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Interview With Gail Sattler

SW: Introduce yourself to us. Name, information on your family, number of books authored, etc...

GS: My name is Gail Sattler. I've been married to the same guy for nearly 27 years, and we have 3 teenaged sons and a host of pets to go with them. I'm currently in the process of writing my 4th Love Inspired novel. I've written 16 books for Heartsong Presents, 8 novellas for Barbour anthologies, and a few other assorted projects. See more about me, including pictures, on my website at

sw: Tell us a little about your road to publication.

GS: The same as everyone else. I wrote a book, discovered how much I loved to write, then wrote another one, and another one, and another one, then started submitting to publishers. By the grace of God, one sold, and the rest is history.

SW: Do you write full time? If yes, can you give us a glimpse into your daily writing life? If not, what is your day job?

GS: I do not write full time. I have a full time job, but write every minute I can when I'm not at work or sleeping. I'm currently the night shift billing supervisor for a trucking company. I work nights so I can write during the daytime when the house is (allegedly) quiet.

SW: What was your biggest obstacle in regards to writing and/or getting published? How did you overcome it?

GS: Lack of time, or time management. Writing well is very time consuming, and I can't write well in 20 minute spurts or if I'm exhausted after a long day at work. I have to organize my time, and when I have a block of time, make it count. I'm not sure I've really overcome this, it's more an on-going battle.

SW: What has been the highest moment of your writing/publishing career?

GS: The moment I held my first published book in my hand.

SW: Who/what is your greatest inspiration to write? Where do your story ideas come from?

GS: I don't know what my inspiration is. I've always had a vivid imagination, and I often get carried away on tangents. I see something, and my mind wanders until that single event becomes an entire story plot. My husband jokes with me that I can even get distracted on my way to the bathroom, and he is right. All I know is that once I started writing, I couldn't stop. I love it. As to where my story ideas come from, I'm going to quote, or probably mis-quote, something I read in Steven King's book on writing. "Authors never ask other authors where we get our ideas. We just know that we don't know."

SW: Are you a seat-of-the-pants writer, or do you plot extensively before your fingers hit the keyboard?

GS: I plot everything. I don't plot extensively, but I do plot out most scenes including what point I want to make or what I want to show the reader. My outline is not cast in stone, there is always room for change, but every book I write is plotted, some more heavily than others, before I write the first word. Above all, I have the last scene of the book plotted and outlined, knowing how I got there, before I write the first word of Chapter One.

SW: I'm notorious for *snacking* while I write! Do you have any favorite munchies you wouldn't mind us knowing about?

GS: I drink a lot of coffee while I write. I like to nibble, especially when I'm reading over what I've just done before I go on to the next scene. My favorite nibble snack is popcorn with grated cheese melted in it, which is not a good thing to eat while trying to type.

SW: How do you strike an agreeable "balance" between your writing time and other responsibilities?

GS: My balance depends on the state of my current deadline. First priority is my day job, and after that, my writing. My husband and kids cook, clean, do laundry, and everything that needs doing. I tell myself that I'm also teaching my kids a lesson in responsibility and sharing what needs to be done in order to achieve a common goal, which is for all 5 of us to live together happily.

SW: Who is your favorite character in your books, and how did you come up with that character?

GS: My favorite character is Randy, the hero of my up-coming book Changing Her Heart, Love Inspired, Feb./06. He's one of a group of men who were friends all their lives, and each has their own story. Randy is like so many people, maybe even one of us. On the outside, he's a happy, fun-loving guy, and he's generally happy with himself, but deep inside, the part that no one sees, he has his hurts and demons buried. I don't know how I came up with him. I just pictured him in my mind and "knew" him instantly, right down to his obsession with Boston Creme donuts.

SW: How do you deal with publisher rejections?

GS: It depends on the project. Sometimes I shrug my shoulders and go on with the next submission, but often it really hurts. But the only way to deal with it is to keep working on something all the time, and to keep submitting.

SW: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

GS: Actually, I'm not sure. If nothing changes, and I'm publishing a book or two a year, I'd be happy with that.

SW: If you could give a beginner one piece of advice what would it be?

GS: KNOW why you like what you like, and why you don't like what you don't, and then write that way.

SW: You have a new title coming out, right? Tell us about it.

GS: It's my first Love Inspired title - Hearts in Harmony, out in May/05. First, it's about how God forgives us, and then about being able to forgive ourselves. It's also about following your dreams, even if things turn out to be a little different than what we first envisioned. And isn't that what being a writer is all about?

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