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When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nurse. I was always a loner and remember how I would sit and watch people as they passed through my life, making up stories about them. In every story, I was the hero, saving them from some awful fate. And then, at about age eleven, I discovered books.
In real life, I am not particularly brave or resourceful, but when I entered the mind of a paper hero, I became that person, and their strengths became mine, their weaknesses, mine to overcome. I took on their fears, their powers, their triumphs. And I was set free! That freedom was compounded when my tenth grade writing teacher read my first attempts at writing poetry and short stories, and told me that I had talent! Talk about stunned and tearful and amazed!
I come from a very talented family – my mother is an artist and decorator, my father is an engineer with a near photographic memory, my brothers are talented – each with an IQ much higher than mine, one playing music by ear, both being quite athletic, and problem solvers by nature. Me? I was just ordinary. Until that day when my teacher told me about myself. That very day I decided to become a writer. Because books were my first love, I knew that was what I wanted to write.
Being a very organised person (thanks to dad's training) I immediately subscribed to Writer's Digest and began to learn about the life and income of a writer. I discovered that starting out writing books is difficult unless one has another income to pay the bills. So, after high school, I took a course in Allied Health Technology at the local tech school, earned my degree, got a job, and took up writing with a vengeance and a goal – get published ASAP!
Though I wrote books and took a few writing courses at the local University, ASAP didn't come until I found a co-writer. One night at 2am in the emergency room, I met a police officer who wanted to write, and magic was born for me as he turned out to be a natural born story-teller. The first words we put on paper, writing under the pen name Gary Hunter, sold to Warner Books for a two book deal, in the men's action adventure genre. Those two books are long out of print, but they taught me the single key I had lost in all my study about writing – the character has to have weaknesses and fears and problems to overcome, and then with his/her strengths, has to overcome them. A simple formula. But one that works.
Now I write solo, about people who are flawed, weak, and have problems to overcome. And then set out to solve whatever problem they are face with. I hope you like my weak/strong characters. I hope you like heroes. Because that's what I try to find in the heart of each character – that thin flame of heroism that burns in each of us.
Married to my soul-mate, I now live in a three story house overlooking a narrow wood and tinkling creek. As I write, I can look out over oak, poplar, sweet-gum, hickory, and dog-wood, see red-breasted, red-tailed, ring-tailed, or red-shouldered hawk in mating and hunting flight, watch the rabbits nibble the grass and birds feed off the deck. I find myself being pulled from the writing far too often as the world outside seeks my attention through the huge windows. And then, of course, there are the dogs... Pomeranians Delta Belle and Dinkums DeLande demand just a bit of attention! If my life sounds placid compared to that of my characters, well, perhaps that's a good thing!
Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoy my books!