for close to 20 years. When the Twilight series came out, my mother (a librarian at a middle school) called and told me to read it. Once I did, I had Robyn read it too. We both loved the series and it catapulted us back into reading. She found JR Ward and Shelly Laurenston and had me read their series books. I fell in love and I was caught in the genre web. I will let her tell the story about the afternoon by the pool when we decided to write together….
ROBYN: Gayle and I were sitting out by her pool one afternoon watching the kids swim. We had both just finished reading a book (title and author shall remain nameless) that neither of us enjoyed very much. I was thinking through how the story could have been done better when I turned to Gayle and just blurted out, “You know, we could do better than this.” Of course she looked at me as though I’d had one too many glasses of wine but we kept talking until I finally convinced her we should give this a shot. We both have always loved to write and had been avid readers for years so literally, the next weekend, we met at our favorite Starbucks and started storyblocking. A year later, Infinite Betrayal was a reality.
Q5): What are some of the challenges and benefits of writing as part of a duo?
GAYLE & Robyn: One benefit is with every book we write, there is a primary and a secondary writer. The primary owns the characters. The secondary assists with story line, editing, flow, and content. A HUGE challenge is TIME. Both of us have daily jobs and a family to take care of. Finding the time to write every day can be incredibly difficult.
Q6): Do either of you have any interesting writing quirks or things that you must have with you to get the creative juices flowing?
GAYLE: I have to have music. No matter what. I cannot stand silence when I write. Also, depending on the scenes I am involved in, the music changes. Sometimes I’m listening to Black Veil Brides or Nine Inch Nails and others it’s Adele or the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack.
ROBYN: I need to be alone and with no distractions; no music, no phone, nothing. Music is huge for me and I use it during my thought processes for specific characters or scenes but once I start writing, everything else is powered off.
Q7): How does the writing process work between the two of you?
GAYLE: For Infinite Surrender, I assisted Robyn with anything and everything from grammar to plot line to dialogue. Sitting in my backyard and storyboarding is one of my favorite things to do!
ROBYN: We usually start together, talking through the plot, characters, and where we want the story to go. During the summer months, that’s usually out by Gayle’s pool but once it turns colder, we have a favorite Starbucks that we go to. Once we outline the story in our heads, the primary starts putting our thoughts into words. We’re together during the entire process and neither of us are afraid to voice our opinions to the other, which is critical when writing together. There has to be an absolute trust when you write as a team and Gayle and I have that.
Q8): Do either of you have any specific authors and/or titles that you feel inspired you to become the writer you are today?
GAYLE: JR Ward, Larissa Ione, Donna Grant, Jaci Burton, Desiree Holt, Jo Davis…the list is endless
ROBYN: There really are too many to name and I’d be afraid I’d leave someone out but if I had to pick one that really got me interested in the genre, then it would have to be JR Ward.
Q9): What are some of your hobbies or things that each of you enjoys doing when you’re not writing or taking care of other author business?
GAYLE: I love fishing with my husband and girls. We always end up out-fishing him! As a family, we also spend a lot of time landscaping the house and playing in the pool.
ROBYN: My hubby and I are huge UFC fans and rarely miss a card. I also enjoy kickboxing and of course, READING!
Q10): What lead to the creation of the INFINITY series?
GAYLE: Not to sound too Stephenie Meyer but honestly…it was a dream. When I woke up, I had the image of Roderick at the top of a huge set of stairs. It reminded me of Gone with the Wind but the steps were blue. I had to close my eyes and try and remember the entire thing. I immediately called Robyn and we worked thru the idea.
Q11): How many books do you guys have planned for the series?
GAYLE & Robyn: 3 – But we would really like to also do a novella for Mina (no spoilers) as well as a full novel for Roderick. Of course, if the readers wanted more, we’d be more than happy to oblige!
Q12): What can we expect as the series progresses?
GAYLE: Take it Robyn!! You know this one!
ROBYN: The second book in the series, Infinite Surrender, focusses on Talon and Chloe but introduces several new secondary characters as well that we hope readers will enjoy. With each book, we uncover more details about both the Coteri and the Valta and uncover more of what motivates both sides in their actions, deeds, and desires. Book three, Infinite Desire, will focus on Tre and is definitely full of surprisesJ.
Q13): Do either of you have anything else in the works outside of the INFINITY series that your fans should know about?
GAYLE: I am currently working on a three-book series about sisters living in Shreveport, La. They run a picker business and end up being hired by the Lore.
ROBYN: I also have an outline for a three-book series but honestly, until we’re done with the Infinity series, I’ve had to put this on hold.
Q14): What about the books and series are each of you the most proud of?
GAYLE: Honestly, that I actually did it and readers liked it. The reviews for the book were phenomenal and completely unexpected. Getting nominated with RT on a first novel blew us away!
ROBYN: Just getting published floored me. We were very lucky in that respect and we know it. We met with the right acquisitions agent and the right publishing house with our first meeting out of the shoot (thank you Moni !!!). After that, the positive feedback we received from readers was something I’m probably most proud of. To know that something we created was so well received by others, really touched my heart and made me proud of both of us.
Q15): Is there anything special that you’d like to say to your readers while we have you here today, anything coming up that we need to know about, etc?
GAYLE & Robyn: Well, now is as good a time to share our news…The Infinity Series was recently contracted by Ellora’s Cave. Infinite Betrayal will be re-released with EC and will be followed by Infinite Surrender and Infinite Desire. We are so very excited about becoming EC authors and we will be communicating any news we can as soon as we get it.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Gayle, Robyn thank you both so much for being with us today. We’re very happy to help you promote “Infinite Betrayal”, the upcoming “Infinite Surrender” and the entire INFINITY series and hope that we can turn some new readers on to your work. We’re very excited to chat with you both Live a little bit later, and would love to have you both back to help celebrate and promote “Infinite Desire” if you’d be interested.
GAYLE: Oh hell yes!! We would love it!
If you want to keep up with Gayle & Robyn, you can find them online here: