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Interview with Gail Sattler

Humor shines through in everything Gail Sattler does, including her latest romantic suspense novel, The Other Neighbor.

Welcome, Gail, and congrats on your latest release. What message do you hope readers take away from this book?
That not everyone is always what they appear. While everyone has their secrets, some have more than others.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
In the case of this book, don’t just sit back and say God will take care of it and whatever happens is God’s will. God will most of the time is given the knowledge and strength we are given, trust in him to be able to use it. In the case of Cheryl in The Other Neighbor, once she found out what was going on, she used the intelligence God gave her to do her best to try to stop a potential disaster.

You’ve had books published for over 20 years. What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career? What is most significant to your publication journey that has enabled you to stay with is all these years?
The greatest moment I had was personal, rather than in front of a crowd. Many years ago, when I was only writing for Heartsong Presents, when they were still owned by Barbour Publishing, I’d done a 3 book series which was Gone Camping, At Arm’s Length, and On The Road Again. All of them had placed well in the reader’s annual vote for the favorite book of the year by the Heartsong Bookclub, which all were great moments when I got the results.

But it was a great moment for me when I got a letter – not an email, a letter that someone wrote and put a stamp on it and mailed it to the publisher – to suggest that I write a 4th book in the series, and make the hero Mike, who was the antagonist in the first book. So I did. After it came out readers also loved that, and it was also voted into the top ten of the year it came out. But my greatest moment is when I got a letter from a reader on that book.

Long Story Short – a woman who was a social worker had given up on her career and was going to quit. Then she read My Name Is Mike and she completely re-evaluated how she saw people who had problems with breaking free of an addiction to alcohol. Now she understood, and went back to her career with a different viewpoint.

The book was written the same way that all my books are, first as entertainment, but always with a touch of real life, and in this case, the hero of the book started off from a deeper hole than any of my other heroes had. Lots of people break out of alcohol addiction, and AA started out as a Christian program when it first began, then widened its scope to include more. But it has never stopped encouraging faith in God as a person’s “Higher Power” which is the success of the program.

The thing that’s most significant to enable me to keep writing is that my husband worked from home and did all the housework.

You have several books that ended up being part of a series. What are two significant things you learned from writing a series?
As a writer, the first thing with a series is make notes and never stray from them as sometimes even something small will have a big effect on another book in the series. The most important thing in a series is to be consistent. Second, you need to make a secondary character in one book prominent and likeable enough in one book to carry them through as a major character in the next.

You mention infusing your stories with humor. What do you think makes your particular style of storytelling unique?
My storytelling is real. I can’t count the letters and emails I’ve received over the years where people told me that the characters felt so real it was like they were living next door, and they were sorry to see the story end. As to the humor, same thing, make it real. Good humor in a book is not stand up comedy. It’s a running situation with a punch line ending.

What led you to choose the genres in which you write? And why do you feel they are such a good fit?
I write what I like to read. How could I go wrong with that?

Other than music and photography, do you have anything else you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I knit. A lot. I also crochet, but I don’t like crocheted clothes. I crochet toys, and knit clothes. As you can guess, I have a lot of sweaters. Right now I’m crocheting a cat bed that is like a “cave” except it’s a shark. (You may now sing Baby Shark doo doo doo-doot-doo-doo)

Music is such an integral part of your life. How much of it has made its way into your books?
A lot of my characters are musicians, but they usually aren’t in bands, they just pay for their own enjoyment.

What books are on your nightstand right now?
None. Everything I’ve read in the last few years is on my Kindle. I have more books in there than I can count right now, it’s like carrying around my own library. Right now I’m reading a Debbie Macomber book. I forget the title.

Finish this statement: In the future, I will…
Lose weight.

Any parting words?
When you have times when you want to give up because nothing is working – take heart, we all have those bad times. When that happens, go listen to the theme song from the movie Zootopia – Try Everything. Here’s my favorite version of it performed by one of my favorite groups – Home Free.


Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having an active imagination and a flair for the dramatic. Today, she has honed those skills to become an award-winning author and speaker who works in the health & wellness and personal development industries, helping others become their best from the inside out. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and son, and a Shiba Inu-mix named Nova. She has sold over 20 books so far, three of which have won annual reader's choice awards. She is represented by Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

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